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‘Another promise?’: Groups react to Trudeau’s commitment to solve garbage mess

In a press briefing at the International Media Center Tuesday, Trudeau disclosed that he and President Rodrigo Duterte discussed the longstanding “irritant” issue of garbage from Canada that was shipped to the Philippines. Philstar.com/EFIGENIO TOLEDO IV

MANILA, Philippines — Environmental groups called on Prime Minister Trudeau anew to fulfill his commitment to solve Canada’s garbage dumping to the Philippines after failing to address it in two years.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaigner Abigail Aguilar is hopeful that Trudeau’s pronouncement will not remain a “theory” but a “fulfilled promise” as the Canadian waste issue has long been swept under the rug.

“The stinking problem needs to be resolved as soon as possible and we hope that it does not wait for another two years, another Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations summit for it to happen,” Aguilar said.

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Ecowaste Coalition National Coordinator Aileen Lucero also said the organization trusts that the prime minister will keep his promise at the soonest time possible “as we have waited far too long.”

In a press briefing at the International Media Center Tuesday, Trudeau disclosed that he and President Rodrigo Duterte discussed the longstanding “irritant” issue of garbage from Canada that was shipped to the Philippines.

“Canada is working hard to resolve the issue,” he said.

The prime minister said the same thing in 2015 during his visit to the country for the APEC Summit.

READTrudeau: Canada committed to cleaning up garbage dumping issue

He lamented that Canada’s own regulations prevented their government from taking back their garbage.

“It is now theoretically possible to take it back,” Trudeau said, noting the legal impediments have been resolved.

He, however, stressed that there are issues that have to be settled such as who will pay for the shipping of garbage back and who will be held responsible for the garbage mess, which, he stressed, was a commercial transaction that did not involve the governments of Canada or the Philippines.

Around 103 container vans containing garbage from Canada arrived in the country between 2013 to early 2014 under the guise of recycling.

About half of the trash was reportedly dumped in Capas, Tarlac.

READ'Trudeau’s PR stunts can’t conceal Canada’s trash dumping in the Philippines'

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