PH, Canada reaffirm resolve to uphold Indo-Pacific stability

The Philippines and Canada reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring a safe and stable Indo-Pacific region during the meeting between Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo and Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly on Wednesday, May 8, in Ottawa.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly during their meeting in Ottawa, Ontario. (Photo courtesy of Global Affairs Canada) 


In a readout posted by Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines David Hartman on X (formerly Twitter), the two officials also talked about the further participation of Canada in the multilateral military exercises of the Philippines joined by other nations.

“The Ministers reaffirmed the two countries’ commitment to working together to uphold peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region and welcomed further Canadian Armed Forces participation in multilateral exercises led by the Philippines and other partners,” it said.

The Philippines, United States, Japan, and Australia recently held naval drills in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

“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 (UNCLOS),” the statement added.

The statement also mentioned about a “prospective visit” by President Marcos to Canada.

It said that Joly updated Manalo on  the Canada-Philippines Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation, which was signed in January this year to jumpstart cooperation between the two countries on military education, training exchanges, information sharing, peacekeeping operations, and disaster response.

They also “discussed the strong people-to-people ties that serve as the foundation of our bilateral relationship, as well as shared priorities, such as defense and security cooperation, maritime affairs, climate action, human rights, and economic resilience.”

The Canadian Foreign Minister gave updates on a number of agreements and programs, such as Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, the expansion of Canada’s electronic travel authorization program to the Philippines, the implementation of Canada’s Dark Vessel Detection program in the Philippines, and the opening of the Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office in Manila.

For his part, Manalo shared the significant developments in the Philippines that can create new opportunities.

These developments are centered on infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, improving human capital, and advancing maritime law enforcement capabilities.

“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 statement said.

Hartman, in his post, welcomed the meeting between the two officials.

“So pleased to highlight the tremendous momentum in our robust Canada-Philippines relations! #Together75,” he wrote.

An earlier statement from the Canadian Foreign Ministry said that Manalo also has a scheduled meeting with Minister of Export Promotion Mary Ng, Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marc Miller, Minister of Small Business Rechie Valdez.

“For 75 years, our two countries have enjoyed a long-standing partnership—one that is anchored in generations of dynamic connections between our peoples. I look forward to greeting Secretary Manalo and building on our countries’ robust relationship, which is being furthered through our Indo-Pacific Strategy, for many years to come,” Joly said in an earlier statement.