Garbage issue worsens Philippines-Canada relations

15:32 | 23/05/2019 Cooperation

Relations between the Philippines and Canada are getting tenser after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on May 22 ordered authorized agencies to hire a private shipping company to send 69 containers of garbage back to Canada and leave them within its territorial waters if the country refuses to accept the trash.

Environmental activists demonstrate outside the Canadian Embassy in Manila on May 21 - Source: AFP/VNA

Talking to the media, the President’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the Philippines as an independent sovereign nation must not be treated as a landfill by other countries.

The Philippines will pay for shipping the garbage shipments, Panelo added.

The Canadian Embassy in Manila did not respond to a request for comment.

Last month, Duterte threatened Canada with “war” and said he would personally escort the waste containers by sea back to Canada.

Canada said the waste, exported to Manila between 2013 and 2014, was a commercial transaction not backed by its government. It has since offered to take it back and the two countries were in the process of arranging the transfer.

The Philippines has made several diplomatic protests to Canada in the wake of a 2016 court ruling that the garbage be returned.

The consignments were labeled as containing plastics to be recycled in the Philippines, but were filled with domestic waste and electronics.

Theo VNA