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PH ambassador says Marcos may visit Canada in 2024

Rowena Papasin | TFC News Vancouver

Posted at Jun 07 2023 10:49 PM

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Filipino-Canadians mark this June the Filipino Heritage Month, as well as the 125th anniversary of Philippine independence.

With the twin celebrations, the new Philippine ambassador to Canada urges Filipinos to highlight their contributions to the country.

Ma. Andrelita Austria said Canada recognizes the potential of the Filipino community. She added that Ottawa considers Manila as a priority country in its Indo-Pacific strategy.

"Events like this (Filipino Heritage Month) is an opportunity to really showcase, convince them of the contributions that we have brought to the table," she said.

Austria was in the Philippines during the visit of Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly in May.

In her meetings in Manila, Joly reaffirmed Canada's support to upholding the rule of law in the West Philippine Sea.

Austria has since hinted of a strong chance that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may visit Canada next year.

"We would like to think that it will be a perfect opportunity for the highest level of visits," she said, referring to the 75th year since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Canada in 2024.

Filipino-Canadian lawmaker Mable Elmore also relayed an invitation for Marcos to visit Vancouver through Cotabato's visiting governor, Reynaldo Tamayo Jr.

Tamayo, president of the League of Provinces of the Philippines, also heads Marcos' political party, the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas.

Filipino community leaders said they are looking forward to Marcos' potential visit to Canada.