Embassy Corner
by H.E. Leslie B. Gatan Philippine Ambassador to Canada

President Aquino welcomes Canada’s Prime Minister Harper

MANILA (Nov. 10, 2012) –President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper with arrival honors in Malacañang.

PM Harper was in Manila for a three-day official visit. He was honored with a 19-gun salute as the national anthems of both countries were played.

Other members of the Cabinet who joined President Aquino in welcoming Prime Minister Harper and his wife Laureen Harper included Foreign Secretary Albert F. del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Arsenio Balisacan, Metropolitan Manila Development Chairman Francis Tolentino, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr., among others.

The President then ushered Harper into Malacañang Palace for the traditional signing of the Palace Guest Book.

The visit of Prime Minister Harper marked the highest-level visit of a Canadian official in the last 15 years. In 1997, then Prime Minister Jean Chretien brought a business delegation to the Philippines.

The two heads of government discussed the upward trajectory of Philippines-Canada bilateral relations. Among the issues discussed were the deepening of people-to-people ties, increasing commercial relations, and progress in the governance agenda of the Aquino Administration.

President Aquino and Prime Minister Harper also discussed the gains in the Philippine peace process, particularly the newly signed Bangsamoro Framework Agreement.

During the visit, President Aquino and Prime Minister Harper witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Philippine Department of National Defense and the Canadian Commercial Cooperation on government-to-government transactions in defense and military-related procurements.

The MOU will ensure the smooth and expeditious procurement transactions with the Canadian government’s assurance on the quality of equipment from and compliance with procurement contracts by Canadian companies.

Volume 10 No 22 - November 16-30, 2012
Ang Peryodiko - The Newspaper For Overseas Filipino
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