Since 2013, the Philippines have been trying the make Canada ship the trash that arrived in Manila back, but Ottawa responded that it didn't have the authority to force a private company to do that. In 2016, a Philippine court ruled that the garbage should be returned to Canada, but the process had not been launched until now.
Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman has stated that the Philippine president has ordered his administration to hire a private shipping company to send 69 containers of trash back to Canada and leave them within its territorial waters if it declines to accept the trash.
"The Philippines as an independent sovereign nation must not be treated as trash by other foreign nation", Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters.
The statement comes after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in early May threatened to declare "war" on Canada if the garbage was not removed from the country. The president has warned that if Canada does not comply, the Philippines will dump the garbage on Canadian shores themselves. Responding to the warning, Canada reportedly finally offered to take back the containers.
Dozens of containers with trash, labelled as recyclable materials, were shipped to the Philippines by a private Canadian entity in 2013 and 2014 in what Ottawa said was a commercial deal. However, the containers, which arrived in Manila, turned out to be filled with household trash, among other things, instead.