TFC News

Filipinos in Canada discuss ways to make community stronger, more united

Christine Santos | TFC News Toronto

Posted at Nov 28 2022 10:13 AM

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The Filipino Canadian National Congress (FCNC) held its first meetup in Toronto this month as part of their mission to connect Filipinos across Canada.  

The event was attended by several organization leaders and government officials such as Members of Parliament Rechie Valdez and Michael Coteau.

Participants voiced their hopes for a more united and stronger Filipino community.  

Among the shared sentiments is the need for Filipinos to be more visible in politics to better represent the nearly 1 million Filipinos in Canada.

"Our community, unfortunately, is one of the lowest turnout rates in regards to voting so I think that through events like this, we can really help inspire and encourage more Filipinos not only to run, but also to get involved in the political process," Chris Mills of Pinoys on Parliament said.

During the open forum, participants also explored some of the barriers preventing Filipinos from moving forward, as well as inspiring thoughts to take back to their respective communities.

"This FCNC [forum] ay makakatulong kasi, through the help of our MP Valdez, nasabi po natin ang hinaing ng ating mga nurses especially sa immigration issues. Hindi habang buhay ay caregivers tayo or PSW tayo," Austine Gaqui, founding chairman of Integrated Filipino Canadian Nurses Association, noted.

(This FCNC [forum] will be helpful, through the help of our MP Valdez, we were able to share the concerns of our nurses especially on immigration issues. We will not be caregivers or PSW forever.)

The FCNC was established in 2021 as a national not-for-profit organization affiliated with the Canada Philippines Parliamentary Friendship Group.  

With its directors spread out across the country, the organization hopes to grow its membership so they can better coordinate and represent the concerns and interests of the Filipino Canadian community before the people and government of Canada.

"If you are a club or organization or group that you wanna be part of this community and you want to help our kababayans, you are all welcome," FCNC First VP Ronnie Dela Gana noted. "Our intention is really to grow the FCNC so that we can have more people on board so that we can do more actions for the community."

Jerry Caingcoy, the FCNC Director in Alberta, added, "We have this opportunity to connect with one another because at the end of the day, that is what we want to envision sa FCNC: connecting communities from coast to coast to coast."

The FCNC will further discuss ways to unite the Filipino community during their next convention to be held in Halifax next year.