Envoy expresses Canada's willingness to expand presence in Iloilo | Inquirer News

Envoy expresses Canada’s willingness to expand presence in Iloilo

/ 05:44 PM September 01, 2022

In Iloilo, Canadian Ambassador Peter MacArthur has expressed willingness to increase their presence through business and educational linkages.

Iloilo City map

ILOILO CITY — Canadian Ambassador Peter MacArthur on Wednesday expressed willingness to increase their presence in the city and province of Iloilo through business and educational linkages.

The ambassador capped off his two-day visit on Wednesday with courtesy calls to Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. and Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas.


Being a history buff, MacArthur praised the local and national governments’ joint efforts in preserving historical sites, including the Santo Tomás de Villanueva Parish Church in Miagao and Iloilo City’s Spanish-era district plazas.


He also expressed his view on Iloilo province’s greenery and coastlines, especially those close to the vicinity of the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan town.

“I am happy to see that old Spanish plazas are becoming greener. I think that it is good not only for the citizens of the city but also for tourists to learn about the Spanish history of the city. Rejuvenating the plazas with trees and greenery will be very good for the citizens and the environment. It will also draw more tourists from other big cities,” MacArthur told the city government in a press release.

READ: Iloilo: Discover its history, decode its modernity

MacArthur also met with key officials of Central Philippine University (CPU) and West Visayas State University (WVSU) in an effort to increase linkages with Canadian universities.

He shared his fascination with CPU’s software engineering and packaging materials engineering programs, and WVSU’s flagship nursing program.

He said Canadian universities are focused on the Philippines in terms of agricultural sciences and indigenous studies which would be an opportunity for Iloilo’s fisheries management sector.


READ: What’s there to love about Iloilo City

The Philippines’ and Canada’s common history as European colonies, as well as their connections to the United States and international organizations, is something that the ambassador believes should be magnified.

“We both have long coastlines and our fisheries, we depend on a lot of protein supply for our food. We both had indigenous peoples before colonizers came. We’re both democracies. We’re both treaty allies of the United States, members of the APEC, and we have had a 45-year partnership with the ASEAN,” he said.

Aside from his local government and academic visits, he also visited Telus International, a Canadian Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm which opened in Iloilo City last year and opened in neighboring Pavia town earlier this year, one of the first outside of the city.

He expressed happiness with Telus International’s choice of Iloilo over other hubs like Cebu or Davao, and its contribution to the local economy as the firm now employs 1,000 people from Panay and Guimaras islands.


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