P-Noy totally passed off ‘major diplomatic concern’
We agree with the Inquirer’s May 8 editorial “Stink.” The much-sought-after resolution of the issue on the Canada garbage lying in Manila and Subic ports is long-overdue. The garbage is a major diplomatic concern that President Aquino’s state visit to Canada should have justly resolved in the name of the two countries’ strong diplomatic relations.
Environmental health and justice activists, trade union leaders, lawmakers, community leaders and even Bishop Broderick Pabillo implored the President to raise this stinking issue during his Canada visit and have it resolved.
We were aghast though when it was announced that the President wasn’t raising this almost 2-year-old issue with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, supposedly, so as not to harm our strong diplomatic relations with that country.
Our horror soared to greater heights when reports reached us that our government had yielded our dignity and sovereignty as a nation by acceding to Canada’s caprice to have us bear the burden of disposing their garbage, this in the face of the difficulties we’re going through in solving our nation’s own waste issues.
The President, before his departure, reportedly announced forging closer ties with Canada, especially in trade and investments—in short, in economic affairs.
Dear Mr. President, what about ecology? What about our environment, which is already miserable due to our own inefficiency in handling our own wastes? Are we now even to shoulder the responsibility of dealing with these tons of garbage from our big North American brother who assisted us in the wake of the Supertyphoon “Yolanda” disaster, and just close our eyes to what could turn out later to be a different disaster—that of being Canada’s garbage disposal site?
Dear Mr. President, if, as you say, we have strong diplomatic ties with Canada, what prevents us from diplomatically asking them to take back their trash, which is what a true friend will dutifully do for his/her friend?
Meanwhile, we appreciate heartily the immense support given by Canadians themselves, now more than 11,000 of them and counting as we write, to our call for Canada to take back its trash.
—AILEEN LUCERO, national coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, [email protected]
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