Customs starts talks with SoKor gov’t on waste shipments

MANILA An official of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday said the agency has already initiated talks with the South Korean government to speed up the re-exportation of wastes that were shipped to the Philippines from Pyeongtaek City, South Korea.

BOC spokesperson, lawyer Erastus Sandino Austria, said the South Korean government has communicated with the Port Collector of the Mindanao Container Terminal Subport in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

According to the Port of CDO District Collector Floro Calixihan, based on an email message from Sunyoung Kim, Minister Counsellor, Embassy of Korea, to the Port Collector of Mindanao Container Terminal Subport, Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, the Republic of South Korea has assured that it will do its utmost effort to prevent the occurrence of similar incident in the future and to fully cooperate with the Philippine government to resolve the issue smoothly, Austria said in a statement.

He added the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 10 has examined the shipments consigned to Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation and found them to contain household hazardous waste.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero has ordered an investigation on the matter.

He has also ordered the immediate re-exportation of the shipments at the soonest time possible.

Verde Soko on two separate occasions brought into the country one shipload containing 5,176.91 metric tons of various plastic and waste materials misdeclared as plastic synthetic flakes and another 51-by-40-foot container (51x40'), also declared as plastic synthetic flakes.

Both shipments have been issued the corresponding Warrant of Seizure and Detention for violating Sections 117 and 1400 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency