Philippines

Canada commits to take back trash, resolve issue with Philippines; Pimentel backs Duterte’s call for Canada to take back its trash

Canada commits to take back trash, resolve issue with PH
By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — The Canadian Embassy in Manila on Wednesday reiterated Ottawa’s commitment to resolve the issue of garbage shipped to the Philippines in 2013 following a warning from President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Our Prime Minister (Justin Trudeau) committed and has recommitted to resolving this issue, including taking the waste back to Canada. He said that in numerous occasions but we can only do that in partnership of the government of the Philippines,” Ambassador John Holmes said, noting the issue is “complicated” and that “legal and other issues” need to be resolved first.

The envoy stressed that both sides continue to work towards a solution and have in fact established a working group that convened a meeting in Canada two months ago.

“The progress is good but the Philippine side agrees that it’s a complex issue that needs to be worked through very carefully.”

Asked what challenges they are facing, Holmes refused to provide details saying “it’s very complex.”

He also declined to put a timeline as to when the shipment could be sent back to its origin.

“I’m not putting a timeframe on it but I want to reiterate what our Prime Minister said, he’s committed to allowing those containers to be brought back to Canada.”

In 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said legal restrictions have prevented the return of the waste to Canada.

Among these issues is which party will pay for the shipment.

More than a hundred container vans from Canada arrived in batches at the Port of Manila from 2013 to 2014.

Initially declared to contain only plastic scraps, it was found to have non-recyclable plastics, household wastes and used adult diapers.

Holmes acknowledged that the two states face “occasional challenge,” but overall, Ottawa and Manila have a “strong partnership.”

“This is the 70th anniversary of our bilateral relations, we have outstanding relations with the government and people of the Philippines, we have good and growing trade relationship. Overall, it’s a strong partnership.”

“We have the occasional challenge, that’s normal but we count on good cooperation from our colleagues in the Philippines and the almost one million Filipinos who live in Canada,” he said. (PNA)


Pimentel backs Duterte’s call for Canada to take back its trash
By Filane Mikee Cervantes

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Senator Aquilino Pimentel III on Wednesday supported President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s call for Canada to take back the garbage it sent to the Philippines a few years ago.

“No country (no matter how poor) should be treated as a dumping ground of the waste of rich countries. Bawal yan even under international law (That is forbidden even under international law),” Pimentel said in a text message.

Pimentel, meanwhile, explained Duterte’s threat to declare war against Canada over the garbage issue.

“Yung ‘declare war’ syempre exaggeration ‘yan (The war declaration, of course, it was an exaggeration) but that means that Canada must seriously act on the waste they have dumped into our country ‘coz that issue has been pending for so long,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel said he has already filed a bill seeking to ban the importation of solid waste in the country.

Senate Bill 2144, otherwise known as An Act Banning the Importation of Solid Waste, proposes to ban the importation of trash even by recyclers of trash located in Special Economic Zones.

By banning the importation of solid waste, the Philippines will stop being a dumping site of more advanced countries, according to Pimentel.

From 2013 to 2014, a total of 103 container vans from Canada reportedly arrived in batches at the Port of Manila. The garbage was initially declared to contain only plastic scraps. However, it was found to have non-recyclable plastics, household wastes and used adult diapers.

Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito also backed Duterte’s call for the North American nation to pull out its wastes from the Philippines.

“With regards to the issue of garbage from Canada, I completely agree with the President that they should take it back,” Ejercito said.

“It should not be a precedent. Philippines should not be a dumping ground of first world countries’ wastes,” he added.

Duterte, in a situation briefing in San Fernando, Pampanga on Tuesday, threatened to set sail to Canada and dump the garbage back there if they refused to resolve the issue.

“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 (in Canada and dump the trash there),” Duterte said.

Duterte said he would no longer allow Canada to turn the Philippines into a “dumpsite”, urging them to prepare for “a grand reception” to welcome their trash back home. (PNA)

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