By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporter
ALL 69 waste containers from Canada will be shipped back to the North American country on May 30, according to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr.
The Secretary on Monday evening said the containers, which were fumigated over the weekend, will be sent back to Canada through the joint effort of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Canadian officials.
“All containers containing garbage cleaned and ready to go. Waiting for a couple of documents and routine permission from China for transshipment to Canada. Departure is May 30,” Secretary Locsin said in a social media post, Tuesday.
“Also thanks ICTSI’s (International Container Terminal Services, Inc.)Ricky Razon for picking up our part of the tab. A cooperative effort of DENR, the Canadian ambassador, the CN Foreign Minister — everyone who had nothing to do with legally letting the garbage in the first place then never lifting a finger to get it out,” he said.
The Office of the President on May 20 directed government officials, including those in government-owned and -controlled corporations and government financial institutions to refrain from going on official trips to Canada.
This came after the Canadian government failed to meet the May 15 deadline given by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to ship out the containers.
The Canadian government on May 22 announced that it would ship back the waste containers and that it has taken measures to prevent a repeat of the trash shipment.
“Canada is pleased to announce that it has awarded a contract to bring the waste back promptly and to ensure its safe and environmentally sound disposal. Canada has amended its regulations to prevent this from happening again and is looking at ways to hold the responsible parties to account,” Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, said in a statement, issued in the Government of Canada’s official website, May 22.