Secretary of National Defense (SND) Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. met H.E. David Bruce Hartman, Ambassador of Canada to the Philippines and Commander Meghan Coates, Commander of HMCS Vancouver during the envoy’s courtesy call at the Department of National Defense (DND) on October 4, 2023.
Secretary Teodoro welcomed the visit to the Philippines of HMCS Vancouver, which is set to participate in the humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR), particularly in the Search and Rescue (SAR) Training component of Exercise SAMASAMA 2023, an annual joint naval exercise between the Philippines and the United States. Commander Coates conveyed that the crew is happy to be in the country, and looks forward to the upcoming activity.
Ambassador Hartman highlighted the increase in engagements between the Philippines and Canada since his last courtesy call on the SND on August 4, 2023. He further expressed that Canada, as a stalwart of international order, remains committed to supporting the rules-based order of the Indo-Pacific region, and is looking towards broadening the scale of interoperability between the Philippine Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy.
Furthermore, both sides expressed their strong and resolute commitment to enhancing Philippines-Canada bilateral defense relations with the purpose of maintaining peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.
The DND Secretary also took the opportunity to award Colonel Stewart Taylor, outgoing Canadian Non-Resident, Defense Attachè to the Philippines, the first-ever SND Plaque of Merit given to a Foreign Armed Forces Attachè for his extraordinary and outstanding performance.
Secretary Teodoro remarked that Colonel Taylor was highly instrumental in advancing Philippines-Canada defense cooperation, and recognized his active role in accelerating the finalization of the proposed Philippines-Canada Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation.
Canada will post its first resident defense attaché to the Philippines beginning in October 2023.