VILLANUEVA, Misamis Oriental--The saga on waste dumping at Verde Soko compound in sitio Buguac, Barangay Sta. Cruz in Tagoloan town is drawing to a close on February 23.
In a press statement, Misamis Oriental second district Rep. Juliette T. Uy said that the last two shipments of the illegally-imported garbage are set for February 16 and February 23.
On February 16, Uy said that some 50 containers will be shipped out through the cargo vessel “Vivaldi.”
She said the last 50 containers will be carried back to South Korea by the vessel Nordmarsh on February 23. Last January 19, some 50 containers were “re-exported” and in January 2019 some 51 containers were sent back.
“We will finally have closure on this difficult chapter,” said Uy, adding, “the last shipping out formalities will be done on Sunday (February 16) at the 10 in the morning also at the Mindanao International Container terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.
Uy said: “We deeply appreciate the full cooperation of the Government of South Korea and the lead role of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on the Philippine side.”
She added: “As we bring this chapter to a close, we congratulate the Bureau of Customs on its new Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF), a set of policy directions and actions that are part of the Customs goal toward full automation in 2024. The ESMF was adopted earlier this month of February.”
“The ESMF continues the momentum of the bureau from when it established its environment desk and when it issued the new memorandum superseding the former policy which my colleagues and I in the House of Representatives found to have loopholes which enabled the illegal entry of the Verde Soko shipments,” said the congresswoman in a press statement.
“As we end this Verde Soko garbage saga, we are confronted with two new safety threats: African swine fever (ASF)and the coronavirus now known as Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” she said.
“Garbage we can see with the naked eye and with the aid of x-ray machine-examination of cargo containers, but viruses and other microorganisms we cannot spot with just our eyes,” said Rep. Uy.
“We all must be vigilant at our seaports and airports here in Mindanao, so that we effectively address this African swine flu and the COVID-19 virus with proper screening protocols. Those footbaths of chemicals should always be wet with the disinfecting chemicals for shoes, slippers, and other footwear,” she said.
“Basic personal hygiene practices, especially proper handwashing, are our best defense. We must make sure the ASF and COVID-19 do not worsen in Mindanao,” she said.
Uy said: “It is our expectation that the Bureau of Customs here in Misamis Oriental, Northern Mindanao, and all of Mindanao are implementing all the necessary measures. We in Congress will always keep our watchful eyes open.” (MRS)
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