Fire probers cite negligence on Verde Soko

Photo from Misamis Oriental Rep. Juliette Uy's Facebook account

FIRE investigators are looking into a spontaneous combustion as possible cause of the fire on Monday, August 12, which consumed part of the remaining 5,000 metric tons of imported trash from South Korea supposedly due for re-exportation.

Fire inspector Randy Obsioma, acting fire marshal of Phividec Industrial Estate-Misamis Oriental Fire Station, said they are still investigating the real cause of fire.

He said wastes have methane gas component which might be the reason for the garbage to catch fire.

"Ang basura has component of methane gas unya init kaayo atong Monday so posible nga spontaneous combustion ang nahitabo pero we are digging deeper sa atong investigation para mahibal-an ang real cause of fire," Obsioma said.

"Anang 9:00 a.m. naa daw nakabantay nga mga lumalabay nga nag-aso ug maayo na lang kay layo ra sa mga kabalayan," he added.

Obsioma added there might have been negligence on the part of Verde Soko, the importer of the shipment.

He also suggests that the bags of garbage should be placed inside the container vans to prevent similar incident.

Lawyer Franklin Quijano, administrator of Phividec Industrial Authority, said he has ordered the security and safety division to launch a thorough investigation on the incident.

He said actions will be taken if there are personalities involved.

"We have it investigated before we do concrete action," Quijano said.

John Simon, port collector of the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT), has reminded the South Korean government of their "commitment to immediately re-export the remaining garbage back to Korea at the soonest possible time."

Simon complained that the Korean Ministry of Environment is very slow.

"The remaining 500 metric tons of Korean garbage is causing fires and a big danger to the environment of Misamis Oriental. It is high time to put pressure on the Korean government to fast track the process of repatriation of the Korean garbage now," Simon said.

"Last June 8, Korean environment officials came to the Philippines to discuss the process of returning the garbage to Korea, unfortunately the vessel that is supposed to pick up the garbage has not yet been identified by the Korean government because of the threat to health and environment," he added.


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