Rp, Canada Agree To Widen Ties On Migrant Workers, EnvironmentPublished by MAC on 2007-07-31
Source: GMA News
RP, Canada agree to widen ties on migrant workers, environment
31st July 2007
The Philippines and Canada have agreed to further widen cooperation, notably in promoting migrant workers' welfare and sound environmental management.
Meeting at the sidelines of the 40th Asean Ministerial Meeting, Post Ministerial Conferences (PMC) and 14th Asean Regional Forum (ARF) in Manila, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo and Deputy Foreign Minister Leonard J. Edwards of Canada expressed both nations' commitment to deepen relations in the two key areas.
"We recognized migration and environment as issues of mutual concern," said Romulo following his meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Edwards.
"In our rapidly globalizing world, these issues represent concerns that know no borders. It is in this context that our partnership with Canada in these areas is very important," Romulo added.
The foreign secretary described Philippine-Canada cooperation in migration as a"significant step forward" in advancing Philippine advocacy for and regional commitments on migrant workers' rights and "broadening support for a caring and sharing world community."
"The international community recognizes both the challenges and opportunities presented by migration. Through our partnership with Canada, we are giving further impetus to our region's collective desire to protect and promote the welfare of migrant workers even beyond Asean," Romulo explained.
On Monday, Asean Foreign Ministers adopted the Statement on the Establishment of the Asean Committee on the Implementation of the Asean Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers and the Guidelines for the Provision of Emergency Assistance by Asean Missions in Third Countries to Nationals of Asean Member Countries in Crisis Situations.
Asean Leaders signed during the 12th Asean Summit in Cebu the Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.
Romulo said the adoption of the two documents "strengthened on-going efforts at building a caring and sharing Asean community and expanded the Asean network of concern and support beyond our region."
Romulo lauded the labor agreement signed between the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment and the Province of Saskatchewan in December last year.
The agreement opened up employment opportunities for Filipino workers and, at the same time, also incorporates provisions on ethical recruitment by creating a fund for the conduct of trainings and other capacity-building measures for re-tooling Filipino workers.
The Saskatchewan born and educated Edwards noted that Filipinos comprise the third largest group of migrants in Canada and recognized their contributions in nation building. The Canadian government is currently looking at the impact of temporary migration on Canadian society, Edwards said during the meeting.
Romulo likewise welcomed Canada's development support for the Philippines and urged the channeling of development assistance to environmental projects, particularly in sustainable mining.
"Canada has recognized expertise in the area of sustainable development in mining. With deeper collaboration and exchanges, we can harness the Philippines' potentials while wisely managing our natural resources and environment," Romulo said.
Experts have estimated the Philippines' untapped mineral wealth at US$840 billion. Deputy Foreign Minister Edwards, meantime, reiterated Canada's resolve in advancing and implementing best environmental practices in mining.
Highlighting Canada's commitment in upholding sustainable and environment-friendly
development, especially in mining, energy and forestry, Edwards agreed to look into how the environment and sustainable mining can be incorporated in the Philippine agenda of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Canada, through CIDA, has been involved for the last 15 years in empowering 400 municipalities, 101 of which in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and small and medium enterprises.