The Philippine government expects Canada to take out the 69 container vans of garbage on May 15, the deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin said on Wednesday.
“The deadline is May 15. Period. I don’t give two fucks what the DOF says. The President expects the garbage to be seaborne by Mat 15. That expectation will be met or else,” Locsin said, in his Twitter.
Locsin made the statement after the Department of Finance said that the garbage may not be returned before the May 15 deadline of the President due to bureaucratic red tape on the part of the Canadian government.
The DOF said the Canadian government remains committed to recall the garbage covering the costs and making other necessary arrangements.
In the same statement, the DOF also said the Philippine and Canadian governments have agreed that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will shoulder the costs of inspection to determine the seaworthiness of the containers of wastes while Ottawa will shoulder the costs of fumigation, as well as the transfer and trucking services.
Locsin said the DOF chief should be blamed for the delay in the shipment of the garbage out of the country, although he did not identify the said official.
“It is 69 containers more or less. Let’s not include our fucking garbage. Remember the Canadian garbage was imported by fucking natives. Justine (Trudeau) isn’t doing anything, it’s that DOF assistant who is trying to delay the shipment out of the garbage,” he said.
While Locsin insisted on the May 15 deadline, he later said Manila and Ottawa are working to iron out the final details of the recall of the garbage.
“Deadline for the garbage to be onboard the ship taking it away is May 15 and Canada and the Philippines are exerting all efforts to get that done. If I may speak for the Canadian ambassador, I think it is best we keep things to ourselves until the garbage is loaded on time,” the country’s top diplomat said.
The Canadian garbage was brought back to the spotlight after Duterte threatened to go to war against Canada if it failed or refused to take the trash back.
In response, the Canadian Embassy in Manila said it is working with the Philippine government to ensure a “timely resolution” to remove the toxic trash.
The embassy said 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.
However, the Palace was not satisfied with Canada’s statement and warned that further delay in the resolution of the issue could result in severed diplomatic ties.
Duterte also threatened to dump the trash on Canadian beaches should Ottawa fail to recall the containers by May 15.
The waste material was shipped from Canada through the local counterpart of the Ontario, Canada-based exporter Chronic Incorporated.
Its local counterpart, the Valenzuela city-based Chronic Plastics Inc., is facing charges for violation of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and the 1995 Basel Convention on the Trans-boundary Movement of Hazardous Waste and Disposal.
In June 2016, Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 1 Judge Tita Bughao Alisuag ordered the trash should be shipped back to Canada at the expense of the importer.