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A Canadian official praises the Philippines as reaching a new peak.

On Friday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that Canada and the Philippines aim to undertake routine discussions at the level of foreign ministers, indicating the constantly growing relations between the two countries.

Following their meeting in Makati City, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and Canadian counterpart Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly made the statement.

However, the DFA stated that both ministers “considered holding regular meetings at the Foreign Minister level” without giving any information.

During the visit, Manalo and Joly decided to strengthen their current bilateral collaboration in the socioeconomic, political, and security fields and start new projects primarily concerned with financing climate action.

The “positive momentum” of government discussions on issues like maritime security, marine environmental protection, and sustainable fisheries was also emphasized by both.

“This meeting represents the fourth trip a Canadian minister has made while President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. Being that we are about to commemorate the 75th anniversary of bilateral relations between the Philippines and Canada next year, I am happy to see that our relations have improved, and I am interested in maybe reciprocating with high-level trips of our own to Canada, Joly remarked.

Additionally, both leaders emphasized the strong relationships between the two countries forged through travelers, immigrants, and scholars in Canada, which is home to almost a million people of Filipino origin.

The Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting, a senior official-level discussion that will set priorities and expand the scope and size of Ottawa-Manila relations in the twenty-first century, will be held in October 2023, according to the DFA.

Less than two years after the resolution of the issue involving around 1,500 tonnes of garbage that originated from Canada in 2019—an issue that had earlier led the Philippines to recall its envoy and consuls to Canada—the last JCBC was conducted in March 2021.

The Indo-Pacific is secure.

Likewise, Ottawa and Manila are prepared to take “concrete and comprehensive steps” to strengthen their alliance, particularly about means of advancing stability and peace in the Indo-Pacific.

Manalo welcomed Manila’s and ASEAN’s participation in Canada’s CAD2.3 billion Indo-Pacific Strategy and hoped that the strategy would help create a more safe, more stable and prosperous region.

According to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2016 Arbitral Award on the South China Sea, the Philippines, and Canada “agree on the need to promote the rule of law in the South China Sea, to safeguard freedom of navigation and overflight, promote the peaceful resolution of disputes, and preserve marine ecosystems.”

The significance of putting ASEAN at the heart of the regional security architecture was also reaffirmed by both ministers.

They anticipated the launch of the ASEAN-Canada Strategic Partnership at the summit between the two organizations later this year.

Several regional and global problems of significance to both parties were also covered at the discussion, including the events in the Taiwan Strait, the Korean Peninsula, and Ukraine.

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