Centre Block, Parliament Hill
Ottawa, Canada
8 May 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III and Prime Minister Stephen Harper witnessed the signing of three documents that hope to bring positive outcomes in the areas of occupational health, development cooperation and trade and investment for Philippines and Canada.

Signed by Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo and International Trade Minister Edward Fast, the first document is a Letter of Intent between the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada and the Department of Trade and Industry of The Republic of the Philippines on Bilateral Cooperation on Trade and Investment. It aims to strengthen a long-standing trade and investment relationship by pursuing exploratory discussions on the feasibility of a mutually beneficial and comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA); reviewing the existing Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments, done at Manila on 9 November 1995; and exploring projects and activities under the Canadian Trade and Development Facility in providing trade-related technical assistance benefitting micro-small-and-medium enterprises.

The second document, signed by National Economic and Development Authority Director General Arsenio Balisacan and International Development Minister Christian Paradis, is the Mutual Accountability Framework for Development Cooperation between the Government of the Philippines and the Government of Canada (2015-2020).

It aims to make available programs, projects and activities that will create employment, significantly reduce vulnerabilities to poverty, and improve the quality of life of all Filipinos. The agreement calls both sides to be accountable to their respective citizens through their Governments for their contributions to Philippine economic and social development.

There is also the commitment to have an accountable, transparent and effective governance to ensure that resources are effectively and efficiently used for the delivery of public goods and services.

The third is a Memorandum Of Understanding on Occupational Safety and Health between the Department of Labour and Employment of the Republic of the Philippines and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. It was signed by Philippine Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and CCOHS President and CEO Dr. Steve Horvath.

The MOU aims to develop and implement programs and activities to create safer workplaces and ensure the well-being of workers in both countries in accordance with their existing laws and regulations.

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