Embassy of the Philippines, Ottawa
|Embassy of the Philippines, Ottawa|
Pasuguan ng Pilipinas sa Ottawa
|Address||30 Murray Street|
|Ambassador||Petronila P. Garcia|
The Embassy of the Philippines in Ottawa is the diplomatic mission of the Republic of the Philippines to Canada. It is currently located at 30 Murray Street in Ottawa's central ByWard Market neighborhood, roughly between the U.S. and Danish embassies.
The Philippine Embassy in Ottawa was opened on March 1, 1971, with Privado G. Jimenez becoming the first resident Philippine ambassador to Canada. Notably, the Embassy is not the first Philippine diplomatic mission in Canada; the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver is older, dating back to 1956.
Several diplomats posted to the Embassy were recalled in May 2019 by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., ostensibly to pressure the Canadian government to take action in resolving the Canada–Philippines waste dispute, where several garbage-laden shipping containers were shipped to the Philippines from Canada and had been a sticking point in relations between the two countries for a number of years. The dispute was finally resolved around two weeks later with Canada taking back the containers, and the diplomats were promptly dispatched back to Ottawa by the DFA to resume their posts.
Since July 1, 2016, the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa has been based out of a standalone building at 30 Murray Street, relocating from its previous chancery in the Varette Building at 130 Albert Street in downtown Ottawa, which it had moved into in 2011. The property, previously called the Collectiv Building, was acquired by the Philippine government for this purpose on January 15, 2016.
The current chancery, a three-story structure, previously housed the studios and offices for radio station CJLL-FM, with the Embassy relocating to the building out of the need for more space to conduct its future activities. Consular offices are located on the first floor, while the chancery proper is located on the second floor. The third floor houses event space for the Embassy, as well as the Ottawa center of the Sentro Rizal — the first in Canada — which opened on May 10, 2018.
Staff and activities
The Philippine Embassy in Ottawa is currently headed by Ambassador Petronila P. Garcia, who was appointed to the position by President Benigno Aquino III on January 24, 2014. Prior to becoming Ambassador, Garcia, a career diplomat, served as Assistant Secretary at the Department of Foreign Affairs Office of Middle East and African Affairs, and prior to that was deployed to the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv as the ambassador to Israel. Her appointment was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments on March 12, 2014.
Notable diplomats deployed to the Embassy include Francisco Noel Fernandez, who topped the 1994 Philippine Bar Examination and was appointed as its Deputy Chief of Mission in September 2016, and Buenaflor Cruz, who while serving at the Embassy was charged in 2014 with human trafficking involving the exploitation of a 26-year-old Filipino woman who was hired as a nanny.
Serving over 800,000 Filipino Canadians, many of the Embassy's activities center around fostering continuing relations between Filipinos in Canada and their home country. In 2014, it organized the first annual Winter Escapade, where Filipino Canadians are brought to the Philippines for a week-long tour of the country during the winter months. Organized in cooperation with the other Philippine diplomatic missions in Canada, as well as other government agencies, the first tour generated over C$1 million in economic output, with 60-65 percent of participants taking the trip more than once. It also organizes events in cooperation with the local Filipino community, such as an annual series of Christmas events and contests, and cultural exhibits at the Sentro Rizal.
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