Gov't travel ban to Canada lifted after trash return

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 04 2019 06:47 PM

Children enjoy the sunset at Subic Bay, Zambales, as the container ship MV Bavaria sits in the background. The MV Bavaria was hired by Canada to bring back tons of trash it dumped in the Philippines years ago, a move driven by an escalating row between the two countries over garbage disposal. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Government officials are allowed to travel to Canada now after the Philippines returned its trash to Ottawa, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said Tuesday.

Medialdea, in a memo last May 20, directed government officials to refrain from traveling to the North American country after it missed a May 15 deadline to retrieve toxic waste shipped to the Philippines.

"Lifted banning of Government official trips to Canada," Medialdea said in a message.

The Philippines last week started returning dozens of shipping containers full of trash to Canada after a long-running row over waste exports that has tested diplomatic ties amid threats from President Rodrigo Duterte.

Over 100 containers of Canadian waste, consisting of household trash, plastic bottles and bags, newspapers, and used adult diapers, arrived in the Philippines in batches between 2013 and 2014. The shipment was marked as recyclable scrap.

Trash from at least 26 of the containers have already been buried in a Tarlac landfill.

A Philippine court in 2016 declared the import of 2,400 tons of Canadian waste illegal.

Canada said the waste, exported to the Philippines between 2013 and 2014, was a private commercial transaction done without the government's consent.