November 05, 2022

PHILIPPINE CONSULATE GENERAL IN VANCOUVER and DFA-OUMWA CONDUCT MAPPING OF FILIPINOS IN WESTERN CANADA

Consul General Maria Andrelita Austria (3rd from right) and DFA-OUMWA Assistant Secretary Paul Raymund Cortes (4th from right) lead the briefing with Filipino students at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), Surrey campus, on the purpose of the survey mapping exercise.  

02 November 2022 – The Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver assisted a team from the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (OUMWA) of the Department of Foreign Affairs, headed by Assistant Secretary Paul Raymund Cortes, in conducting a survey mapping mission in British Columbia on 28-31 October 2022.  The purpose of the mapping activity is to get a general snapshot of the Filipino community in Canada, particularly those overseas Filipinos who are not contract workers, and is meant to provide direction for research and policy development that will be more responsive to the needs of the growing community abroad.

Assistant Secretary Cortes introduces the mapping mission to the Filipino students at the Western Community College (WCC) in Surrey, before they break into one-on-one interviews with the mapping team. 

A roundtable discussion with the Filipino Network (FilNet), also held at the WCC, followed the interview with students. The FilNet is an informal organization of Filipino settlement workers, case managers, and job specialists who collaborate to meet the needs of Filipino immigrants in Canada.

Prior to the arrival of the team from Manila, an online survey was disseminated to Filipino students, dual citizens, permanent residents, and tourists, which responses served as basis for the interviews conducted by the mapping team.  For the 3½-day mission in BC, the Consulate brought them to various schools in Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria, and organized meetings for them with Filipino settlement workers, community leaders and members in Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria, and Kelowna.

  Left photo – Assistant Secretary Cortes meets with Filipino students at the University of Victoria in the provincial capital about their reasons for choosing to study and their future plans in Canada; Right photo – Mr. Ismael Alcano and Mr. Franz Bernardo interview Filipino permanent residents working at one of the McDonalds stores in Kelowna, a city in the Okanagan Valley in the southern interior of BC.

The mapping team is briefed by Ms. Angela Liang of the Vancouver Community College (VCC) on the vibrant Filipino student community at VCC.  More than 230 Filipino students are currently enrolled at the College.

In Victoria, the visit of the mapping team coincided with the Consulate’s consular outreach mission held at the Bayanihan Center during the weekend.  This provided an additional opportunity for the OUMWA team to meet and interview the Filipino outreach clients and newly-minted dual citizens, as well as catch a glimpse of the provincial capital.

Students at the Acsenda School of Management accomplish the online survey form, while waiting for their turn to be interviewed by the DFA-OUMWA team.

Consul General Austria presides over the dialogue held at the Consulate with the Filipino community, comprising leaders, members of the business and professional groups, and students from the Simon Fraser University.

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