Canada taking back its garbage from PH
MANILA, Philippines — Canada is now “fully cooperating” in shipping out its garbage dumped in the Philippines without delay after Malacañang rejected its timeline to get it done by the end of June.
“They’re not bullying us; they’re fully cooperating in taking back the garbage pronto,” Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Monday through Twitter.
He said the fumigation of the 67 trash-filled shipping containers festering at the Subic Bay International Terminal began over the weekend.
Two more remaining containers at the Manila International Container Terminal arrived in Subic on Monday.
The rotting shipment will undergo fumigation before they are loaded to a ship contracted by Canada.
Locsin blamed the Filipinos who connived with an Ontario-based company to import six years ago nearly 2,450 tons of trash packed in 103 shipping containers, despite a treaty that prohibits rich countries from dumping their garbage on poor countries.
He also blamed the Aquino administration for not making the effort to return the waste to Canada.
But the Duterte administration apparently also dallied in negotiating with Canada.
“It is our fellow natives who imported the trash, as they keep doing from other countries. It takes two to tango and we take the lead in the dance of garbage dumping,” Locsin said on Twitter on Monday.
“We dropped the ball on that one when Canada said in 2017 it would take back the garbage and just wanted to discuss cost sharing. The previous government never got back to them,” he said in another tweet.
69 containers remaining
The Bureau of Customs said the 69 shipping containers were what remained of the 103 containers filled with nearly 2,450 tons of nonrecyclable trash exported by Ontario-based Chronic Inc. to Manila through two Filipino companies, Chronic Plastic and Live Green Enterprise, from 2013 to 2014.
In an unprecedented move, Locsin recalled Ambassador to Canada Petronila Garcia on May 16, after Ottawa failed to meet President Rodrigo Duterte’s May 15 deadline to take back the trash.
Locsin declared that Manila would maintain a “diminished diplomatic presence” in Canada, host to about 1 million Filipinos, until the trash shipment issue was settled.
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