About two weeks ago, the President of the Philippines threatened war on Canada if we did not clean up our act. Literally. President Rodrigo Duterte publically warned that the Southeast Asian nation planned to “go to war” with Canada if we did not take back the mountains of trash we shipped to Manila over 6 years ago. Now, in response to the threat, the Canadian Government is shipping the garbage-filled containers out of the Phillipeans and back to Vancouver to avoid any possible disputes.
According to CNN Philippines, President Duterte said "I'll give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better pull that (trash) out. We'll declare war against them, we can handle them anyway.” Taking those threats seriously, the Canadian Government has responded nearly two weeks after the consideration of war.
Reports have claimed that 103 containers holding a shocking 2,450 tons of garbage where shipped to the Philippines between 2013 and 2014. The shipping containers were labeled as recyclable materials, however, it was discovered that the over 2,000 tons of garbage were not recyclable at all.
Garbage in the containers included household and electronic garbage- including diapers. Since it was shipped, it has been rotting in the same spot. In an attempt to rid the garbage, the Filipino court ordered to return the trash to Canada back in 2016, however, Canada continually attempted to convince the Philippines to dispose of it.
The county then declared the trash to be illegal since the private Canadian company responsible for the cargo’s shipment did not possess any import clearances. CNN reported that many of the shipping containers are sitting at the port near the capital city of Manila.
Due to the rotting trash, Duterte threatened acts of war against Canada should we not dispose and remove of the trash. Duterte said, "I cannot understand why they are making us a dump site" before he cautioned Canada that he would sail overseas to return the garbage himself. He insisted, "The garbage is coming home.”
Now, the Canadian government is officially formalizing an offer to the Philippines to bring back the roughly six dozen containers of trash. According to Global News, the trash will be shipped back to the Port of Vancouver should the offer be accepted.
Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Adam Austen has stated that he has not received a formal reply to the offer. He did state that the garbage would need to be moved by May 15 “no ifs or buts."