Category Archives: General Assembly 2015 and 2nd European Regional Conference of Overseas Filipinos

[ENFiD] Second Regional Conference A Success, Now Planning for the Third in 2017

By Vanda Brady

It has been two months since the Second Regional European Overseas Filipinos Conference in Malta and yet we cannot stop talking about its success, the next steps, and when the next conference will be. The third conference, which will be held in 2017, is currently being deliberated upon by the Secretariat. Details will be announced as soon as plans have been finalized, but please keep your summer/autumn of 2017 open.

ako ay filipino

Here are the highlights of the recently concluded conference “Overseas Filipinos (OF) for Transnational Development Make a Self- Assessment (Ako ay Pilipino, Ganito Ako Ngayon, Paano Ako Bukas / This is how I am today, how will I be tomorrow?)” held in St. Pauls Bay, Malta on August 1-2, 2015.

Prior to the conference, ENFiD members and Country Representatives from 13 Member Countries attended the Annual General Assembly on the 31st of July, 2015. After new country members were introduced and representatives shared their country profiles experiences, a discussion on ENFiD election and membership procedures ensued.

The conference was attended by 92 Filipino diaspora delegates and guests coming from 13 countries in Europe (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, Malta, Sweden, Norway) and was joined by guests and delegates from the Philippines, United States and Israel.

President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca of the the Republic of Malta honored us with her presence and touching speech wherein she emphasized the friendship between the Maltese and Filipino people. She recognized and appreciated the contribution of the Filipinos, which she aptly called the “Filipino Love” from migrants mostly working in the health service sector in Malta.

From the Foreign Philippine posts, we were joined by HE Ambassador Lecaros of the Philippine Embassy in Prague who conducted the oath-taking ceremony of the new elected Board Members; Consul General and Chief of Mission Rob Bolivar, who gave an informative input on the issue of the unfounded Chinese territorial claims of the West Philippine Sea; Consul General and Chief of Mission Senen Mangalile of the Philippie Embassy in London who presented the issue of human trafficking; and Consul Jed Dayang of the Philippine Embassy in Prague who gave a very enlightening lecture on the social remittances from the point of view of Filipino migrants.

Secretary Mely Nicolas of Commission on Filipinos Overseas of the Office of the Philippine President presented an inspirational message which included an update of Filipino migrants in Europe and an appreciation of ENFiD for its outstanding and amazing job in putting together another historic gathering of overseas Filipinos; while the CEO of PhilHealth Alex Padilla explained the benefits of health insurance for every Filipino and how PhilHealth can be of assistance.

Further, a presentation on World Peace and Security giving an overview of the causes of (forced) migration and the statistics of the present movements around the world was delivered by the Head of the Conflict, Security and Resilience Program of the European Center for Development Policy and Management, Volker Hauck.

The workshops centering on good governance, the Euro-Pinoy identity, the effects of social remittances to the economic and political situation of the Philippines and the cultural and psycho-emotional framework were discussed after a short lecture by carefully selected speakers.

Apart from tackling other poignant issues such as gender equality, human trafficking, and the unfounded Chinese territorial claims, the conference resulted to awe-inspiring recommendations, which include, among many: 1) to have a better understanding of the impact and effects of Social Remittances in transforming Philippine culture and economic development 2) to promote awareness and encourage exploration and assessment of cross-cultural or transnational identities of Overseas Filipinos as they integrate in their host countries 3) to give special attention to first and 1.5 generation Filipino youth who have unique peculiarities and challenges, and 4) to improve Philippine embassy and consular services.

[ENFiD] What is Wrong with Overseas Filipinos

Presented by Gene Alcantara, ENFID Chairman on the 2nd Filipino European Overseas Conference in Malta v.20150801 (latest)

what is wrong cover

Please click the photo above for the latest presentation.

 

Presented by Gene Alcantara, ENFID Chairman in the 3rd Global Summit in Manila, Philippines v.20150224

what is wrong cover (summit)

Please click the photo above for the presentation in 3GS.

