Maximizing the Gains and Minimizing the Social Cost of Overseas Migration in the Philippines

Short title

Maximizing the Gains and Minimizing the Social Cost of Overseas Migration in the Philippines

Start date - End date

Wed, 09/30/2009 to Wed, 03/30/2011

Results and lessons learned

Creation of increased awareness of the Filipinos and other stakeholders on the issues of migration and development and migrant social and civil rights in Italy by updating, reprinting and disseminating 2,000 copies of the Guide for Filipino migrants in Italy.

A public forum was also held reaching 312 Filipino migrants and leaders in collaboration with 6 associations and confederations in Turin, Naples, Florence and Rome. Fora and consultation meetings on the nexus on migration and development addressed to local authorities and associations in the Philippines were also held. Specifically, 5 consultations on migration and development and integrating migration in the local development plan with local authorities and associations were conducted in the Philippines. It was attended by 318 participants from 5 provinces, 20 cities and municipalities.



Project number



Euro 198,575


JMDI, European Union

Partner country(ies)


Main thematic areas

Diaspora engagement
Migration related employment for women and girls
Remittances and financial sector development
Skills development and retention

JMDI Focus area

Reinforcing the capacities of migrant communities for development
Migrant Remittances
Reinforcing capacities of senders and recipients to further the impact of remittances on development
Migrant Rights

Main objectives

This Project mobilized migrant organizations and hometown associations in (1) maximizing the development potential of migration whilst (2) minimizing its social cost on migrants and the families left behind.



Main activities

Objective (1) was achieved through capacity building and public awareness activities targeting Filipino migrant leaders and hometown associations. Special attention will be paid to the gender dimension, given that the majority of Filipinos in Italy are women employed as domestic workers. Training was provided to 30 leaders on: financial literacy; organization, leadership and networking; project formulation and management; peer counselling; social costs, rights and welfare issues. The migrant leaders were then expected to replicate the activities to 180 association members, and to spearhead fundraising campaigns (within 5 hometown associations) for development projects in the Philippines. Public awareness activities are planned to link the community with existing Italian social services and with development NGOs, associations and other stakeholders involved on migration and development (360 direct beneficiaries).

For Objective (2), the project trained 120 stakeholders (migrant families as well as government, NGOs and schools) in addressing the social cost of migration, crafting gender sensitive interventions, and directing migrants' remittances to sustainable development projects that benefit migrants and their communities (through linkages with agricultural-based cooperatives, social enterprises and rural banks in their communities, at least 3 projects will be implemented). Similarly, in the Philippines, trainers' training was conducted first, followed by monitoring of the newly-qualified trainers, who in turn reached out to 360 families.

Main beneficiaries


  • 360 members of NGOs, associations and other stakeholders involved on migration and development in Italy
  • 360 migrant families in the Philippines

Project Pictures

There are no pictures for this project yet.

Project Documents

  • We have been aware for a long time that Region 4 has the highest number of migrants in the Philippines however; migrants seem to be invisible in the eyes of the local government of region 4. This is because migrants are considered to be relatively well off compared to other sectors of our society. To a certain extent this is true.  How then do we engage and involve the LGUs, regional bodies and other sectors in initiatives that will minimize the cost and maximize the gains of migration?

  • “Bakit ngayon lang ninyo naisip gawin itong (financial literacy) seminar na ito?  Milyon na ang nawaldas ko!” (Why did you only think of implementing this financial literacy seminar now?  I have wasted millions of pesos!) commented Minda Teves,  one of the migrant leaders from Torino who participated in our financial literacy training of trainers program in Rome.  She became emotional during the seminar as she related the dependency of the members of her family in the province of Mindanao and how they withdraw from her whenever she did not give any remittance to them.   She hated dealing with numbers during the training but she painstakingly learned how to compute her budget and savings and investment for retirement even if it meant for her working till midnight.  She was so passionate about learning to become a trainer on financial literacy since she believed that this is a very important intervention for the migrants to make their dreams a reality.  Currently, Minda leads the Pinoy Worldwide Initiative for Savings Investment and Entrepreneurship (PINOY WISE) financial counselors of Northern Italy.  She mentors other financial counselors in the conduct of financial literacy of Filipino migrants from Milan, Brescia, Torino, Biella, Padova and Modena in Italy and leads the mobilization of migrant investment towards Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC) migrant cooperative,  the largest agri-based cooperative in the Philippines.

  • Romlowel Villanueva, a son of a seafarer shared that the reason why he joined the Batang Atikha Savers Club  ( BASC  youth savers club) was because his friends were members but he realized as he participated in the various workshops and play shops that it made him a better person. The various activities of BASC served as eye opener for him  to realize the hardships that his father is going through as a seafarer. His savings also was able to help his family pay their monthly due for the house  when the remittance of his father was delayed. “Dapat po ay mahalin nila ang kanilang mga magulang dahil sakripisyo talaga ang magtrabaho sa abroad, hindi ito madali  dahil malalayo sila sa kanilang pamilya pero ginagawa pa rin nila para sa kinabukasan namin. They ( children of migrants) have to love their parents because working abroad is a lot of sacrifice and it is not easy since they are far from their loved ones, and our parents are doing this for our future)”, was Romlowel’s advise to other children of migrants and seafarers.

  • The first Training of Trainers on Financial Literacy & Peer Counseling was held from October 19 to 23, 2009 at the Splash Mountain Resort Hotel, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. The training was held in cooperation with IOM-MRF Manila, Department of Labor and Employment National Reintegration Center for OFWs (DOLE-NRCO) & Overseas Workers Welfare Administration( OWWA). It was participated in by 31 representatives from DOLE-NRCO; government staff from the Batangas and Cavite Provincial Capitol, City of Calamba and Municipality of Mabini and Cuenca in Batangas and Alaminos and Los Banos in Laguna; master teachers and principals from the Department of Education Laguna Division; and other partners of Atikha like Bangko Kabayan, Cavite Farmers and Feedmill multi-purpose Cooperative (CAFFMACO), Visayan Forum Foundation, Philippine Social Enterprise Network and Migrant’s Association from Cuenca.

  • Atikha is a non-government organizations in the Philippines involved in addressing the social cost of migration and in tapping the development potential of migrants.    The partners of Atikha in the implementation of the financial literacy are Filipino Women’s Council in Italy,  Comitato Internationale Sviluppo per lo Popoli, NGO based in Italy and the Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative,  the largest agri-based cooperative in the Philippines.

    This financial literacy program of Atikha was made possible through the support of EC UN Joint Migration and Development Initiatives ( EC-UN JMDI), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Philippine Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP)  Interchurch Cooperation (ICCO), DOLE-National Reintegration Center for OFWs (DOLE NRCO), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and other government  partners in the Philippines and abroad.

  • Atikha is a non-government organizations in the Philippines involved in addressing the social cost of migration and in tapping the development potential of migrants.   

  • Atikha is a non-government organizations in the Philippines involved in addressing the social cost of migration and in tapping the development potential of migrants.