Recall of labor attaches from Canada mulled

Silvestre Bello III

THE Department of Labor and Employment is considering recalling the labor attaches from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Canada over the trash issue between the Philippines and Canada.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said it could be an option if the issue will remain unresolved.

“Kung hindi gaganda ang panahon sa pagitan ng ating bansa at Canada, baka ako rin ay magde-decide na ire-recall natin ang ating labor attaché, yung namamahala sa ating POLO office doon sa Vancouver at saka Toronto. Pero pinag-aaralan nating mabuti,” he said.

However, Bello assured that overseas Filipino workers going to Canada or are already in Canada will not be affected by the issue.

There are over 800,000 Filipinos living and working in Canada.

On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he had ordered the recall of several ranking Philippine officials in Canada after it missed the May 15 deadline to take back the tons of trash shipped to the Philippines a few years ago.

Malacañang said on Thursday the government’s decision to recall its officials in Canada over the garbage row was a warning that Manila is ready to end its decades-old diplomatic ties with Ottawa.

Canada’s foreign ministry said it was “disappointed” by the Philippines’ decision to withdraw its top diplomats, but said it would continue to engage to resolve the issue.

Bello said the trash issue is more than just about garbage.

“May koneksiyon yan sa karangalan natin bilang isang bansa. Kung bakit itong Canada, basura lang eh, bakit ‘di na lang bawiin? Kasi unang-una, mali ang pagkadala ng basura nila dito sa ating bansa. Hindi naman tayo basurahan. Hindi naman tama ‘yan. Ewan ko kung anong nangyari kung bakit pinayagan ng dating administrasyon kung sino mang administrasyon ‘yon,” he said.