PANGLAO, Bohol – Canadian ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder has cited his country’s magnanimous act of extending several forms of assistance to the province of Bohol in the name of development and humanitarian causes. “Canada has been a strong partner of the Philippines in general and Bohol in particular in various forms of development and cooperation,” Ambassador Reeder said in his short speech during the turnover of sports equipment, such as bicycles; educational materials, such as books, dictionary; medical equipment, as optical, dental equipment courtesy of the Rotary of Canada and Rotary World Help program “to the needed worldwide especially in the Philippines.”
The turnover ceremony which took place at the municipal gymnasium yesterday was attended by municipal and barangay officials led by Mayor Leonila P. Montero and Vice-Mayor Pedro Fuertes, Department of Education teachers, parents, visitors, Rep. Rene L. Relampagos, Provincial Board Member Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez and the doctors and nurses and assistants in the dental mission, including those coming from Provincial Health Office (PHO).
Ambassador Reeder said that Canada was one of the first countries to extend help and pledged assistance to Bohol “in relief and early recovery.” His country has extended a million Canadian dollar or about Php40 million that benefited some 340,000 Boholanos, including the 500 earthquake victims, who received from him certificates of ownership of the shelter.
The said amount was provided through different humanitarian organizations such as the United Nations Cultural and Educational Fund, World Vision, Internaitonal Federtion of Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations.
“I personally visited Bohol with Irene (his better half) months ago to look over programs for earthquake relief that had been funded by Canada and to personally present certificates of home ownership to 500 familes who lost their homes during the earthquake,” the ambassador said.
Aside from, Canada is also into tourism thrusts that assisted Bohol and the country. He said his country “is supporting your tourism infrastructure through programs to train those working in tourism sector.”
Inluded in the said assistance were the Local Government Support Program for Local Economic Develoment and the Tourism Competitiveness Assistance Project with Asican Development Bank, he said. The said program “helps develop micro-tourism projects that were successful today like the Bohol Children’s Choir, the Bohol Bee Farm and Loboc River Cruises.”
The Philippines “is one of only 25 countries of focus of our development cooperation programs and we are very active in programs to generate jobs and economic growth and to reduce poverty throughout the country,” Reeder pointed out.
He thanked the Rotary of Canada and Rotary World Help through Elena Agala who took the initiative in organizing the medical-dental mission that started last week and would terminate sometime next week.
The Philippines, he said, is the third largest sources “for new Canadians” with some 30,000 permanent residents and 50,000 working in Canada with temporary labor permits.