Malacañang on Saturday welcomed Canada’s inclusion of the Philippines on its list of development countries of focus that will be priority beneficiaries of its international development assistance program. Other countries on this year’s list include Burma, Mongolia, Burkina Faso, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Jordan. Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda over state-run dzRB radio said many international partners have also pledged assistance to the Philippines since they could easily see how the government puts it to good use. Lacierda recalled that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the Philippines in 2012. Harper pledged to increase Canadian investment in the country, cooperate on defense and trade, and commit to people-to-people exchanges between both countries.