MANILA, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines said it has rejected Canada's new proposal to ship back tons of trash it dumped in the Philippines by June 30, the spokesperson of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday.
"They said it will take the end of June. The president will not agree with this. I understand from (Finance) Secretary (Carlos) Dominguez that it will be set the soonest. The trash will be sent back the soonest," the Philippine Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a news conference.
He said the shipment "could be this week or the week after." "Definitely not at the end of June."
Panelo was reacting to the statement of Catherine McKenna, the Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, which said a Canadian company will begin preparation for shipping of the garbage in the coming days, and that the removal will be completed "by the end of June".
"The cost associated with the preparation, transfer, shipment, and disposal of the waste will be assumed by the government of Canada," McKenna said.
However, Panelo said the Philippine president will not agree to delay the shipment, adding that Duterte has already ordered the immediate shipment of trash to Ottawa.
Outraged by Canada's inaction to resolve the trash issue, Duterte has ordered on Wednesday "immediate" shipment of garbage back to Canada and the Philippines will pay for the shipping cost.
"President Duterte is upset about the inordinate delay of Canada in shipping back its containers of garbage. We are extremely disappointed with Canada's neither here nor there pronouncement on the matter," Panelo told reporters on Wednesday.
Duterte's order came after Canada failed to meet the May 15 deadline imposed by the Philippine government for Canada to ship back the garbage. A day after the May 15 deadline lapsed, the Philippines recalled its ambassador and consuls general back to Manila.
The Canadian garbage has been sitting in the Philippines for about six years.
In 2013 and 2014, a Canadian company, Chroic Inc., exported more than 100 containers labeled as recyclable plastics to two importers in the Philippines. The Philippine Bureau of Customs discovered the shipment contained a mixture of plastics, metals, and paper as well as household waste.
Only 69 shipping containers are quarantined in ports in Manila and Subic Freeport north of Manila. Thirty-four of the containers were already disposed of.
Since March 2014, the Philippine government has been appealing to the Canadian embassy in the Philippines and the Canadian government to ship the garbage back to Canada, but the long-running issue still remains unsolved.