By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora, PNA
MANILA — Canada on Thursday night vowed to work closely with the Philippines in coming up with a “swift resolution” so the waste it had exported to Manila could be promptly shipped.
Canada issued the statement after the Philippine government recalled ranking Filipino envoys in Canada.
“Canada is disappointed by this decision to recall the Philippine ambassador and consuls general. However, we will continue to closely engage with the Philippines to ensure a swift resolution of this important issue,” Guillaume Bérubé, spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an email.
Bérubé did not indicate the earliest estimate when the containers of trash will be pulled out, but he reiterated Canada’s “commitment to promptly ship and dispose of the Canadian waste”.
“We remain committed to finalizing these arrangements for the return of the waste to Canada,” he said, as he noted that “Canada values its deep and long standing relationship with the Philippines.”
Global Affairs Canada, which manages Ottawa’s diplomatic relations and trade, is headed by ministers, including Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.
The diplomatic rift between the two countries threatened to escalate after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday night recalled its ambassador and consuls from Canada.
Ottawa missed the deadline set by the government on May 15, 2019, said DFA chief Teodoro Locsin, Jr.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the order was to persuade Canada to speed up the process of retrieving more than a hundred container vans containing the wastes that arrived in batches at the Port of Manila from 2013 to 2014.
“That order of the recall is to persuade them to make it fast. The more they delay, the more personnel will be coming back,” he said. (PNA)