TAGOLOAN, Misamis Oriental—A company based in this municipality plans to repack more than 5,000 tons of garbage from South Korea stored in its plant since July last year, with the goal of sending it back to Seoul in a few days' time.
Officials of Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corp. on Wednesday said the road leading to its facility is being fixed so that equipment for repacking could enter the plant.
Based on a meeting between the Philippines and South Korea on June 13, the garbage is scheduled to be shipped back to Seoul at month's end, although Verde Soko has no confirmed date yet for the move.
"We have agreed to ship all the materials back to South Korea the soonest possible time. With this program, all materials will be sent back," Verde Soko official Neil Alburo said.
Port authorities expect the shipment to be a significant undertaking.
"Kapag ’yan ay inilagay mo sa bags, kailangan mo ng 5,000 na bags. Each bag is around 1 metric ton. So ’yang bags na ’yan, kapag inilagay mo sa container kailangan mo ng 250 containers," said John Simon, port collector at Mindanao International Container Terminal.
The garbage contains used dextrose tubes, soiled diapers, batteries, bulbs, and electronic equipment, according to environment officials.
The 2 countries agreed in December to ship the trash back to South Korea.
Misamis Oriental Rep. Juliette Uy joined Bureau of Customs staff in inspecting the plant to ensure Verde Soko would fulfill its obligation to repack the waste.
"Hindi ko sila titigilan. Dapat nilang tuparin ang kanilang pangako dahil hindi ako titigil hangga't hindi mapaparusahan ang nasa likod ng pagpasok ng imported na basura sa bansa," Uy said.
She filed House Bill 9207 or the Total Ban on the Import and Export of Waste Act, which she plans to file again in the 18th Congress on July 22. — Rod Bolivar, ABS-CBN News.