27 New Organizations Sign Partnership Agreement With Philippine EmbassyBien Custodio, Special to Arab News
Ambassador Bahnarim Guinomla met with the so-called Accredited Community Partners (ACPs) at the Philippine Embassy last weekend and told them that their assistance was most needed.
RIYADH, 15 May 2003 — A total of 27 professional, sports, advocacy, and civic groups in the community have signed up to become “partners” of the Philippine Embassy.
He said their signing up was “very timely, because we are in a way buffeted with so many concerns and issues…”
Guinomla noted that with almost a million Filipinos in the Kingdom, the Philippine mission needs as many partners to deal with these concerns.
The newly registered organizations in the Central Region as ACPs have been classified into four groups: crisis intervention and welfare assistance, reintegration, sports and cultural, and advocacy and reform groups.
The first group includes United Capampangan Association (Unicap), Bicol Saro nin Riyadh, (Filipino Nars Atbp. sa Saudi Arabia (Nars), Maguindanaoan Overseas Workers Association (MOWA), Western Mindanao Overseas Workers Association (Wemowa), Madja-as Federation, Grupo It Aklanon (GIA), Ugyon Antique?o, Dabawenos Overseas Association (Dabaw), Triskelion, Bicol Integrated Community Organization and Leaders, San Miguel de Mayumo and Friends (San Miguel), Filipino Expatriates Society (FES), Philippine Integrated Alliance Society (PINAS), Filipino Nurses Association in SA (Filnasa), Philippine Guardians and Brotherhood, Philippine Overseas Organization for New Advancement (POONA), Kilusan Para sa Bayan (Kiluspasabay).
Under the reintegration group are the OFW Investors Society (Ofwins), Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers (IIEE-Riyadh Chapter), Institute of Computer Engineers-Riyadh (ICER),
Only the Filipino Expatriates for Sports, Socio-Cultural Organization in Riyadh (FESSCOR) belongs to the sports and cultural category.
The advocacy and reform groups are the International Coalition on Overseas Filipinos Voting Rights (ICOFVR), E-Lagda, Sangguniang Masang Pilipino International Inc. (SMPII), and Kalipunang Kaakabay ng Manggagawang Pilipino sa Saudi Arabia (Kakampi-SA).
Also formed during the meeting was the ACPs Consultative Forum Secretariat, which outgoing Labor Attaché Jainal Rasul said would provide for a consultative mechanism so that ACP members could actively participate in the generation and formulation of ideas and policies.
The forum secretariat will be assisted by the POLO and the embassy, with the labor attaché and the welfare officer as forum facilitators.
Among other tasks, the secretariat is to conduct a regular ACP forum or dialogue among the “partners”; organize working committees to tackle vital issues and common concerns affecting OFWs; organize seminars or conferences on reintegration, professional advancement, OFW information dissemination, crisis management, skills upgrading, policy and legislative concerns; and assist the POLO and the embassy in the delivery of various services to distressed OFWs particularly in remote areas in the kingdom.
From the 20 community leaders who were nominated during the assembly, according to Rasul, 15 will be selected to compose the members of the ACP forum secretariat.
However, Rasul said that during the initial period of 3 months, an interim forum secretariat would be designated to thresh out the mechanics and pave the way for the nomination or election of the members of the regular secretariat.
Leaders of the various organizations said their signing up as ACPs was motivated by their desire to become effective in helping compatriots who need help.
“We are glad that we are now formally accredited as community partner with the embassy and POLO. We can now move on and exert more efforts to reach our objectives,” said Manuel Amora, the interim president of Kakampi-SA, which has 548 members. The group was organized in the industrial area in November 2002.
Ambassador Guinomla commended Rasul and Welfare Officer Angel Borja for their efforts in expanding the number of the ACPs, which now total 83 in the central region.
Rasul was responsible in introducing the ACP program in the Eastern Province in 1999.