Migration and Development Initiative in Western Visayas

Short title


Start date - End date

Tue, 07/01/2014 to Sat, 04/30/2016

Brief description of the initiative

The over-all objective of the project is to optimize the contribution of migration in regional and local development in Western Visayas.  Migration dynamics have a strong potential role in supporting local development processes.  The drivers and impacts of migration are often most strongly felt at the local level.  Communities also have strong ties with their diaspora communities who originate from their area and can be important players in developing players towards the diaspora.  Especially during times of disasters and calamities, overseas Filipinos are strong partners both in the recovery of affected families through their remittances and in rehabilitating efforts through diaspora philanthropy.  The good practices identified by the Joint Migration and Development Initiative Phase I showed the importance of efficiently linking civil society initiatives with local development agendas in order to reach sustainability and impact.  The experimentation of small scale initiatives have had positive effects and contributed to change the degree of activism of local administrations in the field of migration and development (M&D).  However, their involvement remains underdeveloped and many obstacles exist, such as lack of capacities and of efficient and effective coordination within local authorities’ administration and with other stakeholders.  




USD 250,000


Swiss Development Cooperation

Partner country(ies)


Main thematic areas

Diaspora engagement
Environment / migration linkages
Local Authorities
Migrant access to urban services
Migration and national development plans
Remittances and financial sector development

Focus area

Migration and Local Economic Development
Migration and Local Governance
Creating sustainable networks amongst migrant communities for development
Mobilizing and giving a voice to migrant communities for development

First name


Last name



Regional Director - National Economic and Development Authority Region VI



Other partners

Commission on Filipinos Overseas Regional Development Council Region VI Western Visayas League of Local Planning and Development Coordinators Signpost Philippines Provincial Governments of Western Visayas

Main objectives

To contribute towards a higher impact of migration on local development, targeted support will be provided through (1) strengthening the capacities of local stakeholders to engage on and promote the links between migration and development, (2) strengthening local authorities’ initiatives and activities relative to operating functioning migration resource centers and pooling collective remittances to support disaster risk reduction and other M&D initiatives, and (3) connecting local authorities internationally to facilitate partnership building and knowledge sharing. 



Main activities

The project’s objective is to make migration an enabler in the regional and local development of Western Visayas. Its strategy is to capacitate local stakeholders, particularly the local government units, to prepare their respective local development and investment plans that take into consideration migration as an enable to local development, coordinate with migrants and their families for investments and other economically viable activities, and operate migration resource centers to provide services for migrants and their families such as investment promotion and financial literacy activities. This is also in line with Country Programme’s aim of strengthening the capacities of local communities including LGUs to access and manage assets and revenues from environmental and mineral resources and overseas remittances for local development.

Main beneficiaries

Related to the results framework of the global JMDI programme, the project will maximize the potential of migration for local government particularly those in disaster-affected areas through the delivery of targeted support to local authorities and non-state actors and responding to needs and recovery of affected migrants or their families.


The expected outputs and corresponding activities are:

Output 1: Constituencies of local actors in the regions of intervention equipped to engage on and promote the links between migration and development


            Activity 1.1: Prepare the Western Visayas Migration Situationer

            Activity 1.2: Conduct of one regional forum and four capacity building activities

            Activity 1.3: Mentoring of 15 local government units on mainstreaming M&D


Output 2: Local authorities’ initiatives and activities relative to operating functioning migration resource centers and pooling collective remittances to support disaster risk reduction strengthened


            Activity 2.1: Establishment of Regional Development Council’s Sub-Committee on M&D

            Activity 2.2: Establishment of at least three functioning Provincial Migration Resource Centers with financial literacy and investment promotion activities

            Activity 2.3: Implementation of collective remittance mechanism to support disaster risk reduction


Output 3: Local authorities and civil society organizations connected internationally to facilitate partnerships and knowledge sharing


Activity 3.1: Involve local stakeholders in the M4D Net

Activity 3.2: Develop specific knowledge products in the field of migration and development

Activity 3.3: Leveraging on dedicated meetings for local authorities to facilitate partnership building


Output 4: Project management and oversight

Project Pictures


Project Documents

  • Iloilo City, Philippines – The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) in partnership with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) – Region VI successfully launched the Capacity Building on the Development and Use of Localized BaLinkBayan Portal on November 25-26, 2015 at Amigo Terrace Hotel, Iloilo City.

