The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) formally launched BaLinkBayan – Overseas Filipinos’ One Stop Online Portal for Diaspora Engagement, which could now be accessed by more than 10 million Filipinos in the diaspora. A quip on the Filipino words balikbayan (a returning overseas Filipino), BaLinkBayan is a means to connect Filipino individuals and communities to the Philippines and their hometowns through the Diaspora to Development (D2D) program of the CFO.
Mr. Raul Alcantara of the CFO gave an overview of the BaLinkBayan, highlighting that the program promotes and supports diaspora-driven initiatives such as investment, philanthropy, and technology and skills transfer. During the launching, freebies such as BaLinkBayan USBs, ballpens, keychains, and notepads, were given to lucky participants who liked the BaLinkBayan Facebook page.
The portal is an inter-agency undertaking with partners from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Health, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Interior and Local Government, Nation Competitive Council, National Anti-Poverty Commission, Professional Regulation Commission, Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, City Government of Naga and others. With the yearly downpour of billions of remittances which form an integral part of our economy, this web-based portal seeks to reroute this remittances and donations, for the inclusive and sustainable growth that can serve as catalysts to fuel Philippine economic development.