 

[ENFiD] The 1st ENFiD Essay Writing Contest Winners

Article written by Rachel Hansen
Photos courtesy of JJ Formento

 

The 1st ENFiD Essay Writing Contest was launched to coincide with the 2nd European Regional Overseas Filipino Conference in Malta held last July 31-August 3.

essay winners

An overwhelming number of entries from 44 Euro-Pinoys were submitted and the first three essays which garnered the highest points were proclaimed the winners. The announcement and the prize-giving ceremony took place at the ENFiD Cultural Evening held at the Catholic Institute Auditorium in Floriana, Malta last August 1st 2015.

The purpose of the Contest was to engage as many Euro-Pinoys as possible in ENFiD objectives as well as to examine their roles in Europe’s multicultural environment. The essayists were asked to provide an entry on the following topics:

1 My cultural life before and after being an Overseas Filipino
2 My profession, work habits/ethics before and after working in Europe
3 How much do I know about Europe (or my adopted country)?
4 Am I am better individual as Euro-Pinoy (i.e. living, studying and working in Europe)?

Four judges were handpicked meticulously to choose the winners based on a selection criteria such as Creativity, Structure, Adherence to Topic, Grammar, Length and “Wow!” factor.

The top 10 essays that received the highest points were subjected to a second reading, and the judges engaged in a measured discussion of the essays content and value, before finally voting on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd winning entries. It was a tough task for the judges to say the least.

The 1st prize went to Jaye de la Cruz-Bekema from the Netherlands, the 2nd prize to Marj Akil of the United Kingdom and the 3rd prize to Richelle A. Craw from the Czech Republic.

enfid essay 1st prize

Rohlee de Guzman, ENFID-NL, receives the award in behalf of the 1st place ENFiD Essay Writing Contest winner: Jaye Dela Cruz-Bekema

enfid essay 2nd prize

Amelia Alado, ENFiD-UK, receives the award in behalf of the 2nd place ENFiD Essay Writing Contest winner: Marj Akil

enfid essay 3rd prize

Richelle Anne Craw, 3rd place winner of the 1st ENFiD Essay Writing Contest receives her award with Ambassador Lecaros, 1st Secretary and Consul General Jed Dayang, and Marison Rodriguez (ENFiD-CZ)

The 1st prize winner received 700 EUR cash, one week stay in Tagaytay Condo for 2 and weekend stay in a 5-star hotel for 2 in Manila with breakfast.

The 2nd prize winner received 500 EUR cash, weekend stay in Tagaytay Condo for 2 and weekend stay in hotel for 2 in Manila with breakfast

The 3rd prize winner received 300 EUR cash, weekend stay in hotel for 2 in Manila with breakfast.

ENFiD is planning to hold an Essay Writing Contest annually on different themes.

 

[ENFiD] 2015 Malta Conference Statement

Download ENFiD 2015 Malta Conference Statement

We, the 92 Filipino diaspora delegates and guests coming from 13 countries in Europe (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, Malta, Sweden, Norway) and joined by guests and delegates from the Philippines, United States and Israel, convened in the Second European Regional Overseas Filipinos Conference with the theme “Overseas Filipinos (OF) for Transnational Development Make a Self-Assessment (Ako ay Pilipino, Ganito Ako Ngayon, Paano Ako Bukas / This is how I am today, how will I be tomorrow?)” on August 1-2, 2015 in St. Pauls Bay, Malta hereby state the following:

1. Social Remittances(#1) as drivers of change equal the value that 1 financial remittances carry. Social remittances include also the psychological-emotional-cultural-social (PECS) aspects which OF’s contribute to the Philippines.

2. The effects of financial remittances and social remittances, including PECS, mutually reinforce each other. While financial remittances can effect a change in the Philippine economy, social remittances have the power to positively influence Philippine culture and society.

3. Therefore, social remittances should not be treated as a separate issue but as a cross-cutting element of issues of all migrant concerns.

4. Euro-Pinoys are engaged in various forms of coping strategies while giving content and gestalt to our hyphenated identities(#2). We recognize the merits of cross-cultural/transnational identities in the integration of Euro-Pinoys in the host countries.

5. Due to feminization of Filipino migration in the 80’s and 90’s, Filipino women now hold a crucial role in diffusing the PECS remittances.

6. Poignant issues such as the unfounded Chinese territorial claims in the West-Philippine Sea and Trafficking in Persons have impact on the lives of Euro-Pinoys.

7. The situation of the Filipino youth including 2nd generation and 1.5 generation have special particularities which require specific attention from the Euro-Filipino communities.

