The Government of Canada has donated 120,000 N95 masks to the Philippine Government‘s Department of Health (DOH) to support Filipino frontline workers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in a statement made by the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines.
The N95 masks were turned over by Ambassador Peter MacArthur to DOH representatives in a simple ceremony on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.
Speaking at the ceremony, MacArthur said that the Government of Canada continues to work closely with the Philippine Government during the pandemic.
“This includes regional cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its member states because only together can we defeat the virus,” MacArthur said.
The N95 masks were provided under a partnership with the Government of Canada and ASEAN.
The partnership, which has been in place since 2013, seeks to strengthen biological safety and security in the region.
MacArthur said that by “building on this long-standing partnership, Canada has provided additional support to ASEAN partners to combat the COVID pandemic. This includes a CAD$ 4.5 million (approx. PHP165 million) in-kind contribution of personal protective equipment items to six ASEAN member states, including the 120,000 masks for the Philippines.”
The Government of Canada is extending bilateral assistance to the amount of CAD$3 million (approximately PhP110 million) to help the Philippine Government with its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government of Canada also announced that it is continuing its support of women’s health initiatives, including the Sexual Health and Empowerment Philippines project with Oxfam and the DOH.
The Government of Canada has committed to providing CAD$ 5 million (approximately PhP183 million) for nuclear power-related equipment and training for countries including the Philippines.
CANADIAN EMBASSY ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The Canadian Embassy in the Philippines, in partnership with the Philippine Government‘s Department of Agriculture (DA) said that it plans to double the value of Philippine farm and fishery exports to Canada.
Peter MacArthur, Canadian ambassador to the Philippines and William D. Dar, DA secretary, issued the joint statement during a virtual call, BuisnessWorld reports.
The two countries have reached an agreement to expand bilateral cooperation in agriculture, focusing on partnership in potato and dairy production, as well as food logistics and agroforestry.
Dar said during the virtual call that the Philippines wishes “to improve our balance of trade with Canada in succeeding years by selling more Filipino products like coconut water, virgin coconut oil (VCO), pineapples, mangoes, and melons.”
Dar said that they expect demand for Filipino farm and fishery products to further strengthen, as the Filipino community in Canada continues to grow in numbers.
“With about one million Filipinos residing and working in Canada — representing 2.7% of that country’s 37.7 million population, according to latest estimates — demand for various Philippine food products is expected to grow,” Dar said.
MacArthur stated that the Government of Canada is prepared to help the Philippine Government build capacity for local producers to enhance food supply logistics and establishing an agroforestry program that would benefit the country’s indigenous communities.
Philippines to Canada
In 2019, more than USD$98.8 million worth of farm and fishery products were exported to Canada from the Philippines, with coconut products leading the way.
USD$23.8 million – coconut products
USD$10.3 million – pineapple, dried guava and mangosteen products
USD$9.4 million – tuna and bangus products
Canada to Philippines
In 2019, more than USD$192 million worth of food products were exported to the Philippines from Canada, with frozen pork and offal products leading the way.
USD$57.3 million – frozen pork and offal products
USD$20 million – deboned meat, ham and other meat products
USD$11.6 million – potato products
USD$6.7 million – pig fat products
DA is currently testing Canadian potatoes in the Philippines, with tests for 8 different types of Canadian potatoes completed in the province of Benguet. Additional tests are scheduled for October.
In the video call, Dar said “If the adaptation trials succeed, yielding quality and cost-efficient potatoes (compared with) traditional varieties, Cordillera farmers could subsequently produce their own seed instead of relying on imports, and produce in commercial quantities for both table and processing use.”
The tests are part of a joint project by the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines, the Prince Edward Island Potato Board and the Cordillera Administrative Region‘s High-Value Crops Development Program
NEW CANADIAN AMBASSADOR ARRIVES IN THE PHILIPPINES
The Government of Canada‘s new ambassador to the Philippines recently presented his credentials to President Rodrigo Duterte through video conferencing. Peter MacArthur replaced John Holmes, the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines announced in a statement.
Before his arrival in the Philippines, MacArthur was the Canadian ambassador to Indonesia and Timor-Leste. He had also served as trade commissioner in Moscow, New Delhi and Hong Kong, as consul in Mumbai and as minister of commerce and senior trade commissioner in Tokyo.
He had served the Department of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Development (DFAIT) as director general of the South, Southeast Asia and Oceania Bureau. He also represented the Government of Canada at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum.
CANADA PHILIPPINES RELATIONS
MacArthur spoke about the strong relationship between the two countries.
“Our amazing people-to-people links, expanding academic partnerships, growing trade and investment, as well as our cooperation on youth employment, women’s health and empowerment, and a commitment to maintaining the gains of peace in Mindanao underpin our dynamic relations,” MacArthur said.
MacArthur believed that Canada and the Philippines can work together with other countries in working towards rebuilding and recovery after COVID-19.
“Our two countries stand together in solidarity with the international community in cooperating to address the current COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
MacArthur also spoke about the strong bilateral trade relationship that exists between Canada and the Philippines.
“Some of the oldest businesses operating in the Philippines are Canadian, today employing thousands of Filipinos. We seek to further expand commercial relations with such an important ASEAN economy—including services and direct investments,” MacArthur said.
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