Philippines recalls ambassador after Canada misses deadline to take back its rubbish


Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr.  Photo courtesy of PNA

MANILA, May 16 (NNN-PNA)- Filipino envoys posted in Canada were recalled after Ottawa missed the deadline on shipping out its garbage from Manila, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. bared Thursday morning.

“At midnight last night, letters for the recall of our ambassador and consuls to Canada went out. They are expected here in a day or so,” he said on his official Twitter account.

“Canada missed the May 15 deadline. And we shall maintain a diminished diplomatic presence in Canada until its garbage is ship bound there,” he added.

In a reception in Makati City on Tuesday, Locsin said the Department of Finance informed him that Canadian representatives did not show up in a meeting with the Customs and “that was the trigger”.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier warned that Canada’s disposal of its garbage is “dangerously disruptive” of Philippine-Canadian ties.

He, however, assured this did not mean that there would be cutting of ties between the two countries.

The Canadian Embassy has promised to “resolve the issue, including taking the waste back to Canada.”

On the recall of Filipino envoys back to the Philippines, the Canadian Embassy in Manila has yet to respond as of posting.

More than a hundred 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 non-recyclable plastics, household wastes and used adult diapers.

Late in April, President Rodrigo R. Duterte gave Ottawa an ultimatum to take back its trash. A few days after, Locsin said the deadline is on May 15, 2019.

When asked to comment, Canadian Ambassador John Holmes back then declined to pinpoint the exact date. “No comment right now,” he said in an email to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on May 1.

Malacañang on May 7 said the Canadian government has committed to shoulder all the expenses of shipping out all 69 containers dumped in the Philippines in 2013. 

NNN-PNA