Philippines tough in garbage dispute with Canada

The Philippines on May 26 confirmed that it has banned all government trips to Canada, highlighting the Southeast Asian country’s diminished interaction with Canada in the face of a garbage issue.
A landfill in Manila (Photo: AFP/VNA)
A landfill in Manila (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Executive Secretary of the Presidential Office Salvador Medialdea issued a memorandum on May 20, directing all department secretaries and heads of agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations, and government financial institutions to refrain from issuing travel authorities for official trips to Canada.

Canada initially refused to bring the garbage back to their soil, citing lack of authority over the private shipper. On May 22, however, Canada announced it has hired a company to ship out its waste from the Philippines. 

In 2013 and 2014, a Canadian company sent to the Philippines 103 containers labeled as plastics for recycling. However, an inspection of the Philippines Bureau of Customs found that the containers were filled with different types of waste, including household trash, diapers, newspapers and plastic bottles.

Earlier this month, Manila asked Ottawa to take back the garbage before May 15, but the Canadian government missed the deadline, making the Philippines take tough diplomatic actions.

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