By RIE TAKUMI, GMA News October 28, 2013 3:17pm
(Updated 8:46 p.m.)
A website has been launched to allow overseas Filipinos to help invest and develop the country.
Launched by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) last October 18, BaLinkBayan gives OFWs options on how to launch their own businesses, donate to existing communities, or share their knowledge through volunteer programs.
The website also allows visitors to handle their government transactions online by providing links to SSS, Pag-IBIG Fund, and PhilHealth, according to CFO, an agency mandated to strengthen ties between and among overseas Filipinos and the motherland.
BaLinkBayan, described as a one-stop online portal dedicated to the overseas Filipino, aims to use the significant revenue generated by OFWs to an pursue inclusive and sustainable growth in the country.
In an email to GMA News Online, Engr. Romeo M. Rosas II of CFO said BaLinkBayan will partner with more government and private institutions in the future in order to address the needs of their users more effectively.
The functionality of the website will also expand, allowing it to track the progress of each user's projects and transactions with local government units, he added.
Rosas said their target audience includes both temporary and permanent migrant workers, and their dependents or relatives in the Philippines.
"The project is a direct response of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas to have a more needs based approach to philanthropy so that activities and efforts are more focus on the needs of the Filipino community and its development ergo; Diaspora to Development," he said.
Overseas Filipinos are crucial in making the country's economic growth inclusive. Along with the growing service sector in the country, they largely account for the 6.6 growth rate posted by the country in 2012.
While the country experiences an economic boom, President Benigno Aquino III noted during the 21st Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bali last Oct. 6 that wealth from it is concentrated"in the hands of the few." This accumulated wealth must be dispersed, he said, for “a “broader base of society” to benefit from this economic growth.
This “broader base” referred to Filipinos part of the 27.9 poverty rating in the country. Joblessness, which has ironically worsened despite recent changes in the economy, is blamed for this alarmingly high percentage. — KBK, GMA News