THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Cebu decided to just auction the woodchips and return the plastic wastes back to Jeju, South Korea after these were dumped in Mandaue City.

As the trash is scheduled to be pulled out today, the Deparment of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) 7 found out that the synthetic resins or the plastic wastes placed in Barangays Tingub and Guizo are “highly hazardous.”

According to the BOC, the consignee declared the cargo from Korea as woodchips and recyclable resin.

Verne Enciso, chief of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, said it was discussed during their final meeting yesterday that plastic wastes will be shipped back while woodchips will be auctioned.

“For the woodchips, there is a value and usage of that. It is used for power plants. Biofuel yan eh,” he said.

BOC Cebu sent the notice of auction to their central office in Manila for approval and publication in the newspaper yesterday.

In a letter to BOC-Cebu District Collector Elvira Cruz yesterday, City Mayor Gabriel Luis Quisumbing expressed no objection on the BOC’s plan to ship back the plastic waste to Korea and auction the woodchips, “subject to the condition that in no way will the City of Mandaue receive a single centavo coming from the proceeds of sale.”

“Furthermore, the shipping out of the plastic waste and the auction of the wood chips do not in any way constitute a waiver on the part of the City of Mandaue to prosecute all, and I mean all persons responsible for the importation of the waste materials,” said the mayor.

The City Environment and Natural Resources Office found out from Engr. Cindylyn Pepito of EMB 7 that under Republic Act 6969 or the Anti-Toxic Substances, Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Law, and DENR Administrative Order 2013-22, synthetic resin is categorized as type F699 waste and is therefore highly hazardous.

Based on the confirmation from EMB 7, Cenro, under the instruction of Quisumbing, was “even more adamant on its intent to compel the importer to pull out the said trash as soon as possible.”

According to Cenro, the plastic wastes from Tingub and Guizo will be pulled out by the trucks at 8 a.m. today (Saturday).

Wastes will be immediately loaded to M/V Christina, the ship that will bring this back to Korea, at Pier 4. Enciso said loading of wastes to the vessel will reach 24 to 48 hours.

He said the ship will leave over the weekend.