Secretary Francisco “Nick” Acosta of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas touch-based with the Filipino community in Guam from May 3-4, 2019, as part of the Commission’s UGNAYAN series and mandate to strengthen ties with Filipino communities abroad and bring its services closer to the migrants. Guam is a territory of the no. 1 major destination country of Filipino emigrants – the US. Filipinos are among the biggest ethnic group in Guam, comprising about 1/3 of the small island’s total population.
Sec. Francisco Acosta with ConGen Marciano de Borja and officers of the Philippine Consulate
Secretary Acosta paid a courtesy visit with Consul General Marciano de Borja of the Philippine Consulate General of Agana, and met with government officials that include Governor Carl Gutierrez, Senators Clynton E. Ridgell and Telo T. Taitague, and Economic Officer-in-Charge Ed Camacho.
Sec. Francisco Acosta with Gov. Carl Gutierrez, local and international businessman Dioceldo Sy, and Economic Officer in Charge Ed Camacho
He had fruitful meetings with Fil-com leaders at Guam International Country Club and at the Official Residence of the Consul General in Jonestown, Tamuning, where he relayed President Rodrigo Duterte’s thrust to improve economic opportunities for every Filipino so that migration can become just an option and not a necessity. He also discussed the flagship programs of the CFO for the Filipino diaspora. These include the PESO Sense – Financial Freedom Campaign for Overseas Filipinos; BaLinkBayan – Overseas Filipinos’ One-Stop Online Portal; Youth Leaders in the Diaspora or YouLead; Anti-human trafficking initiatives; and the soon-to be launched CFO “BaLinkBayani” Card – a privilege card for overseas Filipinos.
He also urged the Fil-com to raise their issues and concerns, which the government can address through CFO. He shared that recently, the CFO and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines inked an agreement to expand legal assistance services, especially to distressed migrants. This is another helpline for Filipino nationals abroad who need assistance.
Recognizing the significant contributions of overseas Filipinos to national and local development in the Philippines and in promoting the welfare of their kababayans in their host countries, Sec. Acosta also encouraged them to join the upcoming Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas, the highest awards conferred by the government to migrants. He promised that for the next awarding ceremonies in Malacañang, more awardees will be honored especially from countries and territories with a high concentration of Filipinos.
And given the on-going overseas voting period, he also encouraged them to exercise their right to suffrage and choose the senatorial candidates and party-list groups that could best represent and work for their interest and welfare.
Sec. Francisco Acosta with the Filipino Community of Guam
Sec. Acosta also participated in the groundbreaking ceremony led by Laser Technologies Pacific for the construction of single family homes at the Windward Hills Golf Course in Yona.
The official visit of Sec. Acosta to Guam renewed partnerships of the Commission with the Fil-com and the foreign service post, and is expected to usher in more active participation and engagement in the various programs for the Filipino diaspora.