18 April 2023– Officers from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) headed by Secretary Romulo “Leo” V. Arugay attended the MOA Signing with the Municipality of Cordova and the Capacity Building Activities for the BaLinkBayan Project at the Cordova Home Village in Cordova, Cebu.
The event started with the MOA signing between Sec. Leo Arugay and Municipal Mayor Cesar “Didoy” E. Suan. Vice Mayor Boyet Tago III and Dir. Marita Del Rosario-Apattad served as the witnesses for the MOA signing. The event was also graced by the LGU’s municipal councilors, other members of the Sangguniang Bayan, and representatives from key offices of Cordova. After that, a computer set was donated by the Commission in order to help the Cordova LGU in the effective enrichment of their localized BaLinkBayan portal.
Mayor Suan then expressed his immense gratitude and appreciation of Sec. Arugay and CFO for actively seeking LGUs in the Visayas region, particularly Cordova, in order to cascade national government efforts in support of overseas Filipinos and the families they leave behind. He expressed his hope for a fruitful and collaborative partnership for BaLinkBayan and other future initiatives of the Commission.
After that, Sec. Arugay also expressed his gratitude to Mayor Suan and the Cordova LGU for graciously welcoming his delegation and for agreeing to a partnership. He expressed his mission to involve LGUs more in order to provide a better platform for migrants to avail of the services of the national government. He expressed his hope that the localized portal of Cordova will serve as a platform for the constant engagement of the LGU and its constituents.
Ms. Marie Linda L. Santos of the Project Management Division (PMD) provided an overview of the BaLinkBayan Project and how it can help LGUs better reach out to migrants and their families, as well as, how it can be used for the different projects and initiatives that can help the continuous growth of the local community.
For the afternoon session, Dir. Marita Apattad discussed the concept of Migration & Development (M&D) and how LGUs can develop their policies in accordance with the current policy of the national government. She also discussed the current trends, the challenges, and the social costs of migration and how LGUs can help support prospective migrants and families. To close, she discussed ways on how the benefits of migration can be maximized and how overseas Filipinos can be tapped to be continuous development partners at the local level.
The participants were then separated into two groups for the Capacity Building Activities. Ms. Marie Linda Santos facilitated the Data Gathering activity that aims to collate pertinent information and key personnel of the Cordova LGU. They will be instrumental in the development of the information that will be found on the Cordova localized BaLinkBayan website.
On the other hand, Ms. Marjorie Aboga of the Management Information Systems Division (MISD) facilitated the Web Management Training. She helped information technology personnel of Cordova LGU so that they can be familiarized with the concepts and procedures of updating their localized website.
To formally end the activity, Municipal Attorney, Atty. Christian Lulu Kong thanked the Commission as they had learned a lot about Migration from the earlier activities. He promised that Cordova LGU will be an active partner of the Commission for the BaLinkBayan project and will offer support whenever it is needed. That night, a post-assessment meeting was conducted at Minnan Restaurant together with key officials from the Cordova LGU.
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