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Locsin says trash from Australia going back, too
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Locsin says trash from Australia going back, too

MANILA, Philippines, June 12 ------ The containers of garbage from Australia will experience the same fate as those shipped back to Canada as it will also be returned to its country of origin, the Philippines' top diplomat said. "O, by the way, the garbage from Australia, that's going back too," Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. tweeted Monday. Last month, Customs authorities and operators discovered seven 40-footer containers from Australia at the Mindanao International Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

The containers reportedly have a "characteristic smell inherent to municipal waste," according to the Bureau of Customs. Locsin added that it does not matter whether the containers of garbage were supposed to be used as an alternative fuel for cement production. "No, I don't give a flying f••k that it is used in making cement. If that is so cement makers should formally import the ingredient so it goes nowhere but to their plants," Locsin said.

Consignee Holcim Philippines Inc. earlier said the shipment of the materials was cleared by the Environment Management Bureau. "Acutely aware of the public outcry against the export of wastes to the Philippines and irresponsible and damaging waste disposal practices, Holcim Philippines’ importation and use of PEF as alternative fuel for its cement kilns is pursuant to its objective of contributing to the ongoing efforts to address the global waste problem," Holcim said in May. Malacañang said the shipment of waste from Australia was "offensive."

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Philippine government would not allow the dumping of garbage from Australia. “It will be offensive to this government to be a recipient of trash. We are offended by that," Panelo said. The news of trash imported from Australia, as well as from Hong Kong, came as the Philippines urged Canada to take back containers of garbage shipped to the country between 2013 and 2014. By end of May, the remaining 69 containers illegally dumped to the Philippines sailed back to Canada. Locsin also ordered all recalled Philippine diplomats to return to the North American country as soon as the garbage started its voyage to Canada.