BALINKBAYAN: OVERSEAS FILIPINOS' ONE STOP ONLINE PORTAL FOR DIASPORA ENGAGEMENT
With the steady inflow of remittances to the Philippines and the growing awareness of its potential for sustenance and development, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) recognized the need to establish BaLinkBayan: Overseas Filipinos' One Stop Online Portal for Diaspora Engagement. The term BaLinkBayan is a play on the Filipino words balikbayan (returning migrant), balik (return), bayan (country) and the English word “link”. As a portal for diaspora engagement, it seeks to bring together 10.24 million Filipinos overseas into an integrated and comprehensive platform that taps into their knowledge, expertise, skills, networks, material and financial resources to contribute to the development of the Philippines. It links OFs to development-oriented diaspora initiatives in the Philippines and provides options to avail of business and investment opportunities at the national level and in their respective hometowns, to automated transaction processes at the LGU level.
Features of the BaLinkBayan portal:
- The START A BUSINESS page assists overseas Filipinos to be an entrepreneur.
- The DONATE AND VOLUNTEER page encourages them to share their financial resources and skills with fellow countrymen in need.
- The ACCESS GOVERNMENT ONLINE SERVICES page links to national government agencies, while it pilot tests local government services.
- The VIEW INTERACTIVE MAPS page contains a visual guide to every town or region’s local products, business competitiveness index, classroom shortages, and poverty threshold.
The portal is an inter-agency undertaking spearheaded by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) with the following partners: Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Competitiveness Council (NCC), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN), City Government of Naga (CGN), and others.
It is continually being developed and enhanced as new features and services become available. The public is encouraged to join the Forum to share their feedback and views. In line with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016, BaLinkBayan serves as the perfect platform to ensure better services for the overseas Filipino. BaLinkBayan’s long-term objective is to attain inclusive and sustainable growth driven by the collective strength of overseas Filipinos that can have a catalytic effect on Philippine economic development.