Mr. Speaker, Mabuhay.
June 12 marks Philippines Independence Day. Throughout the weekend, Filipinos in my riding of North Vancouver will be celebrating the 117th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence with delicious food, lively music, dancing and vibrant cultural presentations.
Canada has strong bilateral ties with the Philippines. We share a mutual commitment to democracy, good governance, rule of law, peace and human rights. Canadians played a leading role following the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 by giving more than $85 million in eligible donations, which were then matched by our government. These donations helped international aid organizations provide life-saving water, food and medicine on the ground. Our Canadian Forces disaster response team was integral in providing much-needed sanitation and logistical support.
In 2014, our government was proud to make the Philippines one of 25 countries of focus in our international development efforts. On this happy occasion, I want to wish all of my Filipino friends Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan.