Canada working with Philippines for 'timely resolution' of waste issue

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
Canada working with Philippines for 'timely resolution' of waste issue
In this file photo taken on March 7, 2019 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives to speak to the media at the national press gallery in Ottawa, Ontario.
AFP / Lars Hagberg

MANILA, Philippines — Canada on Wednesday expressed its commitment in collaborating with the Philippines to address the dumping of waste in the country.

The Canadian Embassy in Manila released a statement a day after President Rodrigo Duterte warned the North American country that he would be sailing to Canada to dump their trash back.

"I want a boat prepared. I'll give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better pull that thing out or I will set sail, there in Canada, I will dump their trash there," Duterte said in Pampanga on Tuesday.

The Canadian Embassy said a joint technical working group composed of officials from both Canada and the Philippines has been looking into the issues surrounding the removal of the waste in the country "with a view to a timely resolution."

"In 2016, Canada amended its regulations around hazardous waste shipments to prevent such events from happening again," the Canadian Embassy said in a statement.

This amendment sought to meet Canada's obligations under the Basel Convention, an international treaty designed to reduce transfer of hazardous waste between nations.

In the Nov. 2, 2016 issue of Canada Gazette Part II, the Canadian government cited the shipment of household recyclable materials to the Philippines in 2013.

Ottawa noted that since the implementaion of the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Materials Regulations in 2005, some importing or transit countries have been rufusing waste that were prohibited in their countries.

However, the exported materials were not covered under Canadian regulations, usually because they were collected from housseholds. These wastes or recyclable materials were subject to the United Nations Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (Basel Convention); consent was tehrefore required from the importing and transit countries before their transboundary movement.

Canada vowed to work with the Philippines in ensuring that the waste shipment will be "processed in an environmentally responsible way."

In 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country was committed to addressing the issue of waste from Canada that was shipped to the Philippines.

More than 100 container vans of garbage arrived in the Philippines between 2013 to 2014.

“I committed to him (Duterte) as much as I am committing to you that Canada is working hard to resolve the issue,” Trudeau said on the sidelines of the 2017 ASEAN Summit in Manila.

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