CFO launches one stop portal for Pinoys abroad

Posted at 12/29/2013 12:40 PM | Updated as of 12/29/2013 1:03 PM
screen grab of the BaLinkBayan website

MANILA – Filipinos overseas are known to quickly respond to any crisis may it be within the family, the community or the country as a whole.

This generosity that they take upon themselves as their duty as Filipinos became more evident when the country, particularly central Philippines, was battered by super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan). Donations both in cash and kind were sent through various ways to help their families and kababayans affected by the calamity.

However, not all Filipinos who work abroad get to invest for their future return to the country. Many have come home as empty-handed as before they left for work abroad.

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) wants to help Filipinos abroad save up for their future, donate and transact with government agencies while overseas.

"Habang nandoon pa po kayo saan mang bayan, ini-encourage na namin kayo na magtayo ng sariling negosyo ngayon pa lang. Maaring hindi po kayo mismo, o gawin niyo para sa inyong kamag anak," said Raul Alcantara of the CFO.

Alcantara presented last week the BaLinkBayan program of the CFO, a one stop online Portal for diaspora engagement during the International Migrants Day celebration.

The CFO said BaLinkBayan aims to strengthen partnerships between overseas Filipinos and local communities, to achieve sustainable and long-term development of rural and urban localities, toward an economically prosperous Philippines.

The BaLinkBayan portal (http://balinkbayan.gov.ph), gives Filipinos abroad a comprehensive guide for engaging in the development of the Philippines through opportunities in investments, philanthropy, technology expertise and skills exchange, and special government services.

"Iba't-ibang serbisyo ng iba't-ibang government agencies at private organizations na nakatugon sa overseas Filipinos para mag invest, mag donate, mag volunteer," said Alcantara.

In the "Invest" page, the portal assists overseas Filipinos to be an entrepreneur. The "Donate" and the "Volunteer" pages encourage them to share their fortune and skills with kababayans in need. The "Online Services" page links to national government agencies, while it pilot tests local government services.

He added, "Sa online services po namin may serbisyo ng national government agencies saka local government units kung saan sila ang tutulong doon sa itatayo nyong negosyo o kung gusto nyo man mag volunteer sa iba't-ibang mission na kailangan ng communities," Alcantara said.

Alcantara encouraged Filipinos and their families to spread the word about he BaLinkBayan portal.

"So far, sa loob ng 60 days, ang bumisita na po sa amin ay 1,643. Kailangan namin ng tulong ninyo. Sabihin nyo sa mga kamag-anak, kaibigan niyo. Bisitahin nyo kami sa Facebook at nasa Twitter din kami,' he said.