8. A lack of gender equality within many Filipino migrant organizations continues and was discussed with concern by the delegates.

9. The Uníted Nation´s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, to be endorsed in September 2015, provide an important policy framework to address concerns worldwide and are recognised as a valuable guidance for the future priorities of ENFiD and partner organizations.

10.The delegates exchanged experiences in being serviced by personnel of the Philippine Embassies and Consulates in Europe. It was noted that in some cases the attitude of personnel in dealing with OF’s was sub-optimal and in need of improvement.

Based on the discussions and agreements, we recommend the following:

1. For ENFiD to take the lead in initiating seminars and meetings about the social remittances, including PECS, at country levels in coordination with other Filcom and other ethnic communities in Europe.

2. For Philippine government institutions, especially the CFO, PhilHealth and other relevant institutions to integrate attention to the social remittances in their policies, programs and projects.

3. For all OF’s to be conscious of the potential positive and negative impacts of their attitudes, behaviour and mind-set (through the social remittances) diffused to families and friends back home and their host countries.

4. For the delegates of this conference, to share with their own organizations the knowledge and consciousness gained from the sessions of this conference as well as the knowledge and insights gained during their daily interaction with fellow delegates.

5. For ENFiD, to function as a platform for coordinating advocacy work at the European level and to establish within the ENFiD structure a special committee to support and assist in streamlining the contents of local and national initiatives like the lobby against Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea.

6. For ENFiD, to further promote social-economic development in the Philippines, to partner with various NGOs and institutions and to support efforts to mobilise Diaspora initiatives for local investments. In addition, to assist in providing financial education and highlighting the role of social remittances in development.

7. For ENFiD, to advocate with other overseas Filipino communities globally for setting up opportunities for on-line registration and on-line voting in order to strengthen ties of the OF’s with the Philippines and to further the democratic process in our home country.

8. For the Philippine Government to address the portability of medical health care of Filipinos living in Europe and for ENFiD to initiate a review of various health care systems in European countries to inform the Philippine Government on various options to address this matter.

9. For ENFiD, to promote gender sensitivity concerning issues of migration and development.

10.Explore the possibility of having direct electoral representatives/participation of OF based in the US, Europe and the Middle East in the Philippine Parliament.

11.For ENFiD to conduct a baseline study of Filipino identity, type of remittance and investments made to the Philippines which includes not only financial remittances but also social remittances. The survey questions presented by Ms. Anny Hefti from Berne can be used as a reference.

12.For the DFA, to pay more attention to the selection and performance review of personnel working in Philippine Embassies and Consulates in Europe so that OF’s are treated with more earnestness.

(#1) As defined by Peggy Levitt (1998) social remittances are usually defined as the ideas, 1 practices, identities and social capital that flow from receiving to sending country communities.

(#2) Baubock (1998) talks of additive identities and additive assimilation, which is retaining a 2 previous cultural membership while acquiring a new one.

The Delegates highly appreciated the warm welcome of ENFiD by Malta President Marie Louise Preca. She stressed the positive contribution of the Filipino community in her country and expressed full support to their concerns. Her commitment strengthens ENFiD in further pursuing its goals. We thank the Tourism Ministry of Malta in facilitating the successful hosting of this conference.

The delegates hereby thank all Filipino and Maltese individuals for their warm reception. To the dedicated organizers and secretariat members, our endless gratitude!

This statement was signed on 2 August 2015 in Malta by 92 delegates present.

Download ENFiD 2015 Malta Conference Statement

[ENFiD] The need for a youth leadership training organization in Europe

Speaker: Laarni de Silva

Presented in the 2nd European Regional Conference of Overseas Filipinos, San Antonio Hotel, St. Paul’s Bay, Malta 02 August 2015.

[ENFiD] The Labor of Bees

The word “bee” immediately invokes a certain nostalgia about a fast food chain intricately woven into the consciousness of Filipinos from children to adults alike. Sometimes I wonder if this is the reason why, perhaps subconsciously, the behavior of migrant honey bees seems to be mirrored in the lives of Filipino migrant workers in Europe and other parts of the world.

Honey bees travel from one flower to another, working and pollinating, bringing back nectar to nourish its colony.

