THE garbage that was illegally imported into Misamis Oriental from Hong Kong will be sent back, Malacañang said on Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said in a statement on Friday afternoon that the Bureau of Customs (BoC) discovered the entry of “mixed plastic wastes” from Hong Kong into Misamis Oriental. The shipment was declared as “assorted electronic accessories,” he said.

“We understand that the BOC would export this illegal shipment back to its port of origin,” he added.

Mr. Panelo called on concerned agencies of the government “to continue exercising vigilance and hinder the entry of such shipments of garbage into our territorial jurisdiction at the first instance.

“The Palace reiterates the firm position of the Republic of the Philippines that it will not allow its territory to be treated as a dumping ground for trash by any foreign country or entity,” he said.

In a news conference on Thursday, Mr. Panelo expressed disappointment over a reported shipment of garbage from Australia to Misamis Oriental.

“It will be offensive to this government to be a recipient of trash or ‘basura.’ We are offended by that. We will not allow it. We’ll send them back,” he said.

He said the government will ask the importer to ship the trash back to Australia.

“Ipapabalik natin sa kanila (We have them ship [the garbage] back).” — Arjay L. Balinbin