MANILA, Philippines — The country will again mark another victory in the “battle” against imported garbage as a container van loaded with electronic waste will be sent back to Hong Kong tomorrow, according to the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
BOC-Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) sub-station collector John Simon yesterday said they would re-export the 40-foot container van that was reportedly misdeclared to contain “assorted electronic accessories.”
When inspected, officials found shredded gadgets and computers.
Electronic waste is considered one of the most dangerous types of garbage as it does not only affect the environment, but also people’s health.
The scheduled return of the trash to Hong Kong will take place three days after the government returned 69 containers of trash to Canada last Friday.
Hong Kong will shoulder the re-exportation cost.
“I got a written confirmation from the shipping line last Friday that they are ready to load the e-waste on June 3,” Simon said.
The SITC shipping line will send its vessel SITC Nagoya to pick up the garbage.
Simon expressed belief the vessel would be at the anchorage area on Sunday night.
Another SITC ship, SITC Fujian, was used in transporting the garbage from Hong Kong to the MICT in February.
In a matter of four months, the BOC would be able to send back the garbage to its country of origin.
Simon said their direct coordination with their counterparts in Hong Kong fast-track the re-export of garbage.
He said their counterpart in Hong Kong referred him to their Environmental Protection Department, which coordinated with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“During the talk, they were able to validate the contents of the shipment. It was a good thing that when we investigated the shipment, there were DENR officials present and they submitted the report to the HK government,” he said.
Simon said the Philippines and Hong Kong are signatories to the Basel Convention, an international treaty aimed to reduce the movement of hazardous waste between countries.
The treaty also prohibits the transfer of hazardous waste from developed countries to less developed countries.
The garbage arrived at the MICT in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental on board SITC Fujian.
The cargo was reportedly shipped by Hin Yuen Tech. Env. Limited and consigned to Crowd Wind Industrial Limited.
Simon said the consignee is no longer existing in its declared address, raising suspicion on the intention to dump the garbage here.
In July and August last year, 51 container vans filled with plastic trash from South Korea arrived at the MICT.
The garbage was sent back to South Korea in January.
Even after the 69 containers of trash were sent back to Canada, Sen. Richard Gordon wants the matter investigated to identify the people behind the shipment.
Gordon said the public should know who were behind the shipment of trash from different countries, including Canada, Hong Kong and South Korea.
He said people in charge of the borders were lax, allowing contraband and trash to be shipped into the country.
The 69 containers of trash were loaded on MV Bavaria, which left the New Container Terminal in Subic on Friday.
Gordon said people behind those shipments of trash should be held liable to prevent them from doing the same illegal activities again.– With Cecille Suerte Felipe