MISAMIS Oriental provincial board member Gerardo "Boboy" Sabal on Monday, January 28, said Verde Soko is asking that the re-exportation of the remaining 5,100 tons of imported trash be made in the third week of February.
Sabal said Verde Soko informed the inter-agency task force that the pressing machine needed for the repacking will arrive only this week.
The bulk of Korean waste is still stored at the facility site of Verde Soko. The first batch of hazardous waste was shipped out last January 13.
In their letter dated January 18, the Verde Soko, through its legal counsel, said the Korean firm will comply with December 6, 2018 re-exportation order, but they will have to address first some technical issues.
First, the tonner bags containing the shipment were opened by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) during the inspection process. Some of the cargo got scattered in the process and has to be returned to the opened/compromised tonner bags.
Second, the tonner bags containing the cargo, after six to seven months of continuous exposure to rain and shine, has weakened and will break open when lifted. Thus, the cargo has to be carefully/manually placed inside container vans which could accommodate only two to three metric tons.
Lastly, the same cargo prior to shipment to the Philippines were machine compressed before being placed inside the tonner bags. A container van will accommodate at least 20 metric tons of the same subject cargo once it will be machine compressed compared to only 2-3 metric tons if not compressed.
Sabal also said there is a protocol that should be followed as required by the DENR.
"Lingkuran kini sa inter-agency task force kay dili pwede nga sila-sila ra ang mag repack ana kay naay protocol nga sundon nga kinahanglan ma-secure ang basura nga walay magtagak-tagak during transshipment," Sabal said.
Sabal said Verde Soko did not explicitly say in the letter that it will shoulder all the cost for the repacking.
"They did not say it explicitly but impliedly busa ato ning linngkuran sa task force,"he added.
Sabal is hoping that the repacking will be finished in three weeks with the help of the pressing machine so it will be sent back to Korea at the scheduled date requested by Verde Soko.