Filipino migrant workers travel from one place to another, carrying out work in various fields, ideally bringing back knowledge, experiences, finances, and progress back to the Philippines.

Bees are important to the entire world’s food production industry. Much like overseas Filipinos are maybe small but important part of different industries around the globe.

bees2

I admit, the reality is not as picturesque as the image I am trying to portray. But the symmetry is so striking that it has turned into a goal I am striving for.

For instance, overseas Filipinos are participants of culture pollination. Whether intentional or not, being in a foreign land has made me an ambassador of goodwill for the Philippines. I find myself in various cultural events, representing Philippine cuisine in multicultural fairs or simple pot luck gatherings, promoting travel within the Philippines with stories and pictures.

I have also found that people in Europe are excited and eager to learn about the Philippines. In contrast, I have been a Europe fan before I came here, enthralled with tales of ancient civilizations, renaissance art, and ruins of castles and chateaus. I am still learning about life in Europe and my adopted country. But sharing about the Philippine culture has invoked in me a new sense of awe and appreciation about how rich my own heritage is.

I do not have to forsake one culture or the other, I do not have to celebrate just one holiday tradition, I do not have to eat only one type of food. I learn and adopt. And with this, I gain instead of lose.

Furthermore, I am now able to stop and smell the flowers, literally and figuratively. My work-life balance and health has improved since I moved here. I find myself living in a more healthy way in body, mind, and spirit. I exercise, I participate in the community more. I go to church and volunteer. Free time allows me to focus on something more than basic survival. I am able ponder on my duty to my self, my family, my community, my country, and my God.

Dr. Jose Rizal, also a Euro-Pinoy, is dubbed as a social critic. Perhaps his travels opened his eyes to the situation, problems, and solutions of the country, all of which he put into writing. I started working close to where I graduated. After a few years, I moved to Singapore. And now, I have moved to Europe. Indeed, it feels I have moved from one garden to another. This migration farther and farther away from home is inversely proportionate to my level of awareness.

Awareness cuts like a double edged sword. Removing myself from the hive mind, I can see and hear more clearly without the noise, politics, advertisements, and drama. As a result, in both my home and adopted country, I become aware of the good and the bad. I can see the the big picture and the tiny details. I see the basic problem and the tiny niche where I can perhaps be a part of the solution.

And as inspired by our national hero, albeit in a more modern sense, I write. Social media has provided me with a platform of my own. My hope is that even if I just write about how different life in Europe is to life in the Philippines, my observations may snowball into awareness, which may lead to discussions, and which may perhaps lead to positive change.

All of these ties back to symbiosis, the nourishment of the colony, the good of the country. I provide skills to my adopted country, I am benefited from it, and I pay it forward.

I discover, learn, share, work, play, and give back. I am a Euro-Pinoy, and I am happy to imbibe the culture of the labor of bees.

Richelle 2

Author: Richelle Anne K. Craw 
from Czech Republic, 
3rd Prize Winner of the 1st 
ENFiD Essay Writing Contest












[ENFiD] 2ND AGM and 2nd European Conference Presentation Materials

Please DOWNLOAD the presentation materials used in the 2nd ENFiD AGM and the 2nd European Conference of Overseas Filipinos:

Contents 1 (Download JULY 31 Presentations Only):
ENFID MEMBERSHIP 20150731 (Marison Rodriguez)
Proposals for change in ENFiD Constitution and By Laws 20150731 (Gene Alcantara)

Contents 2 (Download AUG 1 Presentations Only):
MALTA PPT FINAL Welcome Remarks AUGUST 1 2015 (Mely Nicolas)
MALTA delivery FINAL Welcome Message august 1 2015 (Mely Nicolas)
SOCIAL REMITTANCES KEY AGENT IN MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT (Martine Cassar)
Presentation MALTA 2015 (Monsi Jerry Bitoon)
CHALLENGE-MALTA CONFER (Monsi Jerry Bitoon)
Social Remittances in Gender and Generational Dynamics that Benefit Women (Berta Fernandez)
Bayani A Theological Anthropology for Filipino Migrant Communities (Lawrence)
Trafficking in Persons International_ Philippine and European Perspectives (Senen Mangalile)
What is wrong with Overseas Filipinos 20150801(Gene and Rohlee)

