Canada: Removal of garbage shipped to PH will be completed by June

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 23) — The row concerning trash shipped from Canada to the country may be ending soon.

A statement from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) Wednesday, said, "The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced that the Government of Canada awarded a contract to Bolloré Logistics Canada to safely bring the waste back to Canada as soon as possible."

ECCC is a Canadian government agency which gives information on how to protect and conserve the country's natural heritage.

The statement said preparation for the re-shipment would begin "in the coming days," and removal would be complete "by the end of June."

It went on to say, "The costs associated with the preparation, transfer, shipment, and disposal of the waste will be assumed by the Government of Canada."

Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, said, "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.”

Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, also met with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro "Teddy Boy" Locsin Jr. last week and assured him to Canada's commitment to resolve the issue "as quickly as possible."

This ECCC statement came as President Rodrigo Duterte gave an order to immediately return the trash from the country of origin Wednesday.

At a media briefing Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said they did not agree with the timetable set by Canada.

"Hindi papayag si Presidente doon," he said.

[Translation: The President will not agree to that.]

"Hindi natin alam kung ano yung soonest, it could be this week or the week after. Definitely, hindi end of June. Ayaw natin, tagal tagal na masyado. Definitely (we will reject the proposal)," Panelo added.

[Translation: We do not know when it will happen, it could be this week or the week after. Definitely not the end of June. We don't like it, it's been too long. Definitely (we will reject the proposal.)]

Meanwhile, Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said the country will no longer accept delaying tactics from Canada, adding setting June as a deadline is too late.

"Dapat nga natapos to last year pa, e. It should have been done many years ago, di ba. I don't think na pwedeng sabihin nila sila magdidikta kelan matatapos ito. They need to act on it now... they want us to bend our laws here in our country just to facilitate pagbalik sa kanila, maybe they can bend their own laws para ibalik ang kasalanan nila na nakalusot, sa kanila ito, e. Pinapasok nila sa bansa natin," he said.

[Translation: This should have been finished last year. it should have been done many years ago, right? I don't think that they can dictate when this will be done. They need to act on it now... they was us to bend our lawshere in our country so they can facilitate the return... maybe they can bend their own laws so they fix the problem, this is theirs. They sent it here.]

READ: Duterte threatens war vs. Canada for dumping trash in PH