Canada-Philippines Relations

Diplomatic relations and official representation

In the Philippines, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Manila. Canada also has a consulate in Cebu.

The Philippines is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa. The Philippines also has three consulates-general in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver and honourary consular offices in Edmonton, Winnipeg, St. John's, Halifax and Charlottetown.

Bilateral relations

Canada’s bilateral relations with the Philippines are strong and friendly, and marked by close cooperation in a variety of areas. Canada and the Philippines are partners on the international stage, working together to find solutions to global issues. Canada cooperates with the Philippines as an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Dialogue Partner, and within the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). The Philippines currently serves as Canada’s ASEAN coordinating country (2015-2018). Both countries are active participants in the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) Forum and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Embassy of Canada in Manila works with the Government of the Philippines, civil society and international organizations to promote democratic development, good governance, the rule of law, peace and stability and the protection of human rights. Canada supports outstanding work in the field of human rights, rule of law and democracy through the McLuhan Award for investigative journalism, which sends annually a top Philippine journalist on a two-week speaking tour of Canada followed by a series of conferences in the Philippines. Canada works closely with the Philippines to build partnerships and enhance training to advance our mutual international peace and security agenda. For instance, in support of the peace process in southern Philippines, Canada deployed a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner to serve as Chair of the Independent Commission on Policing for the Bangsamoro region.

The Embassy of Canada in Manila also manages the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), a competitive small grants program that provides direct funding assistance to community groups, local non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations and, in exceptional cases, international NGOs and government institutions. CFLI supports small projects addressing governance, democracy, capacity-building, economic, and other social development issues, as well as crisis and humanitarian assistance in the event of emergency situations. For the fiscal year of 2016-2017, the Embassy of Canada in Manila is proudly supporting the implementation of eight distinct projects, which focus on peace and security initiatives in Mindanao, and on promoting gender equality and empowerment of women and other marginalized groups such as indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities (PWDs). These projects have a total value of C$ 202,500. 

Recent high-level visits have included the State Visit of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, then-President of the Philippines, to Canada in May 2015, and the visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the Philippines in November 2015 to attend the APEC Leaders’ Meeting. 

There are ever increasing people-to-people links between Canada and the Philippines. According to the 2011 census, 662,600 people of Philippine origin are now residing in Canada. A growing number of Filipino citizens visit family and friends in Canada, study at Canadian colleges and universities or immigrate to Canada. In 2015, Canada welcomed more than 50,000 permanent residents from the Philippines, making it Canada’s top source country for permanent residents that year. In 2016, Canada issued nearly 35,000 visas to Filipinos for tourism. There are approximately 15,000 Canadians residing in the Philippines.


In 2016, Canadian merchandise exports to the Philippines were CAD$ 626 million while Canadian merchandise imports from the Philippines were about CAD$ 1355.1 million. Canada's trade and investment relationship with the Philippines spans many sectors. Canadian companies with expertise in information and communications technology (telecoms and fin tech), infrastructure (airports, rail, green building and smart city infrastructure), aerospace and defence, cleantech (water and waste water, waste to energy and renewable energy) are in a particularly good position to take advantage of new opportunities within these sectors. Canada and the Philippines also enjoy strong ties in the education sector with opportunities for partnerships between institutions and student recruitment. In addition, the market for agricultural products in the Philippines continues to be robust, with significant potential for growth within the commodities, processed food and beverage, and health food sub-sectors.

International Assistance

Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy guides our assistance programming in the Philippines. Its ultimate objective is to help the poorest and most vulnerable to enjoy peace and prosperity. Canada recognizes that supporting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is the most effective way to achieve this objective. Priority themes in the Philippines include:

  • Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls;
  • Human dignity: health care, nutrition, education, and humanitarian assistance;
  • Economic growth that works for everyone;
  • Environment and climate action;
  • Peace and Security.

Canada works with national and local governments as well as non-governmental organizations (civil society, academia and private sector) and multilateral development banks to:

  • Help disadvantaged women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and access new markets;
  • Support the right of women and girls to access sexual and reproductive health services and live free of violence;
  • Assist marginalized young people to gain safe, stable and fairly-paid employment;
  • Improve the competitiveness of the agribusiness sector, which has proven potential for poverty reduction;
  • Rebuild resilient livelihoods for those affected by the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan;
  • Invest in clean energy projects;
  • Support peacebuilding in Mindanao;

Canada’s programming is aligned with the Philippines Development Plan 2017-2022.

For more information on Canada’s international development assistance to the Philippines, please consult Global Affairs Canada’s project browser.

As a key part of Canada’s international development efforts, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC)  invests in knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve lives and livelihoods in the developing world. Bringing together the right partners around opportunities for impact, IDRC builds leaders for today and tomorrow and helps drive change for those who need it most.

Response to Humanitarian Crisis

Canada, through its International Humanitarian Assistance Program, aims to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain the dignity of those affected by conflicts and natural disasters by providing appropriate, timely, and effective responses.

August 2017


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