Cavite Provincial Government and members of different Overseas Filipino organizations joined in the 2019 CALABARZON Migration and Development Forum with its primary theme “Migranteng Pilipino: Kaagapay sa Pag-unlad ng Bayan” organized by Regional Development Council – National Economic Development Authority Region IV-A on October 22, 2019 at Santa Rosa City Sports Complex, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna. Hundreds of overseas Filipinos together with their families from CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) attended the forum.

Several topics of interest to migrants were discussed in the forum. Among the speakers was Director Ma. Luisa S. Reyes, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration CALABARZON, who discussed the Economic Opportunities for OFWs and their families. She also enumerated several programs of OWWA like the Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay. Other speakers were Ms. Kathlene Diane T. Amoyan, of the Cooperative Development Authority CALABARZON, who tackled the role of cooperatives in migration and development and Mr. Jorge Noel Y. Wieneke III, President of the Association of Filipino Franchisers, Inc. who shared valuable inputs on franchising.

Also highlighted in a talk show were the success stories of individuals in the field of cooperative and online selling to encourage participants to start up their own business. Mr. and Mrs. Jerry and Rhosielyn Pangilinan, the power couple behind Skin Magical Cosmetics, imparted how they started a small business and made it big in the cosmetics industry. In the field of cooperatives, Mr. Bon Ian Dela Roca of Soro-soro Ibaba Development Cooperative, told his version of success and the obstacles they surpassed. Another featured guest was Mr. Paulo Velasco, Head of Santa Rosa City Cooperative Development Office who shared how cooperatives helped the people of Santa Rosa City.

Signing of Memorandum of Agreement between the City Government of Santa Rosa and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas to implement the BalinkBayan project – a one stop online portal for OFs was also done during the program.

The second part of the forum was the opening of the exhibit led by Santa Rosa City Mayor Arlene Arcillas, Director Luis G. Banua, City Administrator Atty. Leonardo Ragaza, Jr. and Atikha Director Estrella Mai Añonuevo. At the exhibit, various migrant-serving agencies such as OWWA, Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag–ibig), Commission on Filipino Overseas and civil society groups set up booths to offer their services to the participants. MSMEs from the region also showcased their locally-made products in the exhibit.

In the afternoon, health and wellness services which include manicure and pedicure, massage and haircut were provided to the participants for free.