By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, SEOUL

3 September 2022, Seoul. The Philippine Embassy, in cooperation with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), held a town hall meeting in hybrid format entitled "Ugnayan sa South Korea" with members of the Filipino community in South Korea on 03 September 2022 at the Sentro Rizal Hall.

In her opening remarks, Ambassador Theresa Dizon-De Vega emphasized the need for welfare and assistance programs that would cater to the growing number of Filipino marriage migrants in South Korea and their families, particularly the second and third generation children, in order for them to reconnect to their Filipino roots. She also encouraged the further development of the pre-departure orientation to prepare marriage migrants for the South Korean family life, culture, and the support systems available to them.

The CFO delegation, led by Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman, committed to making representations to the relevant government agencies and policy makers on issues concerning Filipino marriage migrants. They also presented their programs, such as the BaLinkBayan, a one-stop online portal for diaspora engagement where OFWs can access government services online, financial literacy programs, and find resources on start-up entrepreneurship. He likewise invited overseas Filipinos to view his program on entrepreneurship geared towards Filipinos abroad.

The CFO delegation also invited the participants to submit nominations for the upcoming 2023 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas, noting that many of the previous awardees also came from the Filipino community leaders in, such as 2021 Banaag Awardee, Dr. Ariel Bernardo; past Media Advocate Awardees, Mr. Nash Ang and Ms. Gennie Kim; 2014 Pamana ng Pilipino Awardee, Ms. Jasmine Lee; and 2008 Banaag Awardee, the Filipino Korean Spouses Association (FKSA).

The Ugnayan is one of the flagship programs of the CFO which features a series of gatherings with Filipino communities in various regions of the world and engages them on topics such as financial freedom and the campaign against human trafficking. The CFO delegation also met with various institutions and NGOs, such as the Seoul Counseling Center for Migrant Women and Advocates for Public Interest Law in South Korea (APIL), for possible cooperation. END