Philippines-Canada relations

Philippines, Canada green-light talks to elevate ties 

Bea Cupin

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Philippines, Canada green-light talks to elevate ties 

PH-CANADA TIES. Secretary Enrique Manalo meets with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly during a visit to Ottawa on May 8, 2024.


During a visit to Ottawa, Philippine Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly commit to ‘working together to uphold peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific’

MANILA, Philippines – Manila and Ottawa have agreed to begin talks to elevate bilateral ties, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement on Thursday, May 9. 

The agreement was made during Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo’s visit to Ottawa, where he met Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly. 

“Noting the robust and mutually beneficial partnership between our countries, both Ministers agreed to instruct officials to begin discussions on elevating the bilateral relationship,” the DFA said.

Manalo and Joly also discussed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s possible visit to Canada. 

Philippine and Canadian ties have progressed quickly in recent years, also as part of Ottawa’s greater Indo-Pacific strategy. Canadian officials earlier said they were keen on forging closer defense, development, and trade ties with Manila

Manalo and Joly also discussed “defence and security cooperation, maritime affairs, climate action, human rights, and economic resilience,” said the DFA. 

The Ministers reaffirmed the two countries’ shared commitment to upholding democracy, sovereignty, multilateralism, and emphasized the importance of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” the DFA added. 

Canada is among the countries that have consistently and publicly supported the Philippines in asserting its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea in the face of China’s aggressive actions. 

Manalo and Joly also “welcomed further Canadian Armed Forces participation in multilateral exercises led by the Philippines and other partners.”

In 2023, the Canadian Navy joined Exercise SAMA SAMA, a yearly bilateral military exercise between the navies of the Philippines and United States.   

Ottawa has been eyeing a Visiting Forces Agreement with Manila, although this was not mentioned in the DFA statement on the two foreign secretaries’ meeting. – 

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.