Jul 20, 2024

Five candidates of Filipino heritage won their respective bids for council and school board seats in the recently concluded municipal elections in B.C. on October 15, 2022.

This has been the most number of posts won by Canadian Filipinos in the history of local elections in the province.

They are Maita Santiago, city council, Burnaby; Lailani Tumaneng, school board, City of North Vancouver; Rod Belleza, school board, Richmond; Edwin Empinado, city council, Kitimat; and Gregg Apolonio, city council, Dawson Creek.

Santiago was born in the Philippines, and is a mother of two, small business owner, and a long-time resident of Burnaby.

Santiago has worked as constituency assistant of provincial politician Mable Elmore, who represents Vancouver-Kensington in the legislative assembly.

Elmore is the first Filipino to be elected as Member of the Legislative Assembly of B.C.

Tumaneng, who won a seat in the school board of North Vancouver, is a nurse by profession.

Tumaneng immigrated to Canada from the Philippines in 1994.

Belleza previously served two terms from 2008 to 2014 in the Richmond school board.

Belleza was a lawyer in the Philippines. He came to Canada in 1980.

Empinado was re-elected to a new term in Kitimat. The Kitimat councillor immigrated to Canada to work as a nurse.

Apolonio won his first term as councillor in Dawson Creek. He is the president of the Kalipi Filipino Canadian Association.

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