Linkapil: A Partnership for National Development
The unprecedented movement of human resources across national boundaries in the last several decades has led to a vision of borderless community of Filipinos whose collective strength of over eight million can help fuel growth and development in the Philippine economy. While many have gone to live or work in other countries, with some eventually acquiring other citizenship, Filipinos overseas continue to maintain ties in the Philippines, and pursue an active interest and involvement in the future of the country.
Deeply inspired by the promise of this vision, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas designed the Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (also known as Link for Philippine Development Program) or LINKAPIL Program in 1989. LINKAPIL seeks a broader and deeper partnership between Filipinos overseas and Filipinos in the home country to advance the collective good of the Filipino people and to realize national development. Literally LINKAPIL "service to fellow Filipinos," provides means for the transfer of various forms of resources from Filipinos overseas to support small-scale, high-impact projects to address the country's social and economic development needs.
The LINKAPIL Program is designed to facilitate the transfer of various forms of assistance from Filipinos or other donors overseas to support projects in livelihood development, education, health and welfare, small-scale infrastructure, and technology and skills transfer.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
LINKAPIL provides a system for overseas Filipinos who desire to serve their fellow Filipinos by supporting numerous activities and projects in the Philippines. It intends to facilitate the flow of assistance from overseas to specific beneficiaries in the Philippines.
The LINKAPIL Program aims to:
- Enhance participation among overseas Filipinos in the national development efforts;
- Provide a mechanism for better coordination and feedback among overseas donors, government agencies and beneficiaries;
- Promote awareness and understanding of existing procedures and guidelines for the processing of donations from abroad;
- Promote confidence among overseas donors through effective and responsive monitoring and feedback mechanism; and
- Espouse genuine collaborative partnerships between overseas Filipinos and those in the Philippine homeland in accordance with national development objectives.
The LINKAPIL Program relies on cooperative linkages among Filipinos overseas, a national government, local government units, non-government organizations, and a private sector to enable the transfer of resources and skills from overseas to beneficiaries in the Philippines.
The LINKAPIL Program stakeholders and their respective roles are as follows:
OVERSEAS DONORS / SPONSORS
- Provide financial, material or technical support directly to the beneficiaries or through the CFO
- Identify or select the project(s) and localities in the Philippines where assistance will be provided
- Identify local counterparts in the selected locality who will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the project
- Conduct, in coordination with CFO, inspection of project sites
COMMISSION ON FILIPINOS OVERSEAS
- Serve as the principal conduit between overseas donors and local beneficiaries of the project
- Identify or recommend to overseas donors, projects that can be undertaken in various localities in the Philippines
- Coordinate with government agencies that can provide project support services
- Identify possible local counterparts who have the capability to deliver obligations in the implementation of the project
- Arrange the transfer of resources from sponsoring Filipino groups overseas to the local counterpart or beneficiaries
- Assist in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects
- Submit, on a regular basis, feedback on the status or progress of projects to the donor
PHILIPPINE EMBASSIES / CONSULATES
- Engage the overseas Filipino community as a direct partner in mobilizing human and financial resources to promote development projects/activities in the Philippines
- Assist overseas donors in identifying projects in the Philippines
- Promote unity among Filipino and foreign organizations and individuals to support and achieve development objectives
GOVERNMENT AGENCIES / LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS
- Assist members of the community in identifying projects, and formulation of feasibility studies and proposals
- Provide technical assistance or training as may be required in the project implementation, to recipients of development assistance
- Coordinate and facilitate the transfer and release of goods and services to beneficiaries
- Participate in regular consultations and dialogues among other government agencies to discuss and address issues and concerns in sending and receiving overseas donations, and devise ways in improving the donation process
LOCAL COUNTERPARTS / NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS
- Receive resource / assistance directly from overseas donors or through CFO
- Assist in identifying development projects in their community, as well as potential beneficiaries
- Coordinate with relevant government and other agencies for the conduct of training programs and other technical requirements for projects supported under the LINKAPIL Program
- Conduct regular supervision, monitoring, and evaluation during the project duration
- Prepare and submit to CFO periodic progress reports on project implementation and evaluation
- Identify projects that are feasible in their locality / community
- Receive financial and other forms of assistance directly from sponsoring associations overseas, through the CFO, or through the local counterpart identified by the overseas donor
- Provide CFO, directly or through the counterpart, with regular updates on the status of the projects
Less developed communities, underprivileged and marginalized sectors, calamity victims, disabled and elderly, non-government organizations and foundations, educational institutions, and hospitals are among the possible beneficiaries or partners under the LINKAPIL Program.
LINKAPIL COORDINATION PROCEDURES
- Filipino Association or individual overseas signifies intention to donate and submit the necessary documents to the Philippine Embassy / Consulate
- Philippine Embassy authenticates the donation documents and transmits to the CFO.
