Return of garbage from MisOr to South Korea postponed

Officials of the Bureau of Customs inspect the container vans containing household wastes in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental in this undated file photo provided by Misamis Oriental provincial board member Gerardo Sabal.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/ 08 Jan) — The scheduled return of 1,400 tons of household wastes and shredded plastic from Tagoloan town in Misamis Oriental to its source in Pyeongtaek, South Korea on Wednesday, January 9, will not push through, an official said.

Misamis Oriental Provincial Board Member Gerardo Sabal said the ship from Maersk shipping company was delayed and instead will arrive on Saturday at the Mindanao International Container Terminal in Tagoloan.

“The loading of 51 container vans will happen on Saturday night,” Sabal said.

He said a ceremonial program of closing the last container van would follow on Sunday.

After that, Sabal said the ship will bring back the wastes to Pyeongtaek where the shipment originated.

The South Korea Government is funding the US$47,000 shipment cost of bringing back the wastes to Pyeongtaek following an uproar from local officials and residents of Misamis Oriental.

Sabal, however, said the bulk of wastes — 5,100 tons of household wastes and shredded plastic – will remain at the four-hectare facility of shipper Verde Soko in Sitio Buguac, Barangay Santa Cruz, Tagoloan.

“South Korean officials have hinted that Verde Soko share the costs of bringing back the wastes,” he said.

The official estimated the cost of bringing back the entire 5,100 tons of wastes at more than P7 million.

The wastes came in two batches: the first batch of 5,100 tons came in canvas bags last July 21 while the second shipment of 51 container vans arrived in the middle of August 2018.

Sabal said he is concerned about the first shipment, which carried the bulk of wastes.

“What will happen to that? We cannot just let it rot in Tagoloan,” he said. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)