LINGAYEN, Pangasinan January 17 – Aggressive in its aim to attain a systematized and comprehensive engagement with the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families, the provincial government will soon implement the “BaLinkbayan”, “Overseas Filipinos’ One-Stop Online Portal for Diaspora Engagement.”
The BaLinkbayan, a project of the national government, is designed by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), to which the provincial administration led by Governor Amado I. Espino, III is set to ink a memorandum of agreement following the endorsement of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP).
In its regular session held on January 16, the SP approved Provincial Resolution No. 353-2017 to authorize Gov. Espino in sealing the partnership between the CFO and the provincial government through the Provincial Employment Services Office (PESO) to implement the said e-governance project.
“The implementation of BaLinkbayan will boost further our migration and development initiatives,” PESO Manager Alex Ferrer said, as he pointed out that the database system for the e-governance project will be maintained by a unit in PESO specifically designated for OFW affairs.
Ferrer said that under the new provincial leadership, the Migration and Development council of the province is strengthened to cater the extensive promotion of socio-economic development among Pangasinenses, particularly the Overseas Filipinos and OFWs.
BaLinkbayan (www.balinkbayan.gov.ph) features include: start a business, donate and volunteer, access government online services and view interactive maps.
With the BaLinkbayan, Filipinos all over the world can now stay connected and get involved in diaspora-driven initiatives in entrepreneurship, investments, philanthrophy, technology and skills transfer.
The CFO, through the e-project, endeavors to provide mechanisms to effectively mainstream migration and development initiatives specific to local areas (province, cities and towns).
This project was pilot-tested in 2013 in Cagayan De Oro, Ilocos Norte and Naga. This year, BaLinkbayan is expanded to 10 other local government units including Pangasinan.
By Dexter A. See