March 1, 2023 - On February 21, the government of Canada accepted the nomination of career diplomat Maria Andrelita Austria as Philippine Ambassador to Canada.
She will be moving to Ottawa soon to assume the post to which she was nominated by the Philippine government in December last year.
The ambassadorship is a momentous milestone in her long career in public service and international affairs which started after she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Maryknoll College in the Philippines in 1986. Then she obtained a post-graduate diploma in International Relations and Development from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, the Netherlands.
“I was in college when the Filipino people came together in what became known as People Power,” Ambassador Austria recalled. “As an active participant in that effort, I was very much aware that overthrowing a dictatorship was the easy part, but the task of rebuilding the country would be arduous. I joined government in August 1986, a few months after earning my bachelor’s degree, inspired by the desire to help rebuild the nation.” The People Power Revolution, also known as the EDSA Revolution or the February Revolution, was a series of popular demonstrations in the Philippines, mostly in Metro Manila, from February 22 to 25, 1986.
Before coming to Vancouver as Philippine Consul General in 2018, Ambassador Austria spent four years as Assistant Secretary for American Affairs at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila from June 2014 to mid-June 2018. From 2009 to 2014, she worked at the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C, initially serving as political officer, and eventually as deputy chief of mission. She also worked at the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco from 1996 to 2002.
For her significant contributions to the Philippine Foreign Service, she was conferred the Presidential Order of Lakandula with the rank of Officer by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She has also been bestowed the Gawad Mabini Award by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs with the rank of Dakilang Kasugo. In 2016, she received the Presidential Medal of Merit from President Benigno S. Aquino lll.