Contents 3 (Download AUG 2 Presentations Only):
EURO-PINOY IDENTITY ITS IMPORTANCE FOR INTEGRATION IN EUROPE (Anny Misa)
Rizal Trail in Czech (Jed Dayang)
Rizal Trail in Litomerice in English (Jed Dayang)
Rizal Train in Litomerice Filipino (Jed Dayang)
The 1.5 Generation ppt (Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot)
WP&S_Malta_1 Aug 2015_short (Volker Hauck)

To upload:

AGM Minutes including Election Results Minutes (doc)
ENFiD Annual Report 2013 to December 2014 (doc)

WPS Complete Video (3GB) – (will be uploaded in ENFiD Youtube/Vimeo Channel)
Philam Paaralan ENFID-Central Italy (video)
PINOYWISE AVP
Students_Proud Filipino (video from Asuncion)
Western Union 25 YEARS MOVING THE FILIPINO FOR THE BETTER (video)
Western Union THIS IS OUR HEROES celebrating our migrant workers (video)

LINKS:

Filipino Youth Development in Europe (ppt from Laarni de Silva)
2015 ENFiD Malta Conference Statement (pdf)

Reports from Documentation Team

[ENFiD] Opening Remarks of Secretary Imelda M. Nicolas

mely nicolas
Opening Remarks of Secretary Imelda M. Nicolas
Second Regional Conference of Overseas Filipinos
Saint Paul’s Bay, Malta
01 August 2015
To the Board of Directors and members of the European Network of Filipino Diaspora (or ENFiD), representatives of the Philippine Diplomatic Corps in Europe and national government agencies, representatives of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council, Filipino community leaders from Europe and other parts of the world, fellow public servants, ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning! And Mabuhay!
Before anything else, I would like to congratulate the organizers (primarily ENFiD) and the volunteers for this Second Regional Conference of Filipinos in the Diaspora for their outstanding and amazing job in putting together this historic gathering of overseas Filipinos.
On behalf of the government agency I head, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas of the Office of the President of the Philippines, all the members of the Philippine diplomatic corps and representatives of other government agencies who are here, I thank you for having the courage to take up the challenge of continuing the dialogue we started several years ago. From what I have seen so far, from the preparation to the participants to the program design of the conference, I dare say that this gathering gets better and better every time. But as they say, “The best is yet to be!”.
We would like everyone to note that Filipinos in Europe have always had the tradition of being an active community. To name a few of the milestones in this tradition: in 1991, the Amsterdam-based Commission on Filipino Migrant Workers organized the first conference of Filipino migrants in Europe in Kerkrade, the Netherlands. 180 participants came from all over Europe.
Then, seven other sectoral conferences followed and were held, including the 1992 Women’s Conference that gave birth to Babaylan, the Filipino Women’s Network in Europe. Two decades after, in 2012, the first regional conference of overseas Filipinos was held in Rome bringing together 250 community leaders not only from Europe but also from the Middle East, Asia and North America. They were one in recognizing and highlighting the various engagements of overseas Filipinos in the motherland, guided by CFO’s flagship program called Diaspora to Development (or D2D for short).
It is our ardent hope that all of you here continue to serve as the role model for the rest of the Filipino communities around the world – inspiring commitment and honing organizational skills to continue what we started from the three successful Global Summits held in Manila in 2011, 2013 and in February of this year.
Keeping this commitment is especially important considering the evolving profile of Filipinos overseas. By end of 2013, of the 10.24 million Filipino migrants, 48% are permanent, 41% are temporary and about 11% are of irregular status.
The 2013 Stock Estimates compiled by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas also show that in Europe, 49% or 421,891 Filipinos are permanent residents, 33% or 286,371 are on temporary status and roughly 18% or 157,925 are irregular migrants, The top destinations of overseas Filipinos in Europe are: the United Kingdom, Italy, Greece, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
From these figures, and even from your own personal experiences, we can glean that Filipinos will continue to look for other opportunities outside the country even as international organizations and rating agencies have acknowledged the Philippines as Asia’s rising star or Asia’s tiger economy.
We should keep in mind what IOM Director General William Lacy Swing pointed out in relation to the International Migration Outlook of 2015 and beyond: “Migration remains a defining feature of the twenty-first century, and the way in which we approach it will have powerful implications for societies around the globe and for generations to come.
This complex migration phenomenon, together with the scale of international migration in the Philippines, its impressive geographic spread in more than 200 countries and territories and its diverse profile of professions, jobs and lifestyles spanning over four decades, has created e necessity — a re-imagining of the Philippine Government’s approach towards a more systemic, deliberate and focused response to all the issues – both the vulnerabilities and triumphs of our overseas Filipinos.
