EDMONTON, Canada – For quite a good number of years, Filipinos in Western Canada have to fly to Vancouver to have their passports renewed.
That would mean air fare, hotel and food expense and everybody knows that if you’ll be in Vancouver, it won’t be cheap.
Three years ago, Migrante Alberta, Alpha Phi Omega Alumni Association in Calgary, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association(CIWA)–Filipino Community Development Program and Kabisig Society of Fort Saskatchewan leaders campaigned for the establishment of a permanent consular office in Alberta, home to an estimated 100,000 Filipinos, either temporary foreign workers(TFWs), permanent residents(PRs)or Canadian citizens who retained their Philippine citizenship.
“There’s a growing need to have a permanent office in Alberta. With the unprecedented number of Filipinos coming in the province particularly temporary workers, having a career consul is urgent,” said Marco Luciano, Migrante Alberta spokesperson in a press statement.
“Having an office in Alberta also reduces the burden of the consulate office in Vancouver,” he said.
Last year, Filipinos no longer have to go to Vancouver and instead will just have to go to Calgary.
The new Philippine Consulate General’s Office is located at Suite 930, 617-10th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, just a few hours by Greyhound bus, three from Edmonton and an hour or two from neighbouring towns where there’s always a Filipino worker or family residing.
Julius D. Torres is the appointed Consul General.
Filipinos in Edmonton led by Benjamin Lindo also initiated a Consular Outreach Program last November hosting Torres and his staff who served Filipinos on their passport renewal, NBI clearance needs.
“We will help in whatever capacity we can, specially etong passport renewal,” said Lindo, originally from Agusan Province and currently leader of the Duterte Volunteers Group in Alberta Province.
He said Filipinos can save a lot of money, even up to a $1,000 if they each time to Vancouver, since going to Calgary or attending the outreach event in Edmonton is accessible by bus.