(21 July 2022, Singapore) – The Philippine Embassy in Singapore was in full support of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) in the conduct of the CFO BaLinkBayan Forum 2022 on 16 July 2022 at the Philippine Bayanihan Center in Singapore. Held in coordination with the Philippine Bayanihan Society of Singapore (PBSS) and the Institute of Electronics Engineers in the Philippines – Singapore Chapter (IECEP-SG), the whole-day BaLinkBayan Forum was one of the first activities conducted in a hybrid format for the Filipino Community in Singapore after more than two (2) years.
Dr. Emmanuel R. Fernandez, Chargé d’ Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Singapore, opened the program by delivering the welcome remarks. “Before the pandemic, information technology was hardly maximized to make our lives better and make our ties stronger. Hence, this forum comes at an opportune time to help our Kababayans take advantage of technology to get reconnected with their families and their Filipino roots, and learn of the various investment and economic opportunities back home,” he said.
Onsite attendees during the BaLinkBayan Forum included representatives from various Filipino Community organizations in Singapore, while amost 200 participants attended the event virtually.
Among the topics discussed by the CFO were investment and business opportunities, philanthropic initiatives, and government services for Overseas Filipinos (OFs).
As a complement to Peso Sense, the flagship program under CFO’s Philippine Financial Freedom Campaign, CFO Director Mario Garcia conducted a financial literacy seminar featuring tips on saving money and investing in various assets. Peso Sense, aimed to improve the financial acumen of both OFs and their beneficiaries, is a collaborative project among CFO, Western Union Foundation, the Western Union Agents e–Business Inc. and Petnet Inc., and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Singapore-based recipients of the Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas (PAFIOO) 2021, Ms. Cristy M. Vicentina and Dr. Sheila A. Conejos, also shared with the participants their valuable experiences and insights in uplifting the lives of fellow Filipinos even while away from the Philippines. .
The BaLinkBayan is the OFs’ one-stop online portal for diaspora engagement, offering an integrated and unique platform for their re-engagement with the Philippines. It is also designed to highlight and promote the Philippine government’s services for OFs. Specifically, BaLinkBayan intends to serve as the go-to website of OFs wishing to engage in activities in the Philippines while abroad, or planning to go back to the Philippines. It aims to guide them and their families as they begin the process of reintegration or to enhance their socio-economic ties with the motherland.
Chargé d’ Affaires Emmanuel R. Fernandez (4th from left) received the Commission on Overseas Filipinos (CFO) officials during the CFO’s courtesy call a day before the CFO BaLinkBayan Forum 2022. (From L-R: Cultural and Filipino Community Relations Officer Ms. Rosellie L. Bantay; Mr. Allen Dennis T. Pulma; Director Romeo M. Rosas II; CDA Fernandez; Director Mario O. Garcia; Mr. Renien Lofamia; Third Secretary and Vice Consul Joy Anne B. Lai; and Ms. Princess Mayumi Kaye Peralta)
Chargé d’ Affaires Emmanuel R. Fernandez delivering his welcome remarks during the CFO BaLinkBayan Forum 2022.
Singapore-based Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas (PAFIOO) 2021 awardees – (Left) Ms. Cristy M. Vicentina (Banaag Awardee) and (Right) Dr. Sheila A. Conejos (Pamana ng Pilipino Awardee) each giving their inspirational speeches.
Press Release / By Karla Vicencio-Luz