The Philippines said Wednesday Canada should retrieve their containerized vans loaded with the "unbearable stench" of festering garbage. The trash was illegally dumped in the country between 2013 to 2014 and poses health hazards to the Filipinos.
Ontario-based private firm Chronic Inc. imported to the Philippines assorted scrap plastic materials for recycling. It was later discovered that the vans that arrived between 2013 to early 2014 were filled with trash including household waste.
Intercepted in Manila, some of the containers were later sent to a landfill in Capas Town in the Northern Philippines province of Tarlac. In 2014, some of the vans were transferred to the custody of Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. (SBITC), a subsidiary of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
"I would like to start discussions on how to resolve the issue that it be taken out of here because we were not the original consigned or port of destination. Why should we suffer?" said SBMA Administrator Wilma Eisma as quoted by GMA News.
During a press briefing on the sidelines of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit and Related Meetings earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he committed to President Rodrigo Duterte that Canada is working on a solution to the garbage issue including lifting the legal barriers that have prevented them from getting back the trash.
He said, however, that there are issues that have to be settled like who will pay for shipping the garbage back and who will be held responsible for the garbage mess, which, he stressed, was a commercial transaction that did not involve the Canadian and Philippines governments.
The international convention, to which both Canada and the Philippines are signatories, provides that "the exporting country must take back the waste materials if the receiving country refuses to accept them.