SAYS DFA : Global Forum on Migration to focus on ‘practical’ solutions

By Veronica Uy

Posted date: January 15, 2008

MANILA, Philippines — As the biggest labor supplier of in the world, the Philippines will host the Second Global Forum on Migration and Development after Belgium’s hosting of the first forum last year.

And the “added value” that the Philippines will bring in hosting the event includes “practical solutions” and “best practices” to “actual problems,” according to Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Esteban Conejos.

He Foreign said that this United Nations initiative attempts to have stakeholders — governments, migrant workers, and recruitment agencies from both labor-sending and labor-receiving countries — share responsibilities in protecting migrant workers.

Conejos admitted that despite the formal “normative” approach of writing treaties, gaps in protecting migrating workers continue to exist. He said the forum will try to get the consensus of stakeholders on specific measure

“Our forum will not be about theory enumeration, but practical solutions as they occur on the ground,” he said.

“We are not talking about earth-shaking wavelength theories here, we are looking for ripples in the pond — how we can improve consensus on all of these initiatives that we’re going to take,” he added.

Conejos said that the Philippines, chosen to host the second global forum because it is internationally recognized as having the most comprehensive system in migrant workers protection, can share its best practices with other countries.

He said all 193 UN member-states are invited to the forum.

Conejos made the remarks after signing a memorandum of agreement with Victoria Garchitorena of Ayala Foundation, designating the latter as the convener for the civil society conference of the global forum.


Labor migration forum set on January 19 at UC

Cebu Daily News

Posted date: January 14, 2008

With 10 percent of its population staying or working abroad, the Philippines has been described as one of the largest migrant nations in the world whose overseas workers annually remit around $13 billion to the Philippines.The People’s Globalization Awareness Initiative Network (PGAIN), Inc. and the University of Cebu-Maritime Education and Training Center (UC-METC) Anchor student publication will hold a forum on January 19 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with the theme “Abroad na! Saan ka pa?”

The forum on Filipino labor migration in a globalized world will be held at the UC-METC gymnasium in Mambaling, Cebu City.

April Liong, in-charge of Assistance of National Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Central Visayas, will speak on the topic “Protecting the Rights and Welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers.”

Migrante International chairman Connie Regalado will discuss “Globalization and the Migrant Filipino Workers,” which involves the implications of globalization to the plight of Filipino migrant workers.

The event aims to probe deeper into the situation of Filipino migrant workers in this globalized world.

There will be reactions and an open forum after the speakers’ presentations.

The public is invited to participate.

Registration is free.

For inquiries, please contact Cidreck at (0909) 3029110 or e-mail to


World Bank: Migration can be a good thing

By Doris Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Posted date: January 14, 2008

MANILA, Philippines — The phenomenon of global migration is becoming an important channel for the transfer of new technology and knowledge that could benefit developing countries like the Philippines, a new World Bank study said.In its publication, “Global Economic Prospects: Technology Diffusion in the Developing World,” released last week, the bank noted that overseas remittances can promote technology transfer by making investments more affordable.

The study also noted that “more moderate” migration rates may be beneficial, especially when domestic opportunities were limited, because of technological transfers from the diaspora and also because most migration was not a one-way flow.

“On the one hand, the brain drain associated with better educated citizens of developing countries working in high-income countries is a serious problem for many developing countries,” the study said.

But it said that the contribution that these individuals would have made had they stayed home was uncertain given the lack of opportunities in some countries.

The bank said developing countries can benefit from: the immigration, albeit often temporary, of managers and engineers that often accompanies foreign direct investment; the return of well-educated developing country emigrants, and the contacts with a technologically sophisticated diaspora.

Source of entrepreneurship

The study noted that majority of foreign students from many developing countries who earned their doctorates in the United States tended to return home, bringing with them a great deal of technological and market knowledge.

In the case of the Philippines’ “brain gain” network, the study noted that 35 percent had a master’s degree and 23 percent held a doctorate.

“Returning migrants can be a major source of entrepreneurship, technology, marketing knowledge and investment capital,” it said.

Technology diffusion

Citing examples from Mexico and the Philippines, the study said that remittances could support the diffusion of technology by reducing the credit constraints of receiving households as well as by encouraging investment and entrepreneurship.

The study cited a survey of self-employed workers and small firms in Mexico which found that remittances were responsible for one-fifth of the capital invested in microenterprises.

In the Philippines, it said, households work more hours in self-employment and become more likely to start relatively capital-intensive household enterprises in response to an increase in remittances.

The bank said remittance flows were also contributing to the extension of banking services to previously unserved, often rural, sectors.


Impressed, OFWs vow support for Pampanga gov

By Tonette Orejas
Central Luzon Desk

Posted date: January 14, 2008

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — A coalition of 100 organizations of overseas Filipino workers has vowed to promote the “ministry of politics and governance” of Gov. Ed Panlilio, the Catholic priest turned chief of executive of Pampanga province.At least 20 leaders of Global Filipino Nation (GFN) who came to the provincial capitol on Saturday said they were planning to “review, refine and adopt the ‘Panlilio model’ wherein a new credible leader has been put in office based on the people’s support and resources” at an international conference to be held in Manila starting May 8.

The gathering also hopes to “identify and mobilize new potential political leaders committed to effective governance,” said Victor Barrios, GFN convenor and chair.

“Among (Father) Ed’s saga sends a message of good governance and the possibilities for changes. We want this replicated all over the country. It’s like St. Paul spreading the Gospel,” Barrios told the Inquirer.

The GFN leaders, department heads at the capitol and civil society leaders in Pampanga held a three-hour meeting with Panlilio Saturday to identify areas they could collaborate on in implementing economic, social and political programs.

“[Panlilio’s] good governance runs on the same road as that we’re trying to tread. We are linking up because we know he’s besieged by elements who resist change because of their special interests,” Barrios said.

Guillermo Luz, executive vice president of Ayala Foundation, said the foundation “felt that Among Ed is worthy of support of the people from Pampanga and outside Pampanga.”

“[This] is not just about Pampanga but the whole country,” Luz said. “We need solid ethical leaders in government.”

GFN and Ayala Foundation are signing on Monday a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Foreign Affairs on the holding of a “Global Forum on Migration and Development” in October.

Panlilio told the group that his administration posted a “substantial” increase in quarry collections, almost P125 million as of Friday, and that it had spent 25 percent of the more than P60 million of the province’s share of tax proceeds in support of health and education activities.

“In six months, I have not sacrificed my convictions as a priest and as a public official,” Panlilio said.