By Rommel F. Lopez

Bureau of Customs Port Collector John Simon opens a container van containing 22 sling bags of mixed electronic waste weighing 2.561 tons, before sending it back to Hong Kong, at the Mindanao Container Port Terminal in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.

Greenpeace is calling for the Philippine government to ratify the Basel Ban Amendment, which prohibits the import of all waste for any reason, including “recycling.” © Froilan Gallardo / Greenpeace


TAGOLOAN, Misamis Oriental – More than 2 tons of electronic waste from Hong Kong shipped to the country were sent back to its port of origin Monday, three days after the Philippine government sent containers of garbage back to Canada.

Bureau of Customs-10 (BOC-10) said the shipment, weighing 2.561 tons consisting of plastic wastes and shredded electronic parts, was initially held at the port for “misdeclaration.”

The consignee, Crowd Win Industrial Limited Corp. based in Pasay City, declared the shipment as “assorted electronic accessories.”

BOC-10 issued a warrant of seizure and detention on March 5 for violation of Section 1400 (misdeclaration) in relation to Section 117 (lack of import permit) of Republic Act 1086 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The garbage was shipped back to its point of origin on board the cargo ship SITC Nagoya, according to Port Collector John Simon of the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) in this town.

“The export of this hazardous waste from Hong Kong in the guise of ‘assorted electronic accessories’ is illegal under the laws of Hong Kong and the Philippines and the Basel Convention,” he said.

Simon added that if they were not able to intercept the Hong Kong trash, 70 more container vans containing the same type of waste would have entered the MCT sub-port. He deplored the act as tantamount to making the Philippines “their dumping ground.”

This was the third shipment of wastes intercepted by Customs officials at the MICT.

Last year, officials seized two shipments of household wastes from South Korea. In January, 51 container vans containing 1,400 tons of garbage from South Korea were intercepted.

These were loaded Sunday on a cargo ship for return to their port of origin. On May 7, seven 40-foot container vans of “municipal trash” from Australia were seized at the port.