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Sokor wastes: Volunteers swarm as mayor calls for help

TAGOLOAN, Misamis Oriental–Hundreds of volunteers responded to the call of Mayor Gomer Sabio for a "Bayanihan" to help in re-packing the tons garbage from South Korea.

Sabio and Bureau of Customs (BOC) port collector John Simon came up with the "Bayanihan system" and launched "OPLAN TAPON, BASURA IBALIK SA SOUTH KOREA" to meet the January 18 and February 9 scheduled re-exportation.

The idea is to ship back the remaining 5,177 tons of garbage dumped at the recycling facility of Verde Soko located in the economic zone of the Phividec Industrial Estate in Tagoloan. The garbage arrived in February 2019 from South Korea.

Residents living nearby have volunteered not just to help re-pack the tons of garbage to tonner bags, but also to help clean the dumpsite from possible toxic chemical contamination that could affect their source of potable water.

"It is for our own sake that we are safe against the harm from bacteria and unsafe chemical contamination, that's why it's high time that we will call up diligent volunteers for the said cause," Sabio told reporters.

At least 200 container vans are now ready to be loaded with bags of garbage placed in tonner bags donated by the provincial government of Misamis Oriental last year through the request of Task Force SoKor Basura chairman Gerardo Sabal Jr., also a provincial board member.

"Let us send these garbage back to Sokor," said Simon as he lauded the volunteers.

"As citizens of this country, I personally invite you to please take part in cleaning our environment, our beloved province Misamis Oriental. We need to foster healthy environment for our children and emphasize that our country is a great nation to live in," said Sabal. "We always put smile on our faces and make warm welcome to every foreign investors and visitors but please do not send your garbage here in our country," Sabal added.

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