Canada vows to resolve ‘trash issue’ with Philippines after Duterte warning
MANILA, Philippines — Canada has vowed to resolve its trash dumping issue with the Philippines following the recent warning from President Rodrigo Duterte, who threatened to declare war on Canada if it would not take its trash back.
“Canada is strongly committed to collaborating with the Government of the Philippines to resolve this issue and is aware of the court decision ordering the importer to ship the material back to Canada,” the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines said in a statement on Wednesday.
“A joint technical working group, consisting of officials from both countries, is examining the full spectrum of issues related to the removal of the waste with a view to a timely resolution,” it added.
On Tuesday, the President issued a warning to Canada for its continued failure to remove its trash, which was illegally dumped in the Philippines.
It was between 2013 to 2014 when the Bureau of Customs intercepted a total of 103 containers of mixed garbage from Canada declared as “recyclable scrap plastics.”
“I want a boat prepared. I’ll give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better pull that thing out or I will set sail, doon sa Canada, ibuhos ko ‘yang basura nila doon,” Duterte said in a situation briefing at the provincial capitol in Pampanga after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake jolted parts of Luzon Monday afternoon.
“I cannot understand why they are making us a dumpsite, and that is not the only case on point. Papasunod-sunod ‘yan na pinapadala ‘yung basura sa atin. Well, not this time,” the President added.
Meanwhile, the Embassy of Canada further noted that in 2016, the Canadian government had “amended its regulations around hazardous waste shipments to prevent such events from happening again.”
It also reiterated its willingness to work with the Philippine government to “ensure the material is processed in an environmentally responsible way.”
The embassy added that the relationship between the two countries “is built on strong people to people ties, our common interest in strengthening political, economic and cultural relations and in our mutual commitment to peace.”
During his visit to the Philippines for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Manila in November 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to the President that his government was finding a solution to address the garbage issue.
Trudeau said then that the Canadian government had to deal with legal barriers and restrictions that prevented it from taking back the trash, stranded in Manila and in Subic.
The Canadian leader also assured the Philippine government then that Canada was “of course very open to working with the government of the Philippines to resolve this question.” /muf
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