Canada-Philippines Relations

Diplomatic relations and official representation

In the Philippines, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Manila. Canada also has a consulate in Cebu.

The Philippines is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa. The Philippines also has three consulates-general in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver and honourary consular offices in Edmonton, Winnipeg, St. John's, Halifax and Charlottetown.

Bilateral relations

Canada’s bilateral relations with the Philippines are strong and friendly, and marked by close cooperation in a variety of areas. Canada and the Philippines are partners on the international stage, working together to find solutions to global issues. Both countries work side by side at the United Nations to promote human rights, good governance, and improved global standards of living. Canada cooperates with the Philippines as an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Dialogue Partner, and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). The Philippines currently serves as Canada’s ASEAN coordinating country. Both countries are active participants in the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) Forum and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Embassy of Canada in Manila works with the Government of the Philippines, civil society and international organizations to promote democratic development, good governance, rule of law, peace, and the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines. Canada supports outstanding work in the field of human rights, rule of law and democracy through the McLuhan Award for investigative journalism, which sends annually a top Philippine journalist on a two-week speaking tour of Canada followed by speaking engagements in the Philippines. Canada works closely with the Philippines to build partnerships and enhance training to advance our mutual international peace and security agenda.  For instance, in support of the peace process in southern Philippines, Canada supported the six-month deployment of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner to serve as Chair of the Independent Commission on Policing (ICP) for the new Bangsamoro.

The Embassy also manages the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), a competitive small grants program that provides direct funding assistance to community groups, non-government organizations, people’s organizations and, in exceptional cases, international NGOs and government institutions, for small projects addressing governance, democracy, capacity-building, economic, and other social development issues, as well as crisis and humanitarian assistance in the event of emergency situations. For fiscal year 2016-2017, the Embassy is proudly supporting the implementation of eight distinct projects, many of which focus on peace and security initiatives in Mindanao, with others promoting gender equality and empowerment of women and other marginalized groups such as indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities (PWDs).  The total value of these projects is C$ 202,500. 

Recent high-level political visits have included the State Visit of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Philippines,  to Canada in May, 2015, and the visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the Philippines in November, 2015 for the APEC Leaders’ Meeting. 

There are ever increasing people-to-people links between Canada and the Philippines, with approximately 700,000 people of Philippine origin in Canada. A growing number of Filipino citizens visit family and friends in Canada, study at Canadian colleges and universities or immigrate to Canada.  In 2014, Canada welcomed more than 40,000 permanent residents from the Philippines making it Canada’s top source country for permanent residents last year. Also in 2014 Canada issued 47,000 visitor visas to Filipino. There are approximately 15,000 Canadians residing in the Philippines.

Trade

In 2014, Canadian merchandise exports to the Philippines were Cad$ 569.7 million while Canadian merchandise imports from the Philippines were about Cad$ 1,238.9 billion.  Canada's trade and investment relationship with the Philippines spans many sectors.  Canadian companies with expertise in infrastructure (water and waste water, airports, green building), aerospace and defence, cleantech (renewable energy) are in a particularly good position to take advantage of new opportunities within these sectors. In addition, the market for agricultural products in the Philippines continues to be robust, with significant potential for growth within the processed food and beverage sub-sector and health foods.

International Development

Canada's international development mandate is to lead Canada's international effort to help people living in poverty.

Through Canada's aid effectiveness agenda, Global Affairs Canada focuses its efforts geographically on 25 countries and thematically on five priority themes for the international assistance envelope:

  • Increasing food security
  • Securing the future of children and youth
  • Stimulating sustainable economic growth
  • Advancing democracy
  • Promoting stability and security

In 2014, the Philippines was confirmed as a country of focus for the Government of Canada’s international development efforts. This partnership was reinforced during President Aquino’s visit to Canada in May 2015 with the signing of a mutual accountability framework ;  reaffirming the foundations of transparent, effective and sustainable international development cooperation between Canada and the Philippines for the period of 2014-2019.

Based on the Philippine Development Plan 2011–2016, the goal of Canada's bilateral development program in the Philippines is to support sustainable economic growth by improving the climate for investment and advancing the economic opportunities of poor women and men. In doing so, Canada works with national and local governments as well as non-governmental organizations (civil society, academe and private sector) to:

  • improve the competitiveness of key economic sectors;
  • improve investments in quality and disaster-resilient infrastructure;
  • simplify business regulations and processes;
  • improve sector-specific value chains, which includes the full range of activities required to bring a product from an idea to production, to delivery, to consumers, to disposal after use;
  • deliver programs and services that help poor women and men entrepreneurs and low-skilled workers develop business skills and skills for employment, increase productivity and improve their access to financing and markets.

For more information on Canada’s international development assistance to the Philippines, please consult Global Affairs Canada’s webpage for the Philippines and its list of projects.

As a key part of Canada’s international development efforts, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC)  invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world. Bringing together the right partners around opportunities for impact, IDRC builds leaders for today and tomorrow and helps drive change for those who need it most. For more information, consult IDRC’s webpage on the Philippines and its list of projects.

Response to Humanitarian Crisis

Canada, through its International Humanitarian Assistance Program, aims to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain the dignity of those affected by conflicts and natural disasters by providing appropriate, timely, and effective responses.

March, 2016


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