2020-12-01 Canadian Embassy in the Philippines celebrates 71 years of diplomatic relations
Canada and PH: a true partnership
by His Excellency Peter MacArthur, Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines
As we today mark the 71st anniversary of diplomatic relations being established between Canada and the Philippines, we are reminded of how much our two countries’ relationship has blossomed. Indeed, by now we have reached the stage at which we can consider Dec. 1 as Philippines-Canada Partnership Day.
On this day each year, we celebrate the dynamism of our relationship. Canada is fortunate to be built on cultural diversity — by the flow of peoples from all corners of the globe—including those welcomed from this beautiful archipelago. There are now approximately 1 million Canadians of Filipino origin, one of our fastest-growing diaspora communities, fortifying active people-to-people links.
This year by September, almost 9,000 Filipinos were admitted as permanent residents in Canada. We have processed applications for thousands of temporary workers and international students. Canada continues to welcome eligible temporary foreign workers. We also embrace international students who have valid study permits for our colleges and universities. Filipino seafarers have been allowed to rotate into and out of Canada throughout the pandemic. These essential staff provide much needed income flows to families while maintaining essential international supply lines we all count on.
Canada is one of the top countries that continues to send remittances to the Philippines even during the pandemic. Temporary foreign workers have been included in the Canada Emergency Response Benefit made available as an income replacement to those displaced from work by the pandemic.
Canada is known for a tradition of helping others—a Canadian version of the Philippines’ bayanihan. In that spirit, we continue to contribute to relief efforts. Humanitarian aid of P10 million was recently provided to the Red Cross for emergency typhoon-related assistance. Longer term, Canadian climate finance to counter extreme weather is also available through multilateral channels.
To help the Philippines combat COVID-19, Canada has donated 120,000 N95 respirator masks to the Department of Health, topped up by P84.6 million existing projects that help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on women’s reproductive health.
Globally, Canada has pledged $191 million to GAVI, as a COVID-19 Vaccines Advance Market Commitment. This will ensure that the Philippines can access safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. During last month’s G20 Summit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau again called for equitable access by all to pending COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. Several Canadian biotech firms are among those working globally on possible vaccine candidates.
Our two countries share common priorities. As a significant coastal country like the Philippines, Canada is committed to an international rules-based order governing the global commons, in particular the oceans and seas. International law such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea provides the foundation upon which peaceful relations among states are built. Promoting reliance on international law to peacefully resolve complex problems underpins Canadian foreign policy. This position was recently reiterated by Canada’s Minister of National Defence.
Canada’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs and International Trade continue to meet with their Filipino counterparts, most recently at Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings where Canada highlighted the importance of a strong multilateral trading system supported by coordinated, sustainable, and inclusive economic policies. In this context, we congratulate the Philippines as one of the signatories of the landmark Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement.
Throughout the years, we have seen the growth in mutually advantageous trade and investment flows translate into more jobs in each country. There remains more room to grow business. Last month, Prime Minister Trudeau raised with ASEAN leaders Canada’s interest in launching FTA negotiations with . What better added component to a mutually beneficial post-pandemic economic recovery strategy?
The challenges of the new normal open up such new opportunities to further enhance our countries’ win-win cooperation. Working together, we can raise our relationship to a higher level, reflecting our true partnership among old friends.
2020-09-02 – 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.
CANADIAN EMBASSY IN THE PHILIPPINES
EMBASSY OF CANADA IN THE PHILIPPINES
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