House committee seeks suspension of Phividec and BOC officials over garbage mess

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 16 March) – Rep. Juliet Uy (2nd District, Misamis Oriental) has called for the suspension of Phividec Administrator Franklin Quijano over the South Korean garbage mess in Misamis Oriental.

Rep. Henry Oaminal (2nd District, Misamis Occidental), chair of the House Committee on Good Governance and Public Accountability, and Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate consult each other during the public hearing in Cagayan de Oro City on Friday (15 March 2019) on the South Korean garbage mess). MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Uy also called for the suspension of port assistant manager Efledo Resma during the public hearing conducted by the House Committee for Good Governance and Public Accountability in this city last Friday.

“Phividec Administrator Quijano should be suspended because he failed at his job. He allowed Verde Soko to operate even when he knew the company was incapable of recycling plastic,” Uy said.

The House Committee on Good Governance and Public Accountability chaired by Rep. Henry Oaminal (2nd District, Misamis Occidental) held the public hearing to investigate how 6,500 tons of garbage passed off as recyclable plastics were able to be shipped here in Misamis Oriental from Pyeongtek, South Korea last year.

Oaminal said they are also studying how to ship back the remaining garbage back to South Korea, an operation that would require P45 million in shipping costs.

Uy alleged that Quijano did not hold Verde Soko, the shipper of the garbage, accountable and responsible for importing garbage.

“Suspending Quijano is necessary to make sure official documents, notes and other information materials are intact and preserved,” the Misamis Oriental representative said.

For his part, Quijano maintained that Phivedec was right to accept Verde Soko, a Cebu-based company, to rent a facility for its factory in the 3,000-hectare economic zone in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

“What we did not know was that Verde Soko did not follow our agreement and imported the recyclable plastic,” he said.

Phividec Administrator Franklin Quijano reacts after Rep. Juliet Uy (2nd District, Misamis Oriental) asks for his suspension following the South Korean garbage mess during a public hearing in Cagayan de Oro City on Friday (16 March 2019). MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Quijano maintained that Verde Soko imported recyclable plastic waste and not garbage as alleged.

Aside from Quijano and Resma, Rep. Frederick Siao (lone district, Iligan City) also recommended the suspension of former Cagayan de Oro Bureau of Customs Collector Floro Calixhan.

Siao said Calixhan allegedly allowed Verde Soko to import the garbage even without proper documents.

Oaminal deferred the suspension of these officials pending the results of their investigation. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)

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