Duterte taking Trudeau’s word to take back Canada trash

Port officials inspect on of the containers with Canadian garbage at the Port of Manila. (Philstar.com image)

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is relying on good faith that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be true to his word that the tons of Canadian garbage shipped to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014 would be returned to his country.

“Well, alam n’yo naman po si Presidente, nagre-rely po iyan sa principles of good faith. Kung sinabi ng Canada na ipapabalik nila ang basuta nila, eh inaasahan naman ni Presidente na gagawin nga iyan ni Prime Minister Trudeau,” said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque in an interview with Failon Ngayon on Wednesday.

Trudeau on Tuesday said that “Canada is very open to work with the Philippine government to resolve the garbage” dumping issue.

Legal restrictions apparently prevented the return of the trash to Canada, but it has already been addressed.

“We have legal barriers that prevented us from receiving the wastes back to Canada. These impediments have now been addressed. So it is theoretically possible to bring them back,” Trudeau said in a press conference held at the International Media Center (IMC) for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in World Trade Center Tuesday.

Trudeau, who was not yet elected when the garbage dumping incident took place, said the Philippine and Canadian governments need to settle issues including who will pay for the shipment of the illegal trash to Canada.

A total of 103 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 nonrecyclable plastics, household wastes and used adult diapers.

Trudeau said that a “Canadian solution” is being developed to settle the issue on the illegal garbage shipment during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit held in Manila last 2015.

Environmentalist groups have urged Duterte to hold Canada accountable for the dumping of the hazardous waste.

They also urged both Canada and the Philippines to ratify the Basel Ban Amendment which prohibits the movement of hazardous wastes from developed to developing countries even for recycling. PNA/rw: wjg