Newly designated Philippine Ambassador to Canada the Honourable Rodolfo D. Robles wants to focus on the Credentials, Exchange & Scholarship (CES) program as his primary mission to help Filipinos in Canada.
In our recent interview with Ambassador Robles on our weekly program The Fourth Estate on Tala Luvz Radio Worldwide, which airs every Friday from 8:30 to 9:30 pm, he shared what his plans are for Filipinos in Canada.
For the benefit of those who do not really understand the mandate of the Embassy, Robles explains that “under the Philippine Constitution, there is a mandate to ensure our independent foreign policy which includes 3 pillars. The first is to secure our National Security, the second is to enhance or stabilize our economic stability, and the third is to care for the welfare of the Filipinos”. To Robles, the welfare of Filipinos here in Canada are also important.
As a land of immigrants, Canada has welcomed about 1 Million Filipinos and this number continues to grow.
“In my first three months here I have met with a lot of Filipino leaders all across Canada virtually because of the current situation but I realized that they live a very busy life, some of them working, others are restaurant owners and some of them are in the technology sector and have greatly contributed and have become an important part of the Canadian Economy, and I am very proud of their performance. As for Trade, there is a joint committee between the Philippines and Canada where they will discuss the Free Trade Agreement of the two Countries,” says Ambassador Robles.
For so many years, the issue of Professional Credentials being recognized has not been resolved. We asked Ambassador Robles what plans he has to close the gap so that Filipino doctors, nurses, and engineers who come to Canada can be recognized in their field of expertise.
“You know Nicky, that is the most import question you have asked me today. I think that will be my Principal Objective and Mission before I leave my post as Ambassador. As I go around I learned of many doctors who are working as nurses and nurses working as caregivers. This is a very important problem that needs to be addressed. Let me tell you my personal approach to this. Right now, we are doing the groundwork to this for what I call #CES, (Credentials, Exchange & Scholarship). Right now we have scholarships going on and we have asked our Post in Calgary, Vancouver and Other offices to gather information on Universities offering scholarships, which is a very limited number. This way we can work out an exchange student program between the Philippines and Canada. Politically this is not done by the Federal Government but by the Provincial Government and has to be negotiated with different Provinces and Universities.
This will be done from university to university and there are already scholars studying in Canada from the Philippines, and vice versa. My Goal is to reach out to every Province in Canada to establish the relationship with the Universities here and in the Philippines for Scholarship & Exchange Student Programs. As for the issue of credentials, Robles says his initial approach is to have a Quota. That is, an opening that allows our doctors, nurses and medical practitioners to be treated as such professionals. He adds, “I do not expect so many but if I could start with 15 doctors and 15 nurses in each province, then it would be a good start.”
I was really happy to hear this from our good Ambassador because I know a lot of you have been asking what the Philippine Government has been doing to help in this case. It is very clear that Ambassador Rodolfo D. Robles knows he has a good mission in his hands and that is to get Philippine credentials recognized not only in the medical field but eventually in all other fields. But before it can happen, the groundwork must be done and there is no question that our envoy is on the right target.