A FILIPINO-Korean Green Company which was welcomed by the Phividec Industrial Estate to invest in their Tagoloan town property, has been unfairly put into bad light recently.
The company has been created to process recyclable plastics into briskets and pellets for exports. It has been a victim of gossips from local politicians and the bureaucracy of a local government agency.
Then the media particularly a big TV Network fueled the fire then everyone has branded the company as an enemy of the environment.
I don’t work for the company. I don’t represent them but I am very close to their Filipino executives. They were old high school mates and new friends from Cebu. The Korean investor is also a friend.
It was painful to witness these gentlemen being grilled in front of grandstanding politicians in a hearing to air their side of the story.
The company is new in the business of recycling. Instead of getting the help from the local government and the notorious government agency, all it got were endless charges from the people who were supposed to help them.
The charges were all false and I would insist that the company is importing shredded plastic raw materials to be processed and made into plastic briskets and plastic pellets to be shipped back to China and Korea.
These briskets will then be made into fuel as substitute for coal for power plants while the pellets will be processed and made into hard plastics for tables, chair and other furnitures.
Why I insist that the charges are false? Because I have been to the factory many times. If the tons of shredded plastics were garbage it could have smelled rotten and the residents could have complained.
Most of the media have called the raw materials garbage in their reports. How many times have they been told that these are not garbage. These are shredded plastics and raw materials to be turned into briskets and pellets. They must be deaf or blind.
They were invited to the place and saw the shredded plastics. They were asked if it smelled garbage. Their answers were no. But they would always mention in their reports that it is garbage. I give up. They are just dumb.
The DENR has found less than one percent trash from the raw materials and yet the government agency who are making the life of this Green Company difficult is still making noise.
I understand, local politicians would try to capitalize on this issue to get some media mileage because of the coming elections. Some of them have succeeded and have landed in the front pages of some local newspapers.
The politicians in that side of Misamis Oriental are notorious for making the lives of investors in the Phividec difficult. Remember Hanjin?
In 2007-2009 one of South Korea’s shipbuilding companies, Hanjin made a bold proposal to build a $2 billion shipbuilding facilities in Tagoloan. The project could have created 40,000 jobs for the town. It was an addition to Hanjin’s $1 billion Subic Bay shipbuilding investment that was already in construction.
Hanjin was also responsible for building the Butuan-Iligan road during that time. Their investment could have been the biggest direct foreign investment in Mindanao.
The government under then President Gloria Arroyo converted the Phividec into a special economic zone in 2008 to make it easier to accommodate large investors.
Hanjin could have brought an export earning of $1.7 billion of ocean-going vessels locally. The project failed to take off when local politics and the insensitive acts of the local government officials killed it.
Now, this new Green company is getting the same treatment. The company has been trying to get permits, build its facilities and negotiating with authorities for almost two years now.
They have already spent millions of dollars trying to start their recycling business. Yet they have not earned a single cent yet. If you are the investor what would you do?
This company is not as big as Hanjin. Their raw materials, the machineries are stuck with this wicked government agency. If it starts operation, the company could employ thousands of local people. It could also solve our problem with plastics. It could put millions into the local economy.
As of the moment, the company is importing those shredded plastics from Korea because there are no local suppliers of shredded plastics yet. In the long run, the company will buy shredded plastics from local sources. Imagine what it can do to the entire province or even Mindanao.
This company can help solve our problems with plastics. Instead of accusing it of being an enemy of the environment, why can’t we help it. To the people who spread the gossips please go to the plant and check. For the grandstanding local politicians, go also to the plant and check. I bet you have not been there yet.
This company was envisioned by its founders to help the people of Mindanao get rid and recycle plastics. Why can’t we help them. (firstname.lastname@example.org)