Filipinos are literally all over the globe, often one of the nationalities classified by other countries as foreign workers. According to the data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority in April 2019, there are 2.3 million estimated overseas Filipinos from the period of April to September 2018.
Although most of them leave the country primarily to provide for their loved ones back home, some of them change with time and are now career-driven, seeing career growth as the main reason for working abroad.
Overseas Filipinos may leave the country for various reasons, but one truth remains, they still face different issues and experience struggles that are often unheard and unknown to many, even to their closest kin.
These stories and realities that the overseas Filipinos experience are what ABS-CBN and TFC hope to share to the world, thus the launch of “TFC News”, a digital news platform that focuses on the issues and stories that affect and involve the overseas Filipinos.
One way of helping the Filipinos abroad to overcome different challenges is by empowering them with the right information, which ABS-CBN Global Chief Operating Officer Olivia de Jesus sees “TFC News” could provide. “TFC News will give them a platform and a voice in the community. For our countrymen who have chosen to live and work for their families in a foreign land, it is important for them to adjust and feel that they belong and having access to community news is one way for them to succeed in a foreign land,” de Jesus explained.
The same way, ABS-CBN Integrated News & Current Affairs Head Ging Reyes also emphasized the importance of providing overseas Filipinos a news platform where their voices could be heard. “It is important to give our overseas Filipinos a voice. It is important for news people to get to know them–the Filipino communities– and find out what makes them cry, what makes them react to certain events, what policies of their host countries affect them. In that sense, launching a news service that primarily caters to overseas Filipinos is not just important, it is essential, it must be part and parcel of our newsgathering operations here in ABS-CBN,” Reyes stated.
In the current state of the global economy, Asia is seen as the region with a steady economic growth, which could explain why in the 2018 data gathered by the Philippine Statistics Authority, next to the Middles East, Asia Pacific is the second preferred destination of the overseas Filipinos.
“TFC News” kicks off its launch in the Asia Pacific with the goal of empowering through information this growing number of overseas Filipinos that are exploring opportunities in the region. The digital format of the newly launched news platform also makes it easy for them to access and share this information with their fellow Filipinos abroad.
Serving as voices of the Filipinos abroad are the overseas Filipinos themselves, who will be gathering a variety of stories: from government policies that affect the overseas Filipinos, to concerns they hope will be addressed, down to life stories that could inspire their fellow overseas Filipinos and even the next generation.
Some of the recent reports from the correspondents were about the overseas voting for the 2019 mid-term elections, the recently concluded “1MX Singapore 2019”, and the risks that some Filipinos face by taking on the so-called “3D” jobs in South Korea.
ABS-CBN Global Managing Director for Asia Pacific Maribel Hernaez believes that the overseas Filipinos are the best correspondents that “TFC News” could have. “They are overseas Filipinos to begin with, they empathize with our fellow Filipinos abroad. I think that is the beauty of having a platform that can tell their stories or having a platform where stories of this affinity, of these connections can be told. Our correspondents are conduits of the stories, but the real wealth of the stories will come from the communities,” Hernaez expounded.