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Philippines - Canada Relations

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Historical Overview

Philippine relations with Canada started over a century ago when a Sunlife of Canada branch opened in Manila in 1896. In 1949, Canada established a trade mission which was upgraded to a full Embassy in 1972. Since then, relations between the Philippines and Canada have grown by leaps and bounds.

Filipinos in Canada

At the core of Philippine-Canada relations is the human dimension - the presence of more than 682,000 Filipinos in Canada.  They are among Canada's most active citizens, contributing to the economic, social and cultural dynamism of the country.

The Philippines was the No. 1 source of temporary foreign workers for Canada fin 2009-2010, outpacing China and India. Filipinos now comprise the 3rd largest immigrant community in Canada.  The province of Manitoba alone hosts about 60,000 Filipinos and a number of its key officials are of Filipino descent.  Its capital, Winnipeg, has a sister-city relation with Manila.

Of the total US$ 17 billion remittances from overseas Filipinos in 2010, 10% or about US$1.7 billion came from Canada.

Canada has been actively promoting multiculturalism, migrant workers' rights and ethical recruitment. We have agreements on human resources development and deployment with the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  These agreements reflect Canada's strong commitment to ethical recruitment and the recognition of credentials of prospective Filipino workers.  They are a model agreement which our Government seeks to replicate with other states and countries.

With further potential for growth, Canada is one of the Philippines' key trading partners with total trade in 2009 estimated at US$497.88 million. Canada is also one of the Philippines' biggest source of tourists with 80,500 Canadian visitors for the period January to October 2010.

As of June 2010, records of the Board of Investment and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority show that there are five (5) projects with Canadian equity in the Philippines.  These projects are engaged in BPO, mass housing, mining and energy with total investments of PHP 415 million.

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is the 5th biggest ODA grant source for the Philippines, accounting for 9% of the total, amounting to CAD$101.80M. Canada's development assistance and cooperation in the Philippines are wide-ranging, from democratic reforms to responsible governance, poverty reduction and private sector development. Canada has also given assistance to our counterterrorism campaign.  It has provided First Responder trainings to more than 1,800 Filipino firefighters, police personnel, soldiers and other first responders. It has also transferred Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nucrear (CBRN) Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) and Radiation Detection Kits to the Philippine Government, estimated at CAD$429, 844.00

Reflecting the intensifying relations between our countries, Canada's Embassy in Manila is the 8th largest Canadian Embassy in the world.

Regional and Multilateral Fora

In regional and multilateral fora such as ASEAN, APEC and the United Nations, the Philippines and Canada enjoy a strong partnership in promoting common interests.  These include promotion of human rights, interfaith dialogue, sustainable development, preserving maritime security, combating terrorism and transnational crimes, peacekeeping in failed and failing states and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  Canada gave $7.5 million funding for ASEAN programs on disaster mitigation, good governance and human rights promotion.

Complementary Parliamentary Friendship Groups

Recognizing the ever-increasing importance of the Philippines and Filipinos to Canada, the Canadian Parliament established a Canada-Philippines Parliamentary Friendship Group on 12 May 2009.  Its objective is "to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and promote the expansion of relations between the Philippines and Canada."  The launching of this Parliamentary Friendship Group highlighted the 60th Anniversary of cordial and fruitful relations between the two countries.

The Friendship Group played a key role in securing Canada's commitment to provide $5 million for humanitarian assistance to those hard-hit by typhoon "Ondoy" last year.

On 07 December 2010, the Philippine House of Representatives adopted House Resolution No. 228 "Organizing the Philippines-Canada Parliamentarians Friendship Group."  The counterpart Friendship Group serves as an additional platform for legislators from both countries to work together towards mutually-beneficial ends.

Protecting and promoting the well-being of Filipino migrants is a central pillar of Philippine foreign policy.  A vibrant relationship between the lawmakers of the Philippines and Canada will boost the attainment of this objective, among other key goals.


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Last Updated ( Friday, 13 January 2012 11:06 )  

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