The issue of illegally-shipped garbage is discussed during the May Cabinet meeting where President Rodrigo Duterte repeats that he won’t let any more trash from other countries enter the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines – The Canadian government has vowed to pay for all the expenses required to ship out 69 container vans of garbage that arrived illegally in the Philippines, said Malacañang.
This development was explained to President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, May 6, during a Cabinet meeting.
“The DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources noted that the Canadian government is committed to shoulder all the expenses to ship out all the 69 waste containers,” said Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo.
Duterte also had something to say about the issue during the meeting.
“The President is firm that we are not garbage collectors, thus he ordered that the Philippines will no longer accept any waste from any country,” said Panelo.
The 103 container vans of garbage from Canada have long been a thorny issue between Manila and Ottawa, but returned to public consciousness when an outraged Duterte he would send back the trash to Canada. ()
After the President’s threat, the Canadian embassy said it was committed to resolve the issue. Talks between Canadian Ambassador John Holmes and Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr were held.
The container vans, housing some 2,000 tons of trash, began arriving in 2013 in several batches, shipped by a Canadian firm, Chronic Plastics Inc.
They were illegally brought in, declared as plastic scrap materials, until the Bureau of Customs opened one of the containers and discovered what it really contained.
In 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was non-committal on the issue, even saying Canada lacked the legal authority to compel the private importer to ship back the trash. That year, at least 26 container vans of trash were in a private landfill in Tarlac.
In June 2016, a Manila Regional Trial Court judge ordered the return of the garbage to Canada at the expense of the importer. A year later, in November 2017, Trudeau said the legal barriers he had cited before were addressed and Canada can now “theoretically” take back the garbage. – Rappler.com