The Philippine Embassy in Singapore and the Philippine Bayanihan Society of Singapore (PBSS) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to provide quarterly donations for the upkeep of the Bayanihan Centre.

Ambassador Medardo G. Macaraig, representing the Philippine Embassy (left), and Atty. Ranvir Kumar Singh, PBSS Honorary President (right)

SINGAPORE – The Philippine Embassy in Singapore is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Bayanihan Society of Singapore (PBSS) to provide quarterly donations for the maintenance of the Bayanihan Centre. This partnership underscores the Philippine Government’s commitment to supporting the Filipino community and ensuring that the Bayanihan Centre remains a vital resource for Filipinos in Singapore.

The agreement was signed by Ambassador Medardo G. Macaraig, representing the Philippine Embassy, and Atty. Ranvir Kumar Singh, PBSS Honorary President. The signing ceremony took place at the Philippine Embassy on 7 June 2024, as part of the Embassy’s commemoration of Migrant Workers’ Day. The ceremony was attended by Embassy officials, board members of the PBSS, and representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore.

Ambassador Macaraig expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating that the MOA and its mechanisms not only reinforce the ties between the Embassy and the PBSS but also serve the nobler purpose of ensuring that the Filipino community, especially overseas Filipino workers, will have a place in Singapore to upskill themselves, connect with their cultural heritage, participate in volunteerism and civic activities, and engage in discussions about their overall well-being.

The collaboration between the Philippine Government and PBSS began in 1998 when Singapore’s then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong made a commitment to then-Philippine President Joseph Estrada to provide a facility for the activities of Filipino overseas workers in Singapore. In 2000, the Singapore Government designated a former school building in Labrador Park (43 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore, 118503) as the Bayanihan Centre, offering a wide range of services including training and educational opportunities, cultural activities, and social support programs.

The quarterly donations from the Philippine Embassy will be utilized to ensure the Centre’s facilities remain in top condition and to support its ongoing programs and initiatives. Atty. Singh expressed gratitude for the Embassy’s continued support, which will significantly aid in the upkeep of the Centre, enabling the PBSS to continue providing valuable services to the Filipino community in Singapore.

In his closing remarks, Deputy Head of Mission and Consul General Emmanuel R. Fernandez emphasized the need for both the Philippine Embassy and PBSS to ensure that the MOA translates into concrete programs, activities, and projects serving overseas Filipino workers. He noted that crafting the MOA allowed both sides to review and improve their management of the Bayanihan Centre and introduce new procedures to enhance service effectiveness.

The signing of the MOA is especially significant as it coincides with the celebration of the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Singapore this year, highlighting the enduring friendship and cooperation between the two nations, further reinforced by this initiative to support the Filipino community abroad.

Source: Philippine Embassy in Singapore