The Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver conducted a Consular Outreach Program to service Filipinos in Edmonton, Alberta from March 8 to 11.
The members of the Consular team that conducted the program included Consul General Neil Frank R. Ferrer, Consul Melanie Diano, Ms. Magdalena Sosa, Ms. Lucelyn Gumabay, Mr. Crisel Diaz and Mr. Edwin Villalon.
On March 8, Consul General Ferrer attended the 43rd Anniversary of Karilagan Dance Society. One of the highlights of this event included a group composed of Filipino-Canadian parents and their children who performed a splendid mix of traditional Filipino dances. This group is touted to be the local Filipino community’s representative to the Heritage Festival held annually in the province of Alberta. Consul General Ferrer gave an inspirational message and awarded the 16th Hiyas (Gem) Award to a deserving Filipino-Canadian who excelled in the field of business and community service.
On March 9, Consul General Ferrer met with officers of the Council of Edmonton Filipino Associations (CEFA) to discuss the various projects and activities of CEFA for the benefit of the Filipino community in Edmonton.
On March 10, Consul General Ferrer undertook an Official Visit to Alberta and had courtesy calls on Minister of Human Services Manmeet Bhullar, Minister Thomas Lukaszuk of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Gene Zwodezky and Lt. Gov. Donald S. Ethell. Consul General Ferrer thanked the Alberta government for its generous support to the Philippines in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and noted the strong people to people relations between the Philippines and Alberta. Consul General Ferrer underlined the huge opportunities to further broaden trade between the Philippines and Alberta and discussed potential investments and cooperation in areas such as energy, agriculture, defense, tourism and labor
On March 12, Consul General Ferrer and Minister Lukaszuk met to further discuss issues regarding Filipino Temporary Workers in Alberta. The two agreed to maintain close contact and to work together on matters of labor and human resources mobility, including the recognition of credentials.
Edmonton is home to an estimated 40,000 Filipino and Filipino-Canadians.