Fil-Canadians want consular office in Alberta

By Marjorie Carmona Newman, ABS-CBN Canada

Posted at Mar 05 2014 08:54 AM | Updated as of Mar 05 2014 04:54 PM

CANADA – Filipino members of Migrante gathered in Edmonton and Calgary to once again urge the Philippine government to set up a consular office in Alberta.

About 5,000 signatures from kababayans have been gathered since the petition started in August 2013.

Several Filipino associations in Alberta have also supported Migrante's petition.

"It is important that people sign the petition for a consular office here in Edmonton or in Calgary or somewhere in Alberta because we have a lot of temporary foreign workers who are here and they need to renew their visas," said Marilde Kane, president of the Filipino Support Services Society in Edmonton.

Migrante Alberta said their petition has reached the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Philippines.

The DFA is currently studying the proposal.

"Our partners in the Philippines, Migrante International based in the Philippines, have also started to lobby parliamentarians in the Philippines that will hopefully author a resolution," said Migrante Alberta spokesperson Marco Luciano.

Philippine Consul General Neil Ferrer in Vancouver confirmed that they have endorsed the petition to the DFA.

"We are in full support of that to service the growing number of Filipinos in the area and of course we have a big interest in the province of Alberta. There are many opportunities there for increasing economic trade and tourism between the Philippines and Canada," said Ferrer.

Ferrer however said it will not be as easy. The proposal still needs to undergo consultation and budget considerations and approval from Congress.

"We're looking at next year that's the best scenario possible. If not, pag na-delay pa maybe 2016," said Ferrer.

Migrante Alberta continues with its campaign for the establishment of a consular office in Alberta to address the growing needs for consular services in the province.