This transformed attitude is articulated in President Benigno S. Aquino III’s 16-point Social Contract with the Filipino people:
“From a government that treats its people as an export commodity and a means to earn foreign exchange, disregarding the social cost to the Filipino families…….to a government that creates jobs at home, so that working abroad will be a choice rather than a necessity; and when its citizens do choose to become overseas Filipino workers, their welfare and protection will be the government’s priority.”
We, in government, are very much aware that in your pursuit for change or better lives for yourself and your families back home, the growing incidence of family reunification in major destination countries and your basic right to mobility, you are faced with many realities, both positive and negative. We recognize that in our nation’s quest for the “tuwid na daan” of achieving real, inclusive growth and sustainable development, the government has the responsibility to minimize the social costs of migration, maximize its benefits and protect and promote your rights in every way possible.
This Second Regional Conference comes at a very opportune time, as we prepare for the political transition that will happen in June of 2016. In this conference, you have set a most appropriate objective – starting with a Self-Assessment as an individual and as organizations in relation both to your host and home country. Your theme says it all, quite provocatively stated: “Ako ay Pilipino, Ganito Ako Ngayon, Paano Ako Bukas?”
Peter Drucker, in his much acclaimed article in the January 2005 edition of the Harvard Business Review, entitled “Managing Oneself”, said “Most of us, even those of us with modest endowments will have to learn to manage ourselves. We will have to develop ourselves. We will have to place ourselves where we can make the greatest contribution.”
So today in the spirit of your Conference’s theme, let me start out with a DARE, every letter of which stands for something significant that you can do with your lives and your respective communities.
D stands for “Develop Yourself”
Know who you are, understand your strengths and manage your weaknesses as individuals and as organizations. But at the same time recognize the strength in others who may complement your abilities. As an organization, take advantage of the many opportunities present in your respective host countries and in our Motherland.
In developing yourself and your respective diaspora organizations, be cognizant of the environment you are in right now, that is, the continent of Europe. Despite the current economic crisis and unemployment rates, European countries are facing labor market shortages and vacancies that cannot be filled by its domestic
Work force especially in specific sectors, e.g. in health, science and technology.
Long-term population ageing in Europe is expected to halve the ratio between persons of working age (20-64) and persons aged 65 and above in the next fifty years. Migration is already of key importance in the EU, with net migration contributing 0.9 million people or 62 % of total population growth in 2010. All indicators show that some of the additional and specific skills needed in the future could be found only outside the EU.
This is the context in which the EU’s Global Approach to Migration, EU’s official document and guidelines for international migration has evolved since it was adopted in 2005. It was designed to address all relevant aspects of migration in a balanced and comprehensive way, in partnership with non-EU countries.
The EU member-states collectively recognize the importance of international migrants. Thus, in the very recent European Agenda on Migration, EU declared its support to national governments, local authorities and civil society engaged in the long-term processes of fostering integration.
At the international level, you must also pay attention to the post-2015 development agenda which will be approved at the UN General Assembly in September of this year. I am happy to inform you that the replacement of the Millennium Development Goals (or MDG) for the years 2015 to 2030 called the Sustainable Development Goals (or SDG) contain several migration-related goals. Those goals could be attained both in our host and home country only if we remain vigilant and articulate about their implementation
The next alphabet in DARE is A for “Analyze your strengths thru feedback”.
Drucker opined that the only way to discover one’s strength is thru feedback analysis. This entails writing down expectations when making important decisions, taking with you the lessons learned in the past, concentrating on your strength and where it can produce results and absorbing input from others, whether painfully negative or satisfyingly positive.
In the 2012 conference in Rome, the 250 delegates signed the Rome Declaration which paved the way for the creation of ENFiD, and sealed the participating organization’s commitment to, among others, jointly promote the empowerment of the Filipino diaspora by implementing programs that will increase awareness of overseas Filipinos of their rights in the host country, establishing counseling centers and support groups.
