Company behind trash from South Korea not yet off the hook — solon
In this Dec. 13, 2018 photo, members of EcoWaste Coalition press for the re-export of garbage shipped to the Philippines before Christmas.
EcoWaste Coalition, Released
Company behind trash from South Korea not yet off the hook — solon
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - January 8, 2019 - 4:01pm

MANILA, Philippines — The recycling company that shipped containers loaded with garbage to the country is not yet free from responsibility even as the tons of trash are scheduled to be sent back to South Korea.

The 51 garbage-filled containers stored at Mindanao International Container Terminal will be home-bound by Wednesday—six months after the arrival of the shipments in the Philippine soil.

The shipment, which was misdeclared as plastic synthetic flakes, contained used batteries, diapers and dextrose tubes, among other hospital wastes.

But Verde Soko is not off the hook as the House of Representatives is set to conduct an inquiry into the dumping of foreign wastes in the country, Rep. Juliette Uy (Misamis Oriental) said Tuesday.

Uy also said the company will have to answer to the provincial government of Misamis Oriental, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Phividec Industrial Estate Authority for all the possible environmental and business operation violations linked to the garbage importation.

The lawmaker, moreover, stressed the issue of garbage dumping from Canada should be revisited after conclusion of issue with South Korea.

“The lessons learned from this Verde Soko case should be applied to the Canada garbage case whenever relevant. There is also the need to have the Department of Foreign Affairs follow-up with Canada on the legal and legislative actions they should have taken by now,” Uy said.

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III earlier said that trash-dumping of other countries should not be tolerated.

“We're not someone else's dumping ground. The Philippines should assert its dignity and co-equal standing as a sovereign state in the community of nations. We should not be seen as a recipient, officially or unofficially, of waste material coming from other countries,” he said.

Between 2013 and 2015, close to 100 container vans of garbage were also imported to the Philippines from Canada and only belatedly discovered.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country is committed to solving the garbage dumping issue during the 2017 Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Manila. He made the same statement in 2015 during his visit to the country for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

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