By JIGGER JERUSALEM
THE remaining 5,177 metric tons of mostly plastic garbage from South Korea would be shipped back anytime soon, a Bureau of Customs official said yesterday.
Mindanao Container Terminal port collector John Simon said there is no definite date yet but he was expecting a vessel from South Korea to come and pick up the trash.
He said the amount that would be spent to return the controversial garbage has to be approved by the Korean National Assembly, details of which have yet to be divulged by concerned authorities to the media.
Simon earlier informed the environmental group Ecowaste Coalition that the wastes “are now ready for pickup.”
Ecowaste Coalition, in an Aug. 8 statement, said the South Korean government has informed them that the trash may be shipped back sometime this September.
An Aug. 6 letter sent by the Korean Embassy in Manila to the coalition said “relevant Korean authorities have been discussing the detailed procedure for the repatriation of garbage with the Philippine Bureau of Customs.”
“We will have to wait for the results of the discussion, but it seems that the waste is expected to be returned to Korea in September 2019,” Ecowaste Coalition quoted the embassy as saying.
The communication from the embassy was in response to the letter sent by Ecowaste Coalition addressed to its president on Aug. 2.
“We welcome this important piece of information from the South Korean Embassy, which is a good indication that the overstaying wastes will be gone soon and will not suffer the same fate as the infamous garbage from Canada that sailed back to its source after six years following a diplomatic crisis,” said Ecowaste Coalition national coordinator Aileen Lucero.
She said, “We hope the vessel that will bring the illegal waste exports back to South Korea will be identified and dispatched sooner as the wastes are ready to be picked up anytime.”