The members of the EcoWaste Coalition hold a picket rally in front of the plastic trash from South Korea. With the protesters are, 3rd from left, Bureau of Customs-10 District Collector Floro Calixihan Jr., Mindanao Container Terminal sub-port Collector John Simon, and Misamis Oriental second district Rep. Juliette Uy (wearing green dress). Photo by Gerry Lee Gorit
By CRIS DIAZ
MISAMIS Oriental--An official of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) is getting ‘death threats’ as repatriation of 6,300 tons of garbage started this week.
John Simon, the collector at the BOC’s sub-port on the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT), in the Phividec Industrial Estate in Tagolo-an, Misamis Oriental, said he has been receiving “calls” and “text messages” warning him to be careful.
“I don’t give a damn to the threats for as long as I believed that what I am doing is for the country,” Simon told the Mindanao Daily News.
He said that the South Korean government has started shipping back 51 container vans of “garbage” to South Korea Sunday after a formal “send-off” ceremony.
The “MV Kalliroe,” of the Maersk Shipping Lines, was the official cargo vessel hired by the South Korean government to ship the garbage back to South Korea, Simon said.
According to Simon, the 51 container vans were estimated to be 1,200 tons, which was shipped to the MICT port in Taglo-an, Misamis Oriental, late October last year.
He said that the remaining 5,100 tons of “garbage,” now in the stockyard of the Verde Soco, would be repacked and would be shipped back to South Korea.
Verde Soko trash partially returned to Sokor. The last three of 51 container vans containing assorted trash from South Korea are ready to be loaded January 13 onto MV Kalliroe V8525 at Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental en route to their country of origin. The shipment is part of the consignment of Verde Soko Industrial Philippines Corporation which has been forfeited by the government for being misdeclared as merely plastic flakes for recycling. Photo by Mark Francisco
The Phividec Industrial Estate, Misamis Oriental (PIE-MO), and the Verde Soco signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU), which allow Verde S0co, a South Korea-based company, to construct a factory that would recycle raw materials for the manufacture of “plastic pellets” and other plastic products.
The Verde Soco made the first shipment of the 5,100 “garbage” disguised as “plastic raw materials” sometime in July 2018 from Pyeongtak, South Korea, which were unloaded in the sub-port of MICT in Tagolo-an, Misamis Oriental.
It turned out that the shipment of the “raw materials” was illegal when Verde Soco failed to show importation documents and proper documentation of the shipment.
“The remaining garbage are now undergoing repacking. Hopefully, all garbage would be shipped back to South Korea by the end of this month,” Simon said.
Simon said that the successful repatriation of the garbage back to its origin in South Korea is the triumph of the Filipino people.
“We have shown to the whole world that our country is not a dumping site of foreign countries,” he said.
He said that he has received “calls and text messages” since he requested a formal investigation of the illegal shipment.
“The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is now handling the investigation in order to possibly identify the people behind the illegal shipment,” Simon said.
Simon has cited the media for the support extended, which paved the way for the successful shipment of the garbage back to South Korea.
“The media have played a critical role when BOC in Tagolo-an, Misamis Oriental, started to conduct an investigation of the illegal garbage shipment,” he said.
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