Vancouver Kingsway MP Don Davies issued three calls regarding the garbage issue that has strained relations between Canada and the Philippines.
Speaking at the raising of the Philippine flag in Vancouver on Saturday (June 1) to kick off the month-long Filipino heritage and Independence celebrations, Davies said that the Canadian government should apologize to the Philippines over the dumping of Canadian trash three more than three years ago.Davies also said that Canada should compensate or pay the Philippine government for having stored the garbage and disposed part of the trash.
Lastly, Davies said that the Canadian government should hold accountable the Canadian private company that shipped the garbage to the Philippines.
“We should be getting compensation from that company,” Davies said in his speech at the Filipino Plaza, where the flag raising event was help.
The event was held a day after a ship carrying 69 containers of Canadian trash left Subic Port in the Philippines on May 31 for its 20-day voyage to Vancouver.
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. directed the Philippine diplomats recalled from Canada to return to their posts and accept his apology “for the trouble you went through to drive home a point.”
“To our recalled posts, get your flights back. Thanks and sorry for the trouble you went through to drive home a point. Arrivederci! And thank you Canada CDA (chargé d’affaires) Mucci,” Locsin said in a post on Twitter a few hours after the Liberian-flagged MV Bavaria departed the Subic Port with its cargo of some 1,000 tons of garbage.
The return of the country’s diplomats to Ottawa is expected to improve diplomatic ties between the two countries soured by the initial refusal of Canada to take back the garbage.
The 69 containers of trash – consisting of mixed wastes, including non-recyclable plastic, waste paper, household waste, electronic wastes, and used adult diapers – were loaded on the MV Bavaria at around 3 a.m. on May 31. The cargo ship left the New Container Terminal in Subic at 7:20 a.m.
A Filipino importer was said to have illegally facilitated the shipment to Manila of 100 containers of Canadian garbage – declared as recyclable scrap – between 2013 and 2014. Contents of 26 of the 100 containers were buried in a landfill in Tarlac.
The country’s top diplomat also expressed his gratitude to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade for working closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs in ensuring the prompt shipment of the Canadian trash.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Wilma Eisma called the removal of the garbage “one proud moment for all Filipinos.” SBMA had documented the procedure for the re-shipment of the garbage.
“We thank President Duterte for his decisive action that brought about a satisfactory conclusion to this sordid chapter in our history,” Eisma said.
Ottawa had failed to meet the May 15 deadline set by the Duterte administration to retrieve the trash, prompting Locsin to order the recall of Philippine Ambassador to Canada Petronilla Garcia as well as consuls.
Canada later vowed to accomplish the retrieval of trash by the end of June but the Philippine government insisted on a May 30 deadline.
by: Rey Fortaleza