The AIM Policy Center, in collaboration with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and the Overseas Filipinos WorldNet (OFWNet) Foundation, Inc., wishes to invite you on International Migrants’ Day, 18 December 2006, for the activity “Aginaldo Para sa Bayan 2: Overseas Filipino Resources for Philippine Investment and Development Projects”. The activity will take place at the Grand Ballroom of the Philippine Plaza Hotel in Pasay City from 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Joining us will be 500 participants coming from the overseas Filipino (OFs) community, government agencies, the diplomatic corps, Philippine-based business entities, NGOs and civil society.
Through this activity, we seek to:
1. Follow through on positive outcomes generated from the inaugural Aginaldo Para sa Bayan in 2005;
2. Present overseas Filipinos with opportunities for channeling their remittances to promote Philippine development particularly in the following sectors: banking and insurance; telecommunications and IT-enabled services; health and local government investment; real estate and retirement; franchising as well as education, S&T and publishing.
Overseas remittances have possibly become the single biggest change agent of economic life in the Philippines. Last year alone, overseas Filipinos sent in US$10.68B-which made the country the 4th top global recipient, after China, India and Mexico. The amount accounts for approximately 10% of the GNP.
The record US$10.68B in money flows coursed through banks in 2005 was 2nd only to manufactured exports in terms of foreign exchange receipts and is bigger than ODA, FDI, portfolio investment and tourism receipts combined. Growing at approximately 13% over the past five years, migrants’ remittances-especially when the country is faced with balance-of-payments crises-invariably tide the Philippines over year in, year out.
Although the country has probably seen off two to three generations of Filipino emigrants, it has seemingly not optimized the ways by which to channel emigrants’ finances or energies to benefit those left behind. Although some government agencies as well as non-government organizations are pursuing activities such as financial literacy and livelihood projects for overseas Filipinos (OFs) as well as offering up various financial instruments e.g., rural banks, BSP survey and analysis, etc.), the projects seem to be discrete and have taken varied directions without achieving the kind of cohesion that makes an impact on a national scale, especially given the magnitude of remittances that the Philippines gets and their potential impact on, say, filling the infrastructure finance gap.
Through the Aginaldo Para sa Bayan-2, we hope to bring together the overseas Filipino community with members of Philippine-based business and NGOs as well as LGUs to explore ways by which remittances can be harnessed as a developmental tool for the country.
Please contact Mia Denopol, a Program Manager with the AIM Policy Center , at telephone numbers: (632) 892-4011 local 2144, 751-9182 or at email address firstname.lastname@example.org . You may also contact Rino D. Paez of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas at 561-8321 locals 600-604, for confirmation of attendance.