By LITO RULONA
MINDANAO International Container Terminal port collector John Simon said authorities have questioned and held the shipment of seven 40-foot container vans from Australia because the contents were “misdeclared.”
Simon said the container vans were brought via the port in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental May 7. When these were inspected May 14, authorities found shredded and compressed waste materials.
He confirmed that the consignee is cement maker Holcim Philippines Inc. that operates a plant in Lugait, Misamis Oriental.
“Dalawa yung declaration nila. Una sinabi nila na processed engineered fuel at malayo ito at sa ikalawang declaration nila as ‘municipal waste.’ Palagi nilang ipakita na fuel lang. Papano naging fuel ang basura?” Simon asked.
He said Customs officials are now looking into the claimant’s tariff pleading and its claim that the container vand contained “municipal wastes.”
“This is a municipal waste from Australia. Mali-mali ang kanilang declaration sa cargo. They have to be consistent. We see that is already a violation,” Simon said.
Simon said said the contents were “very odorous” and there were “stinking fumes.”
Based on the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, PEF is not included in the list of imported materials allowed in the country.
He said that when he brought the matter to the Office of the President, he was instructed to hold the container vans, and that these should be sent back to Australia.
“Ibalik hindi dapat makapasok,” he said.
Simon said the Bureau would likely file charges against Holcim.
The other day, provincial board member Gerardo Sabal III said he would ask the provincial board to start an inquiry into what he feared to be the shipment of hazardous wastes from Australia to Misamis Oriental.
He said the provincial board should summon officials of the Environmental Management Bureau, Bureau of Customs, and executives of Holcim Philippines so they could shed light on the shipment.