Sixty container vans loaded with 2,400 metric tons of illegally shipped waste were shipped back to South Korea Sunday.
This shipment is part of the 5,000 metric tons of household waste and plastic shreds that arrived in the town of Tagoloan last July 2018.
The remaining trash will be re-exported on February 9, on board an international shipping vessel that was arranged by the South Korean government.
Three Korean officials of the consignee Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation were charged for violating importation laws.
"Ang bansa natin ay hindi basurahan kung hindi isang bansang makapangyarihan na kayang magpalayas ng basura ng makapangyarihang bansa," said Bureau of Customs-10 district collector John Simon.
Aside from the 5,000 metric tons, another 1,500 metric tons of similar waste materials were seized at the Mindanao Container Terminal. These were returned to South Korea last January 2019.
"We are asserting that we have dignity as Filipinos. Even if the Philippines is a developing country, but it does not give other countries the right to dump their garbage [in our country]," said Chinkie Golle, EcoWaste Coalition Davao City executive director.
The shipments were seized by BOC because it was misdeclared as "plastic synthetic flakes." However, upon inspection of port authorities, the materials were found to be waste materials of mixed sizes, some even deemed as hazardous.
The remaining materials are expected to be shipped back to South Korea by Feb. 9.