Filipinos in Edmonton Unhappy Over Lack of Consular Support
About 500 Filipinos and supporters have signed an online petition asking for the upgrade of the consular office in Edmonton from a mere honorary consular presence, according to a report by CBC.ca.
Some members of the local Filipino community laments the consular office is not performing its job properly.
“It’s really a reflection of the frustration our community, particularly the Filipino community,” said Marco Luciano, the director of Migrante Alberta, an organization that supports temporary foreign workers.
Unlike many Philippine consular offices across the globe, the office in Edmonton is reportedly run by volunteers, is open only three times a week and operates only four hours. As an honorary consular office, it cannot accept passport applications.
The nearest official Philippine consular office is in Vancouver, about 1,160 kilometers away from Edmonton.
“Currently the Filipinos here need to go to Vancouver to spend hundred of hundreds of dollars just to get a passport, a $69 passport,” Luciano said. He also laments the limited hours become a problem for those traveling great distances from Edmonton such as Fort McMurray or the North, many of whom arrive when office is already closed.
Luciano said his group has been lobbying for the creation of an official consular office in Edmonton.
“We need a better consular service in Alberta immediately in the light of the recent removal of temporary foreign workers,” he said.