The increasing inflows of remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) served as one of the profound tenacities of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) to convert remittances to more sustainable productive channels through investment and entrepreneurship.
Government agencies may have published online business/investment opportunities and priority areas, yet there seem to be a gap between accessing information and utilizing it for productive use.
Thus in 2013, CFO launched the BaLinkBayan as the Overseas Filipinos’ one-stop online portal for diaspora engagement, offering an integrated and unique platform to re-engage with the Philippines through the so-called D2D (Diaspora to Development) program of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). A locally-funded national E-Government Project, the term BaLinkBayan is a play on the Filipino words Balikbayan (returning migrant), balik (return), bayan (country) and the English word “Link,” that refer to the World Wide Web.
Examples of the D2D programs that are parts of the portal are: diaspora philanthropy, medical mission coordination, doing business in the Philippines, tourism initiatives and investment for overseas Filipinos. The portal addresses the concerns of many migrants and their families in investing but would need information and directions to make their money work for them on a sustained basis as there is an absence of a developed government website portal for the purpose of assisting overseas Filipinos to invest in the Philippines.
One Stop Online Portal for Diaspora Engagement
It seeks to bring together 10.24 million Filipinos in the diaspora 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.
BaLinkBayan works at two levels. First, it links Overseas Filipinos (OFs) to development-oriented diaspora initiatives in the Philippines and second, it provides options for business and investment opportunities both at the national level and at their respective hometowns. The latter would link, among others, to automated transactional processes at the LGU level.
- Start a Business
The START A BUSINESS page assists overseas Filipinos to be an entrepreneur.
- Donate and Volunteer
The DONATE AND VOLUNTEER page encourage them to share their fortune and skills with fellow countrymen in need.
- Access Online Government Services
The ACCESS GOVERNMENT ONLINE SERVICES page links to natinal government agencies, while it pilot tests local government services.
BaLinkBayan seeks to provide overseas Filipinos with the most comprehensive online guide for engaging in the development of the Philippines through opportunities in investments, philanthropy, technology expertise and skills exchange, and special government services.
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.
Visit https://balinkbayan.gov.ph/ to learn more.