Canada has vowed to pay for the return of garbage
shipped to the Philippines more than five years ago after President
Rodrigo Duterte issued an ultimatum, an official said on Tuesday.
Duterte has given Canada until May 15 to take back the waste sent to the Philippines in batches from 2013 to 2014, and warned of a diplomatic falling out if there was no immediate action from Ottowa. "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," presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement. "The Canadian government has committed to shoulder all the expenses to ship out all the waste containers," he added.
More than 100 containers of waste from Canada - consisting of household trash, plastic bottles and bags, newspapers, and used adult diapers - were shipped to the country and misdeclared as plastic scraps.
Canada had insisted then that the dumping was not supported by its government and that it was a private transaction. The Philippine government has repeatedly demanded that Canada take back the waste.
While Canada has stressed that it was committed to fixing the matter, no definite resolution was offered. Last month, Duterte said he would ship the waste back to Canada even if it leads to war.
Panelo also noted last month that 70 years of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Canada "will be put to naught" if no immediate action was taken to resolve the rubbish issue.
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