By NITZ ARANCON with LITO RULONA
CONGRESSMEN yesterday asked the House committees on ecology and good governance to cite executives of VNS Verde Soko Industrial Corp. and officials of the Phividec Industrial Estate and environment department for contempt if they fail to show up during the next hearing on the two shipments of tons of garbage from South Korea in Misamis Oriental.
Rep. Henry Oaminal of the 2nd District of Misamis Occidental and chairman of the House committee on good governance expressed his disappointment over the failure of many of those summoned to attend yesterday’s congressional inquiry.
The hearing was called by Oaminal’s committee and the House ecology committee chaired by Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua of Quirino.
The office of Rep. Juliette Uy of Misamis Oriental’s 2nd District quoted Oaminal as warning that “if they will not appear during the next hearing, the committees would cite them for contempt.”
Uy is one of the representatives who sought a congressional investigation into the shipment of tons of garbage from South Korea to Misamis Oriental last year.
There were reportedly two shipments — the first was via a private port in Villanueva town and the other was via the Mindanao International Container Port in Tagoloan.
Phividec Industrial Authority Jesus Guevara II came and Phividec Industrial Estate administrator Franklin Quijano arrived late. But members of the Phividec board, who were also summoned, were a no-show.
The regional director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and executives of Verde Soko, the consignee of the controversial shipments also failed to come.
Environment Management Bureau regional director Sabdullah Abubacar and officials of the Bureau of Customs here attended the hearing.
Rep. Uy said congressmen wanted to find out how the shipments of wastes from South Korea managed to get past the gatekeepers in Misamis Oriental and exactly who should take the blame.
During the hearing, Uy told the two committees that some 5,000 tons of garbage still remained in Sitio Bugwak, Barangay Santa Cruz in Tagoloan town, where Verde Soko set up a facility to recycle plastic wastes. The place is within the Phividec Industrial Estate stretching from Tagoloan to Villanueva towns.
The wastes, according to Uy, have continued to pose health and environmental risks in Misamis Oriental.
Rep. Cua said the government officials and Verde Soko executives would be sent summons again. He said they should attend the next hearing or else.