CFO Forges Local Partnerships in Eastern Visayas, signs BaLinkBayan Memorandum of Agreement with Catbalogan City and Samar Province

21 March 2024 – In its effort to continuously mainstream migration and development at the local level and strengthen its ties with local government units (LGUs), the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) formalized two (2) BaLinkBayan partnerships with the City Government of Catbalogan and the Provincial Government of Samar on 13 and 14 March 2024.

The collaborations of the CFO with the 2 LGUs started in 2023. With the Community Education Program (CEP), the CFO’s nationwide information campaign, conducted in July, the CFO also met with the LGUs and offered to implement the BaLinkBayan Project in the respective localities. Aside from these, the CFO also held an Intermarriage Seminar on the Issues and Concerns of Filipinos on Intermarriage last September. This March 2024, the CFO further strengthened its ties with the LGUs by inking two (2) Memorandum of Agreements with them on the BaLinkBayan Project.


City Government of Catbalogan, 13 March 2024 (Wednesday)

On behalf of Secretary Romulo “Leo” V. Arugay, Head Executive Assistant Atty. Alma Royandoyan-Alli delivered the welcome remarks for the CFO. “I would like to take this opportunity to convey my utmost gratitude to the City Government of Catbalogan and its constituents for accepting the offer of the Commission of Filipinos Overseas for a partnership under the BaLinkBayan Project, all in pursuit of recognizing the catalytic contributions of Filipino migrants toward national development and aiding in the development of local governments by fostering avenues that cultivate the mutual development impacts of the flow of people, skills, knowledge, and remittances,” she said.


Meanwhile, Catbalogan City Mayor Dexter M. Uy highlighted that “the MOA signing and capacity building activities are crucial in strengthening ties with our kababayan abroad and starting collaborative projects. Let’s carry forward the spirit of cooperation as we leverage BaLinkBayan to benefit our city and its people,” he added.

The MOA Signing and Capacity-Building Activities were attended by 40 representatives from different offices within the LGU. The activities were held at City Division Function Hall, Brgy. Payao, Catbalogan City, Samar Province.

Provincial Government of Samar, 14 March 2024 (Thursday)

The event was graced by Governor Sharee Ann Tan, who delivered welcome remarks to the group and expressed her hope for more successful collaborations with the CFO following the Community Education Program (CEP) and the Intermarriage Seminar on the Issues and Concerns of Filipinos on Intermarriage last year.

This was followed by the opening remarks from Atty. Royandoyan-Alli. “Today’s MOA signing will only be the first step toward capacitating the local government to further strengthen its connections with overseas Filipinos and increasing the frequency of their engagements through a comprehensive one-stop online portal, the BaLinkBayan website,” she said.

65 LGU representatives actively participated in the MOA Signing and Capacity-Building Activities held at Tandaya Hall, Samar Provincial Capitol, Catbalogan, Samar Province.

Capacity Building Activities

The BaLinkBayan MOA signing activities for both LGUs were followed by the Project orientation conducted by Ms. Marianne Dayne Alcaraz from the CFO’s Project Management Division. She first introduced the CFO and its distinction from other migrant-serving agencies. She then discussed the concept of mainstreaming migration and development before she presented the BaLinkBayan Project and its phases in detail.

On the other hand, Ms. Patricia Marie Salvador, also from the CFO’s Project Management Division, facilitated the Data Gathering Workshop for the LGUs. The session aimed to gather pertinent data to incorporate into the localized BaLinkBayan portals of the LGUs, enable participants to introduce their migration-related programs and services, and instruct them on how to use their portals to promote migration and development programs in their areas.

Simultaneous to the workshop was the Website Management Training, which was attended particularly by representatives from the Information Technology Office of the LGUs. It was spearheaded by Ms. Ma. Auxilium Obispo II and Ms. Allyza Llabore. The training empowered website managers with technical and content-related skills in maintaining and updating the LGUs’ localized BaLinkBayan portals.


The BaLinkBayan Project was designed to highlight and promote the Philippine government’s services for overseas Filipinos. Specifically, it intends to serve as the go-to website for overseas Filipinos wishing to engage in activities in the Philippines abroad or planning to return to the Philippines.

Phase II of the Project saw the creation of dedicated localized portals tailored to the needs of LGUs for migrants and their families. To date, the CFO has partnered with fifty (50) LGUs in the Philippines, strongly facilitating migration and development at the local level.

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