Filtered By: Topstories

Trudeau: It’s now ‘theoretically possible’ to get back waste from PHL

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said it is “theoretically possible” to get back tons of Canadian waste shipment to the country, which has been the subject of diplomatic protests from Manila.

“We had legal barriers and restriction that prevented us from being able to take it back. Those regulations and impediments have now been addressed so it is now theoretically possible to get it back but there are still a number of question around: who will pay for, where the financial responsibility is, where the consequence are,” Trudeau, who attended a regional summit in Manila, told a press conference.

In 2013, 50 containers of waste from Canada were impounded by Philippine customs authorities and left to rot in the ports.

Manila has conveyed its objection to the shipment to the Canadian government through at least two diplomatic notes, but Canada has refused to take action, insisting it was not backed by its government and that it was a private transaction.

“This has something that has root in private business and signing contracts having specific disputes,” said Trudeau.

In 2015, Trudeau, who was also in Manila for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, assured the Philippine government that Canada is developing a solution to the issue.

Trudeau said he discussed the waste problem with Duterte in a one on one meeting, where he gave an assurance that Canada “will continue to work on this.”

“Canada is very open to working with the government of the Philippines to resolve this question,” he said.

In its previous diplomatic notes, the Philippines urged the Canadian government to assist with the re-exportation of the containers.

The Philippines also called on Canada to “re-visit” its domestic regulations on the illegal export of waste to other countries and reminded it of its commitments under international treaties, specifically the Basel Convention.

The convention prevents the movement of hazardous waste between nations, specifically its transfer from developed to least developed states. —ALG, GMA News