Canada eyes stronger ties with Iloilo

ILOILO CITY -- The government of Canada is eyeing stronger ties with this city and the province of Iloilo.

Canadian Ambassador Peter MacArthur meets with Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. of Iloilo province and Mayor Jerry Treñas of Iloilo City. (Photo from Iloilo Capitol PIO and Arnold Almacen)

“Our countries have strong ties. But we are looking at the socio-economic development in Iloilo and what role can Canada play,” said Canadian Ambassador Peter MacArthur in an interview with Manila Bulletin Wednesday, August 31.

MacArthur wrapped up his two-day visit on Wednesday, Aug. 31, after meeting with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. and Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas.

“We spoke on their priorities as newly-reelected officials, especially as the pandemic exits,” MacArthur said in his first official visit to Iloilo.

The ambassador also visited TELUS International Philippines, a Canadian business process outsourcing (BPO) company that opened its second Iloilo site in Pavia town, Iloilo province.

TELUS opened its first location in neighboring Iloilo City last year.

For MacArthur, TELUS is an economic driver to both the city and province of Iloilo as it provides employment for approximately 1,000 residents of Iloilo and the rest of Panay Island.

MacArthur also highlighted the environmental issues which the Canadian government is also prioritizing.

Incidentally, Canada is also hosting the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) organized by the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity in December.

MacArthur sat down with key members of the Coastal Cities at Risk-Philippines (CCARPH), which is a trans-disciplinary action research project supported by the Canadian government. Iloilo is one of the areas covered by the study.

MacArthur also met with key administrators of Central Philippine University (CPU) and West Visayas State University (WVSU) to harness educational ties with Canadian universities.