return to Canada

Now that the containers of trash are now en route to Canada, the Philippine Government is ordering its top diplomats to return to Canada.

The order comes right before Canada celebrates Filipino Heritage Month for the very first time on the federal level.


Teodoro Locsin, Jr. Secretary for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that the country’s diplomats, including Ambassador Petronila Garcia can now return to Canada.

The announcement came as a tweet from the secretary: “To our recalled posts, get your flights back. Thanks and sorry for the trouble you went through to drive home a point.”

The recall came as a result of the Government of Canada missing a deadline imposed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte wanted the containers of trash removed from the Philippines by May 15. When Canada announced that it was scheduled to bring back the containers by the end of June, the Philippines responded by recalling its top diplomats.

The story of the containers of trash comes to a close, more than six years after its arrival in the Philippines.

The Government of Canada shouldered the expense incurred in sending the 69 remaining containers of trash back to the Port of Vancouver, where it originally came from.

The MV Bavaria left the Philippines from the Subic Bay Freeport in Zambales on May 30, bringing with it the remaining containers.

The containers of trash will be processed in Vancouver and disposed of according to Canadian environmental rules and regulations.


Originally, there were 103 containers, but the Philippine Government has since disposed of a few containers.

The Government of Canada has maintained that the containers were a private matter.

The issue was brought up time and again through formal diplomatic channels since the discovery of the missed larked shipments, without much success.

It wasn’t until Duterte started threatening the Government of Canada with war that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was forced to take action.


In April 2019, the Government of Canada made a formal offer to take back the remaining containers of trash.

Duterte imposed a May 15 deadline for the removal of the trash from Philippine territory, but when the Government of Canada failed to meet the deadline, Duterte ordered the recall of his top diplomats to the country.

Philippine – Canadian diplomatic relations have been strained ever since Duterte cancelled a $233 million dollar deal to buy helicopters from a Canadian company, following concerns raised by the Government of Canada regarding their potential use against communist rebels.


The contract was awarded to Bolloré Logistics Canada, who will be responsible for shipping the remaining 69 containers of trash.
McKenna said that the trash will be disposed of according to Canadian environmental rules and regulations.

McKenna went on to say that “Canada values its deep and long-standing relationship with the Philippines and has been working closely with Filipino authorities to find a solution that is mutually acceptable.”

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