Presiding over the presentation of credentials of six (6) newly-arrived Ambassadors to Canada, His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, warmly received today Her Excellency, Philippine Ambassador Petronila P. Garcia in a stately ceremony at the Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
Ambassador Garcia handed over to Governor General Johnston her letter of credence and the letter of recall of her predecessor, Ambassador Leslie B. Gatan.
In his welcome address, the Governor General recognized the knowledge and skills that Ambassador Garcia will bring to bear on Philippines-Canada relations, which are largely shaped by people-to-people ties fostered by some 660,000 Filipinos in Canada. He expressed confidence that the Philippines and Canada will benefit from the Ambassador’s dedication to building a better world. Noting that he and the Ambassador find common ground in their legal education, the Governor General hoped to discuss their common interest when time permits and looked forward to new and exciting partnerships between Canada and the Philippines.
During her tête-à-tête with the Governor General, Ambassador Garcia summarized her priorities for growing bilateral ties with Canada, among them more educational partnerships in the fields of agriculture, engineering, environmental protection, educational technology and information technology. The Philippine Ambassador took the occasion to convey the Filipino people’s gratitude for Canada’s tremendous disaster relief assistance in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan last year, including the deployment of Canada’s Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART) by Canada to the island of Panay. The conversation also dwelled upon the recent designation of the Philippines as a Country of Focus for Canada’s development assistance and high-level official exchanges, such as the visit of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the Philippines in 2012 and the planned reciprocal visit of President Benigno S. Aquino III to Canada in 2015.
“Today, I carried to the Governor General not only my credentials as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary but also the good wishes of President Aquino and the affection of the Filipino people for the entire Canadian nation. My mission is to ensure that Philippine-Canadian friendship will continue to flourish on the back of healthy political and economic relations with the large Filipino diaspora in Canada providing a rich context to pursue our goals,” Ambassador Garcia remarked.
Ambassador Garcia was accompanied at today’s ceremonies by the Philippine Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Uriel Norman R. Garibay, Minister and Consul General Eric Gerardo E. Tamayo, Minister and Consul Flerida Ann Camille P. Mayo, First Secretary and Consul Porfirio M. Mayo, Jr., Consul General Junever M. Mahilum-West of the Philippine Consulate General in Toronto, Consul General Neil Frank R. Ferrer of the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver, Labor Attachés Leonida V. Romulo and Jaime P. Gimenez as well as the Ambassador’s sons Angelo Victor Garcia and Jose Gabriel Reyes.