The Philippine Embassy in Madrid, in collaboration with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO-Madrid), successfully held the 3rd National Congress of the Filipino Community Leaders in Spain and Andorra on 16 November 2019 at Colegio Casa de la Virgen, Madrid, Spain. This year’s Congress is a follow-up activity to the second assembly held in Madrid on 28-29 October 2017.
In his Opening Remarks, Philippine Ambassador to Spain Philippe Jones Lhuillier underscored the Congress theme of “Leadership and Unity,” aimed to foster harmony among the Filipino groups and to equip their officers and members with the proper know-how to meet the various challenges of community work and life in Spain and Andorra.
In keeping with the theme, the morning session consisted of discussions on strengthening teamwork, leadership skills, conflict resolution, and social media ethics and etiquette. The afternoon session was devoted to updates on Consular, POLO, and SSS services. Presentations by Pinoy Central and Adalid Formacion y Empleo tackled health insurance options and Spain-subsidized training for employment enhancement, respectively.
Among the highlights of the 3rd Congress included the launching of the world´s first ever Embassy app, “eFILIPINAS” (in Android and Apple), making information on Madrid PE services readily available on mobile phones. Awards were also given to nine truly inspiring Filcom organizations for being exemplars of group unity, vanguards of Philippine identity, partners in achieving national goals, partners in drug prevention, for bolstering Embassy and government linkages, responsiveness to members´ needs, demonstration of respect for host country, responsible use of social media, and for their outstanding program for the youth. These award categories were based on the commitments of the various Filipino organizations outlined in a Manifesto signed by them during the 2017 Congress.
The Congress was enlivened by song and cultural dance performances and raffle draws.
Around 250 participants from all over Spain and Andorra, representing 59 organizations and non-affiliated individuals attended the Congress.