18 December 2018, Quezon City. The environmental health and justice group, EcoWaste Coalition, is seeking a clear-cut date for the return of the 6,500 tons of illegal garbage exported from South Korea.
Through an e-mail sent yesterday to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, the EcoWaste Coalition requested Ambassador Han Dong-man to confirm the exact date when the garbage shipments will be removed from Misamis Oriental, which the group insisted should happen before Christmas Day.
The group’s insistence to have the garbage re-exported before Christmas is based on the assurance given by South Korean authorities affirming, “that it would take measures to have the wastes in question be brought back to Korea as soon as possible.”
“Almost one month has passed since South Korean authorities promised to return the illegal wastes as soon as possible,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition. “Our exasperating experience with the illegal trash imports from Canada, which are still stranded in our country, has taught us how important it is to have a defined date. That’s why we want the South Korean government to give us a 2018 return date and keep its promise for expedited action.”
In her letter to Ambassador Han Dong-man, Lucero said that “the removal of the Korean garbage from Mindanao will be your great country’s best Christmas gift to our nation and people.”
Bureau of Customs (BOC) Region X Port Collector John Simon had confirmed with the EcoWaste Coalition that the garbage “is now ready for pick-up and repatriation back to Korea.” The BOC on December 6 issued the “Re-Exportation Order” for the garbage that it has described as “misdeclared, heterogenous and injurious to public health.”
A copy of the said “Re-Exportation Order” was also provided to the South Korean Embassy during the “Keep your promise” caroling action organized by the EcoWaste Coalition at the embassy gates last Thursday, December 13.
According to the statement by the Korean government, “[Korean] Ministry of Environment on November 21 initiated legal procedure to have the wastes in question in the Philippines be brought back in accordance with Article 20 of the Law on Cross-border movement and Disposal of Wastes—Prior Notice of Repatriation Order—and embarked on investigation of the violation of Article 18-2 of the said law—False Export Declaration.”
The Embassy also noted that: “Relevant authorities of Korea will have the wastes in question be repatriated and properly disposed and work to prevent recurrence of the problem.”
Note: Copy of the BOC Re-Exportation Order (as received by the South Korean Embassy) can be downloaded here.