Ship returning trash to South Korea arrives in Philippines, solon says
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker on Sunday reported that the ship that would take back the tons of trash from South Korea has arrived in the Philippines.
Rep. Juliette Uy (Misamis Oriental, 2nd District) said the ship is now in Misamis port.
This development came more than a week after a Bureau of Customs official said the 51 containers of garbage from South Korea would be sent back. The ship was initially expected to arrive at the Mindanao International Container Terminal port on January 9 but was delayed by a few days.
The Korean Ministry of Environment last November said it initiated legal procedures to take the trash back to its country.
Uy thanked the South Korean government, Customs and Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials and civil society and environment groups, among others, for addressing the garbage mess immediately.
However, the congresswoman also made clear her opposition to any move, plan, or proposal to keep the garbage and recycle it.
“All, not just part or some, of the total garbage shipments stored at MICT should be returned to South Korea. All of it. There should be no gray areas in this regard,” Uy said in a release.
The lawmaker said she wants to “pursue accountability and address problems in our government policy, operations, and procedures that allow the importation of all solid wastes.”
Uy called on the Customs, DENR and Phividec Industrial Authority, which manages the 3,000-hectare Phividec Industrial Estate where the MICT is located, to investigate the controversial garbage shipment.
“I see the need to adopt new stringent policies to prevent the importation of plastic and other types of waste, since we do not want our province and our whole country for that matter to become a global garbage dump,” Uy said.
Customs earlier said around 5,000 metric tons of garbage still have to be returned to South Korea on or before the end of January. — Rosette Adel