MANILA – Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Canadian government was committed to shoulder the expenses of shipping out the garbage it illegally sent in the Philippines years ago.
Panelo added President Rodrigo Duterte, during a Cabinet meeting at the Palace on Monday, decided the country will no longer accept trash imports.
“On the issue of garbage from Canada, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources noted the Canadian government was committed to shoulder the shipping out of all 69 waste containers,” Panelo said.
“The President is firm that we are not garbage collectors, thus he ordered the Philippines will no longer accept any waste from any country,” he added.
Duterte threatened war with Canada if it refuses to retrieve tons of garbage it shipped to the Philippines.
“The seventy years of diplomatic relations between the two countries will be put to naught if Canada will not act with dispatch and finality the resolution of this undiplomatic episode to which we take outrage,” Panelo said.
A total of 103 containers of Canadian waste – consisting of household trash, plastic bottles and bags, newspapers, and used adult diapers – were shipped to Manila in batches from 2013 to 2014.
Chronic Plastics Inc., the consignee of the trash shipment, was accused of violating Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and the 1995 Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Disposal.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who previously drew the ire of Duterte for his comments on the administration’s war on drugs, said during his visit to Manila two years ago that Ottawa was already working on the issue.
But the trash remains in the country until now. /PN