PH returns third batch of waste from South Korea

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2020   •   379

The Philippines is set to return 50 containers of trash from the Mindanao International Container Terminal (MICT) back to South Korea within the month.

According to the Bureau of Customs (BOC), over 6,000 tons of waste from South Korea were shipped into the Philippines in 2018. They were declared plastic waste but was reported to contain mixed non-biodegradable waste.

The first shipment of re-exportation was successfully done in January 13, 2019 which included 51 containers.

“Additional batches shall be re-exported on February 16 and February 23 which shall bring the total re-exported wastes to 201 containers and shall finally rid the country of the illegally imported wastes,” MICT Port Collector John Simon said in a statement.

Simon said that once the total of 6,500 tons of trash is returned, the Philippines will still ask South Korea to pay for damages after violating the Basel Convention.

Simon also stressed that the Bureau shall remain firm in its commitment of protecting the country’s borders from the entry of any illegal shipments including wastes that are harmful to the environment.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

South Korea reports fewer than 50 new coronavirus cases for first time since February 29 peak

UNTV News   •   April 6, 2020

South Korea reported fewer than 50 new coronavirus cases for the first time since its peak at the end of February as daily infections in Asia’s largest outbreak outside China continued a downward trend.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Monday (April 6) there were 47 new infections as of midnight on Sunday (April 5) compared with 81 recorded a day earlier, taking the national cumulative tally to 10,284.

But officials urged even greater vigilance, saying a large epidemic could reemerge at any time, with smaller outbreaks in churches, hospitals and nursing homes, as well as infections among travelers, continuing to arise.

A fall in daily demand for tests to some 6,000 from around 10,000 over the weekend contributed to the decline in numbers, Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip said. (REUTERS CONNECT)

2 more Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 in South Korea

Marje Pelayo   •   April 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Philippine Embassy in Seoul, confirms two more Filipino nationals have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number to three.

The first Filipino COVID-19 case was confirmed on March 20 while the two new cases, who are family members of the first patient, were confirmed positive for the disease on April 1.

They were tested twice for the disease with their second test yielding positive results.

They are now confined in isolation.

The Embassy assures close coordination with the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) and local health authorities and stands ready to provide assistance to the COVID-19 positive Filipino nationals as needed.

South Korea ranks 15th among countries in the world with the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, based on the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center.

The three Filipinos are now among the 9,976 COVID-19 cases in South Korea.

As of this posting, the number of fatality in the country is at 169 while 5,828 others have recovered.

BOC seizes P15 million worth of PPEs suspected to be smuggled in Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   April 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday said it has seized P15 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) suspected to be smuggled in a series of operations in Manila.

The BOC said the PPEs were confiscated from three shops in Sta. Cruz, Manila that were jointly raided by the agents of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday, March 31.

Authorities recovered various PPEs, including gloves, face masks (surgical and N95), and goggles that are suspected to have been misdeclared as general merchandise when imported into the country.

“Smuggled PPE may pose a health risk to users since such items may not comply with the safety standards set by the government rendering them not fit for human utilization,” the bureau said in a statement.

The BOC said the inventory of said products is ongoing, while store owners were given 15 days to present necessary documents to prove that the items were legally imported.

“If proven that the PPEs were smuggled the store owners may face charges of smuggling in relation to the provisions of The Customs Modernization Act (CMTA),” the BOC said.

“Although the Bureau is focused in expediting the importation of PPE and other medical supplies badly needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency is also committed in ensuring that goods are within acceptable standards and are safe for the public use,” it added.

The BOC recently raided a shop allegedly selling PPE and alcohol at exorbitant prices online amid high demand for such medical supplies.

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