A PRIVATE company will be hired to dispose of the rotting meat inside two refrigerated vans inside the Cebu International Port (CIP).
Cebu Port Authority (CPA) General Manager Edmund Tan yesterday called an emergency meeting with officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Oriental Port and Allied Services Corp. (Opascor), City Health Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and shipping lines to address the matter.
They decided to contract the services of Pollution Abatement Systems Specialists Inc. (Passi) to solve the problem.
BOC Cebu Acting District Collector Rico Rey Francis “Koko” Holganza said among the problems they discussed were how to dispose of the foul-smelling meat and who will shoulder the cost.
“I may even personally get the BOC clearance in Manila to dispose it but we have to set up everything on how to dispose it,” Holganza said.
Atty. Annabel Pulvera-Page, Opascor legal and corporate development manager, said the CPA, BOC, Opascor and shipping lines are helping each other to solve the problem.
Opascor is the exclusive cargo-handling service provider at CIP.
“We have agreed (on) the procedures to follow to finally dispose (of) this cargo. The CPA and BOC will order the shipping lines to hire PASSI, the shipping lines will shoulder the cost, and Opascor will assist in transporting it to the disposal area,” Pulvera said.
Pulvera said they want to get rid of the rotten meat in two to three days so people in the vicinity, including workers of CPA, Opascor and BOC and the public, will no longer be affected by the stench.
It was also revealed that there are three container vans that contain rotten meat, not two as earlier reported.
Two are 40-footer vans that contain 25 tons of meat, while the other is a 20-footer van that contains 18 tons.
Passi has a transport, storage and disposal (TSD) permit from DENR to collect infectious wastes from more than 100 hospitals, birthing homes, lying-in clinics and laboratories in Metro Cebu.
Passi president Julito Pogoy said they have a P5-million TSD facility and wastewater treatment plant in Inayawan, Cebu City.
Records show that as early as last Feb. 9, Jonathan Fernandez, Opascor manager for operations, wrote Tan, requesting for the immediate removal of the reefer containers, which are emitting foul odor, as they may pose a hazard to the health of their personnel and other stakeholders inside the CIP.
Tan referred Fernandez’s request to Holganza last April 26.
Tan informed Holganza that investigation conducted disclosed the foul smell at CIP comes from two refrigerated containers.
“It has been observed that foul liquid substance leaks out from the said containers,” Tan told Holganza.