Iloilo City, Philippines – The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) in partnership with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) – Region VI successfully launched theCapacity Building on the Development and Use of LocalizedBaLinkBayanPortalon November 25-26, 2015 at Amigo Terrace Hotel, Iloilo City.
The two-day training wasattended by Migration and Development (M&D) focal persons, investment officers and IT/web developers from four (4) provinces (Iloilo, Antique, Guimaras, and Aklan), two (2) cities (Iloilo City and Passi City), and seven (7) municipalities (Kalibo, San Jose de Buenavista, Sta. Barbara, Oton, Jordan, Tangalan, and Lambunao). The event was s supported by Mrs. Griengo-Mabilog, Iloilo City’s M&D Champion, as well as Engr. Altura, Chief Economic Development Specialist – NEDA Region VI. Theyset the tone for the regional forum through their opening remarks.
Through the collaboration of these stakeholders, the capacity building aims to introduce the one-stop on-line portal for Overseas Filipinos’ Diaspora Engagement called:BaLinkBayanand to train the participants on how to utilize the portal as a tool to promote M&D programs in their respective areas.
In line with this objective, the plenary sessions focused on three core topics: 1)Orientation on the link between M&D initiatives and localizedBalinkbayanportal such as facilitating diaspora philanthropy and investment, as well as ensuring an accessible, reliable, affordable and real-time information dissemination and communication platform between overseas Filipinos and local governments; 2) the use ofBaLinkBayanas the virtual Migration Resource Center (MRC) in the targeted LGUs; and 3) the specific technical content (priority M&D programs, vetted information, source, updating process, responding to requests and feedback, etc.) and technology (data and web structure and connectivity) requirements and processes for the localizedBaLinkBayan.
The workshop was concluded through the presentation of work planfor the implementation ofBaLinkBayanper LGU in 2016 -- that will be integrated in their local development plans, as initiated by the Migration and Development Initiative for Western Visayas (MDI-WV). Supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), MDI-WV strives to enable local government units (LGU) to include M & D in their local development plans and investment programs, the formation of local migration and development councils or committees, and the establishment of one-stop migrants resource centers, among others.
With the completion of MDI-WV’s capacity building training, the CFO with the Regional Development Council VI thru NEDA VI, as the regional implementing partner, hopes to sustain the momentum towards the full integration of M & D at the local level through the localization ofBaLinkBayanportal. It will serve as the LGU’s web-based platform for their M & D initiatives.
The CFO launchedBaLinkBayan: the Overseas Filipinos’ One Stop Online Portal for Diaspora Engagementin 2013. The portal is designed to promote and support the channeling of remittances to more development-oriented activities. It encourages overseas Filipinos towards investments, entrepreneurship, needs-based donation, volunteerism in their homeland.
With the success of the regional training in Western Visayas, the CFO is set to implement the next capacity building in Northern Mindanao on December 15-17, 2015 in Cagayan De Oro City.
Press Release submitted by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas
Date of Press Release: 1 December 2015