PHL Agri chief Piñol arriving for town hall meeting to hear concerns of Pinoys in Canada
By Yshmael Cabana
October 22, 2016
"It's an all Filipino question-and-answer program," said Daisy Garzon.
"He will be discussing about agriculture. For sure, everyone can listen to him and have the opportunity to ask questions or clarification on the matters of agriculture."
Garzon, who works as a caregiver in Toronto, volunteers as the group PICPM's secretary.
"If there's ample time, he can receive questions out of the topic. If not, you can write down your message and we will try that it will be given attention by the government," added Garzon.
Some Pinoys are looking forward to meet with the secretary.
"Perhaps I can share some experiences or suggestions," said Rey Juan, a Filipino Bramptonian.
Juan is a retired public servant with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
"I would like to see if there are possible bilateral talks between Canada and the Philippines around the agenda of agricultural development," Juan said.
The arrival of the agriculture chief is the first visit by a Cabinet official after Rodrigo Duterte became president of the Philippines in June this year.
In July, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay thanked Canada for the support for Duterte's efforts to pursue the peace process, with particular focus on socio-economic reforms. The secretary also affirmed the friendly relations of both countries.
Asked about their expectations in the gathering, PICPM board member Jonathan Modo shared that they are anticipating a huge number of participants.
"We want free flowing interaction. Then the most important questions be addressed by the dignitary himself," said Modo.
"It's good to bring up concerns. Like myself, I've been here for so long, we also have concerns," added Modo.
The town hall meeting is organized by PICPM, the group which held a campaign rally to support Duterte during the elections.
The Philippine delegation include Peter Tiu Laviña, former campaign spokesperson of Duterte and an advocate of federalism, and social media expert Andrei Natabio.
Registration is encouraged and admission is free. But seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the organizers.
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