Canada misses trash shipment deadline; PH recalls Filipino envoys

Philippines

Philippines recalls its envoys in Canada over tons of rotting garbage

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued this stern warning after Canada missed President Rodrigo Duterte's May 15-deadline for it to retake the tons of garbage it shipped to the Philippines six years ago.

"And we shall maintain a diminished diplomatic presence in Canada until its garbage is ship bound there", Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said in a tweet this morning.

Locsin said in his tweet that letters for the recall of the Philippine ambassador and consuls in Canada have been sent and that they were expected back in Manila after about a day.

Upon inspection, the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) discovered that the shipment contained bottles, adult diapers, kitchen refuse and other household trash.

Manila says the containers, which arrived at Manila International Container Port, were falsely labelled as containing plastics meant for recycling and were in fact filled with tonnes of household waste.

It's likely that the Philippine envoys to Canada won't be reinstated until the trash is taken back.

This article, Philippine ambassador, consuls recalled over Canada's failure to take back trash, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

"That order of the recall is to persuade them to make it fast-the more the delay, the more personnel will be coming back", he said.

During his visit to Manila in November 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Duterte that they were already "finding a solution" to the problem, pointing to "legal barriers" that blocked the immediate the re-exportation of the trash.

"Prepare a grand reception", he said.

This after Canada missed a May 15 deadline to retrieve the garbage from the Philippines. "Eat it if you want to". "Our diplomatic presence in Canada shall be de minimis", he said. In a statement, he said that if the Canadians dragged their feet any longer, he would ship the containers and "throw them to the shores or beaches of Canada".

The volatile 74-year-old Duterte, known for his grandstanding and often hollow threats towards Western powers, has also said he would dump the trash in front of Canada's embassy in Manila.

Experts say that the dispute has blighted Canada's reputation overseas, particularly because Trudeau has said that combating climate change and protecting the environment is near the top of his agenda.

Environmental groups in Canada and the Philippines say that Canada is violating the Basel Convention, an global treaty that outlines rules around the regulation of hazardous materials and waste to prevent developed countries from dumping their trash in developing countries without their consent.

Canada earlier affirmed its commitment to take back the garbage.

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