Three years down the road, as we gather for this 2-day conference, you are now looking back and assessing how far you have gone and where else within the
Declaration can you direct your efforts to.
The next letter in DARE is R for “Remember those in need”
Of the US$24.35 billion total remittance in 2014, the Central Bank of the Philippines reported that US$3.76 billion came from Europe-based Filipino migrants. Your philanthropy has likewise aided in the recovery and rebuilding of Yolanda-stricken areas.
But beyond financial remittances, Filipino migrants can also contribute social remittances by way of ideas, skills, expertise and experience. Apart from volunteerism or transfer of skills, I am asking you to actively join and work on addressing especially the vulnerabilities of women and youth migrants.
International migration trends show consistent prevalence in female migration and high youth emigration. Many literature and hundreds of migrant stories underscore the importance of values formation for Filipino youth migrants and their parents as well as adequate language proficiency and cultural orientation to be able to fully integrate in the host countries.
ENFiD-Italy, during CFO’s Ugnayan sa Roma in December 2014 proposed to convene a summit for Filipino youth in Italy to address reported delinquency among the second generation and engage them to become more productive members of society. CFO is also in dialogue with Pinoy Guro EU in Italy about the possibility of reviving the proposed Philippine School in Rome to help address the educational needs of Filipino out-of-school youth and at the same time provide an avenue for former Filipino educators to once again practice their profession.
On another note, in 2014, ongoing and new crises worldwide have displaced 51 million people due to violence, conflict and various human rights violations. This is the highest since the 2nd World War. International migrants are especially most vulnerable in these kinds of crisis situations. Immediate and direct collaborative action is needed from all fronts, including civil society in order to save lives and protect those most in need especially women and children.
The EU’s commitment to respond to migrants in critical situations is carried out by way of the ongoing state-led initiative, Migrant in Countries in Crisis or MICIC which is led by the Philippines and the United States together with the European Union and seven other countries and other international humanitarian organizations.
Together, all sectors are working on policies and synergizing efforts to address the impact of acute crisis situations on migrants as pointed out by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon himself during the 2013 UN High Level Dialogue on Migration. Definitely, you can do your share by offering your expertise and services to aid migrants in countries in crises.
The final alphabet in DARE is E for “Exercise your rights”
Knowing your rights in the host country is an absolute necessity to be able to take advantage of opportunities, fully integrate and help you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your respective host countries’ nationals. We have to acknowledge that some of our kababayan need help in empowering themselves but it is a Cause that is worth fighting and living for.
In relation to the Philippines, I ask you to exercise your right, more specifically your right to vote in the national elections in the Philippines. The Overseas Voting Act of 2013, which amended the previous Overseas Absentee Voting Law, removed the requirement for Filipino emigrants to return to the Philippines within three years. The Supreme Court in 2006 also upheld the right of Filipino dual citizens to vote.
However, reports from the Commission on Election or COMELEC showed that out of the 737,759 registered overseas voters in 2013, only 11.51% or 106,908 voted. There are two months left for voters’ registration so I ask for your commitment to encourage your members to register and exercise their right to choose the right leaders for our country in 2016 — those leaders who will continue to lead us towards the “daang matuwid” and will work hard to transform into reality the promise that while you freely chose to become global Filipinos, a good life awaits you at home.
And thus, my DARE to all of you in this 2nd Regional Conference of Filipino in the Diaspora.
The challenge remains immense, but the prospect for success is also imminent. I join you with much excitement and anticipation in this dialogue and exploration, and pray that this will result in helping develop a global Filipino community, highly productive and well-respected, significantly contributing to the countries where you reside or work while maintaining strong social, political, economic and cultural ties with the Motherland.
As the Dalai Lama said “with (the) realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”
Thank you. Maraming salamat at mabuhay tayong lahat!

 

To download, please click this: MALTA delivery FINAL Welcome Message august 1 2015

[ENFiD] 2015 Souvenir Program

We look forward to seeing you in the 2nd European Conference and 2nd ENFiD AGM in db San Antonio Hotel in St. Paul’s Bay Malta! Coming or not , feel free to browse the event’s Souvenir Program. Now available for download here

souvenir program cover page