Canada vows to resolve trash dumping issue after Duterte’s war threat
Marje Pelayo • April 25, 2019 • 4590
MANILA, Philippines — Canada has committed to resolve its trash dumping issue with the Philippines.
The Embassy of Canada in the Philippines released a statement on Wednesday (April 24) after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to wage war if Canada will not take its garbage back.
“Canada is strongly committed to collaborating with the Government of the Philippines to resolve this issue and is aware of the court decision ordering the importer to ship the material back to Canada,” the Embassy said in a statement posted on its Facebook account.
The Embassy added that: “A joint technical working group, consisting of officials from both countries, is examining the full spectrum of issues related to the removal of the waste with a view to a timely resolution.”
On Tuesday (April 23), President Duterte issued a warning to Canada for its failure to remove its trash illegally exported to the country.
The President said he would no longer allow Canada to turn the Philippines into a “dumpsite.”
”For Canada’s garbage, I want a boat prepared. I will give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better pull that thing out or I will set sail to Canada and dump their garbage there,” the President said.
“We will declare war. Load the containers to a ship and advise Canada. I will advise Canada that, ‘Your garbage is on the way. Prepare a grand reception. Eat it if you want to,’” he added.
It was between 2013 to 2014 when the Bureau of Customs (BOC) intercepted a total of 103 containers of mixed wastes shipment from Canada declared as “recyclable scrap plastics” but actually contained household trash, newspapers, plastic bottles and bags, and even used adult diapers.
During his visit to the Philippines to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to cooperate with the Philippine government in resolving the offending shipment.
Trudeau, however, said the Philippines and Canadian governments need to settle issues including who will pay for the shipment of the illegal trash to the country.
In its statement, the Embassy reiterated the Canadian government’s commitment “to working collaboratively with the Government of the Philippines to ensure the material is processed in an environmentally responsible way.”
The embassy added that the relationship between the two countries “is built on strong people to people ties, common interest in strengthening political, economic and cultural relations, and in mutual commitment to peace” and is highly valued as the two countries celebrate their 70 years of diplomatic relations this year. — Marje Pelayo
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has shipped back to South Korea some 2,676 metric tons (MT) of waste materials that were stored at the PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority premises in Misamis Oriental since 2018.
In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the shipment was part of the 5,176.91 MT that the South Korean government committed to help send back to their country after these were illegally exported to the Philippines in July 2018.
The waste materials consist of plastic synthetic flakes that were illegally imported by the Cebu-based Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corp.
Guerrero said the garbage was shipped back in 151 forty-footer containers.
The first batch of 51 containers was re-exported to Korea on Jan. 25, 2019, followed by another shipment of 50 containers on Jan. 15 this year.
A third batch consisting of 50 containers was shipped to Korea last March 21.
“The re-exportation took some time because the wastes have been exposed to natural elements of heat and rain, which made it difficult to re-bag and stuff inside the containers,” Guerrero said in his report.
The remaining 2,500 MT of wastes were initially scheduled to be shipped back in March but it was delayed due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), according to Guerrero.
The community quarantine has forced most people to stay in their homes as the operation of public transportation and classes in schools were suspended. Most government offices have implemented a skeleton force while other employees were ordered to work from their homes.
“Rest assured that the Bureau will undertake all the necessary means, within the bounds of the law, in order to expedite the re-exportation of these wastes,” Guerrero said.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to impose a more drastic measure particularly against violators of the government’s lockdown rules as cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue to climb in the country.
In his late-night address on Thursday (April 16), the President warned of military and police take over if Filipinos continue to break the government’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“I am just asking for your disiplina, kasi kapag ayaw ninyong maniwala, mag-take over ang military at police (I am just asking for your discipline because if you do not obey, the military and police will take over). I am ordering them now to be ready,” the President said addressing quarantine violators.
“Sila na, parang martial law na rin. Mamili kayo (They will take over like in martial law. You decide),” he added.
The President expressed frustration over reports of residents repeatedly violating quarantine rules despite the government’s efforts in providing social relief at this time of crisis.
Nearly two weeks before the extended Luzon-wide ECQ is lifted on April 30, President Duterte said he will be compelled to order the government forces to enforce strict social distancing and curfew measures if the number of quarantine violators continue to increase.
“Ayaw ko pero kapag naipit na ang bayan at wala kayong disiplina, (I don’t want to do it but if the entire country is compromised because you lack discipline),” he warned.
The Chief Executive also directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate the perpetrators of cockfighting and street drinking sessions in Metro Manila amid the ECQ.
He threatened to cut government aid to those who would further ignore ECQ measures.
“May pera pala kayong pangsabong. May pera pala kayo pang-inom. Ibigay ko na lang (sa iba,) [You have money for cockfighting. You have money for drinking sessions, so I might as well give the money [to those in need,] ” the President said.
“There’s not enough to go around. Hindi talaga magkasya. We are getting low sa supply ng pagkain na. Ilang araw na iyan buong Pilipinas pinapakain mo – 18 million families (Our supply especially of food is getting lower. We have been feeding 18 millione Filipino families for days now],” he concluded. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)
The Presidential yacht BRP Ang Pangulo is now ready to accept coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients after its conversion into a floating quarantine facility.
The Philippine Navy (PN) said it can accommodate a total of 28 patients with five medical personnel.
“Three exclusive compartments were prepared by PN personnel for the patients with temporary division in place observing 3-meter distance between them. Patients and medical staff are given different access points,” their statement reads.
The Navy added that the crew will remain onboard while the ship is being utilized as a quarantine facility.
PPEs were provided for the crew and rapid antibody tests were also conducted on them.
The ship’s remodeling began 48 hours after President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants to utilize the ship for COVID-19 patients. AAC
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