- CFO coordinates with concerned agencies / consignee
- CFO endorses requests to concerned agency for duty-free importation, if deemed necessary
- DOF processes request for duties exemption and endorses to BOC upon approval
- BOC processes the release of donations
- Consignee/Beneficiaries receives assistance and submit utilization report to CFO
The LINKAPIL Program contributes to the national development by providing opportunities for donors overseas to support projects aimed at uplifting Filipino communities and individuals in need.
Overseas donors may support the education of Filipino children and youth interested to go to school but are hindered by poverty. Assistance to education projects may be done through the following:
- LINKAPIL's Adopt-A-Scholar Project offers an opportunity for associations or individuals abroad to establish scholarship grants or endowment funds in identified public schools/colleges or to provide financial assistance to disadvantaged but scholastically qualified students.
- Donation of books and other educational materials, such as computers, science laboratory equipment and classroom facilities, to public schools and community learning centers.
Donors may channel their assistance directly to state colleges and universities in the Philippines or accredited and licensed non-government organizations, which will serve as the fund manager of the scholarship grant. The CFO will serve as conduit between the donors and the beneficiaries to ensure proper disbursement of project funds and monitoring the progress of scholars.
The "Tulong-Pangkabuhayan" Program seeks to help improve socio-economic conditions in the countryside by encouraging the establishment of small-scale or alternative income-generating activities, and fostering the concept of self-help among members of the community. Assistance to livelihood projects may be achieved through any of the following:
- Grant of capital fund or capitalization to a specified beneficiary.
- Donation of equipment or resources needed to start or sustain livelihood projects or to improve productivity and income; and
- Provision of low-interest bearing loans to registered cooperatives and organizations. Repayment schemes for the loans would be arranged in cooperation with a local bank.
Donations may be directed to local communities and barangays, non-government organizations and cooperatives. Donors may also provide support to existing community livelihood program initiatives of local government sectors.
HEALTH AND WELFARE
The "Tulong-Pangkalusugan" Program promotes health care among Filipinos especially in rural and poor areas. The program enables indigent groups, i.e., orphans, street children, elderly, and disabled, to have greater access to health services and social benefits. Assistance are the following forms:
- Conduct of medical or surgical missions to provide free services and medicines to patients;
Note: Former Filipino citizens who have previously passed licensure examinations in the Philippines may practice their respective professions in the country pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 541. Foreign professionals who wish to practice their professions in the Philippines need to secure temporary special permits from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC). Please refer to Annexes A and B for the procedures and requirements in the renewal of professional licenses for former Filipino citizens and in requesting for temporary special permits from the PRC.
- Donation of medical supplies and equipment to government and private (primary and secondary) hospitals duly accredited by the Department of Health;
- Provision of relief assistance to areas hit by calamities or natural disasters in the form of cash donations, food and other basic necessities in cooperation with humanitarian agencies and non-government organizations licensed and accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development;
- Sponsorship for the establishment of Feeding / Soup Kitchen projects to improve condition of malnourished children in depressed communities and educate their parents on proper nutrition; and
- Funding support or provision of medicines for campaigns / drives against common but fatal diseases (i.e., tuberculosis, malaria, dengue fever) in coordination with public health offices, local medical societies, foundations and other non-government organizations.
Overseas donors may sponsor the construction of facilities needed for the improvement of day-to-day life. Assistance to underserved communities may be coursed through any of the following projects:
- The "Tubig ay Yaman" (Water is Wealth) Project aims to provide potable water supply to areas with limited access to such resources through construction of water facilities such as artesian and deep wells, manual or electric pumps, and water tanks;
- The Classroom for the Barrios or "Tahanan ng Kaalaman" Project seeks to assist in improving the public educational system by encouraging overseas donors to fund construction of additional classrooms in public schools with critical classroom needs; and
- Donation of materials, and volunteer or bayanihan work for the construction of small-scale infrastructure projects such as low-cost housing, health and livelihood centers, libraries, day-care centers, and latrines, among others.
Beneficiaries may include schools, barangays and other institutional populations which have little or no access to funding from national or local sources. Donors may also choose to direct their assistance to institutions that cater to basic infrastructure needs of the society, such as the Classroom Galing sa Mamamayang Filipino Abroad (CGMA) Project, Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity. The CFO, on behalf of the donors, will coordinate with the identified beneficiaries to implement the project.
TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY
This program aims to facilitate the transfer of skills and knowledge to government agencies, local academe and communities through the volunteer services of overseas Filipino experts in science and technology, education, agriculture and other fields crucial to development. Interested parties can inquire from the CFO about assistance in any of the following:
- Conduct of training/seminar-workshops in various fields of expertise; and
- Extension of volunteer service in government and non-government agencies, or rural communities.
Link to LINKAPIL website: http://www.cfo-linkapil.org.ph/new/