    The two-day training was attended by Migration and Development (M&D) focal persons, investment officers and IT/web developers from four provinces (Iloilo, Antique, Guimaras, and Aklan), two cities (Iloilo City and Passi City), and seven municipalities (Kalibo, San Jose de Buenavista, Sta. Barbara, Oton, Jordan, Tangalan, and Lambunao). The event was graced by Mrs. Maria Victoria Griengo-Mabilog, Iloilo City’s M&D Champion, as well as Engr. Gilberto Altura, Chief Economic Development Specialist – NEDA Region VI. They set the tone for the regional forum through their opening remarks.

    Through the collaboration of these stakeholders, the capacity building aims  to introduce the one-stop on-line portal for Overseas Filipinos’ Diaspora Engagement called: BaLinkBayan and to train the participants on how to utilize the portal as a tool to promote M&D programs in  their respective areas. 

  • The Migration and Development Initiative in Western Visayas conducted its first capacity building for local stakeholders on November 26-28, 2014 in Iloilo City. 

    The training aims to mainstream Migration and Development (M&D) into local plans and investment programs of the Local Government Units (LGUs) in the Western Visayas Region.

    Specifically, it aims to:

    • Determine and analyze the current condition of the LGUs in terms of their local plans and invest programs;
    • Formulate vision, strategic directions, and long-term local plans;
    • Adopt the outputs and identify the next steps for implementation of the plan for investment programming; and
    • Convey the plans and programs to the local chief executives and other local officials, and the constituents. 


  • Organized by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas and NEDA Region VI, in partnership with the University of San Agustin in Iloilo, the MDI-WV conducted its second training in Antique province on February 18-20, 2015. The training aims to build and strengthen local Migration and Development institutions in the Western Visayas Region.

    • At the end of the training, the local stakeholders have:Determined the type of M&D institutions to be established or strengthened at the local level
    • Planned and strategized for the establishment or strengthening of these institutions
    • Identified program of action, activities and services to be offered by the M&D institutions
    • Strategized on how to mobilize resources and sustain its operation
    • Institutionalized a system for monitoring and evaluation of the institutions and its program of action


  • This study was conducted to generate information about Overseas Filipinos and their families, as well as various government programs and services for the benefit of overseas Filipinos. Socio-demographic and psycho-graphic characteristics of Overseas Filipinos and their families were described. Issues and concerns confronting the return migrants in Western Visayas were also presented. The migration situationer covered all 6 provinces of Western Visayas especially where there are many Overseas Filipinos.

    The majority of the households with migrants have only one migrant. The majority of migrants are married or cohabiting, have a college degree, and are either land-based or sea-based workers in Asia. They are temporary residents of the host country and are either on job order or contractual status. Many of those who left the country between 2000 and 2015 had no job before leaving. Those who are working are either service workers or are in trade-related occupations. Most of them left the country to look for a better paying job. Many of them have monthly earnings of between 10,000 PHP and 29,999 PHP abroad. The majority sends monthly remittances either through bank deposit or through money transfer. Most migrants come home once a year to take a vacation for one to three months.

    The survey includes information on 400 households with migrants: a total of 2,307 persons. There are more females than males in these households, and a dependency ratio of 42.1. Average household size is 5.8 persons, and most of these households are composed of extended families. More than half of the household population have finished at least high school, however, only 42 percent of the members are reported to be working.

    Housing characteristics of the migrants were also collected and most of the houses have finished floors, galvanized roofing, and finished walls. These households have electricity and own several durable goods, personal effects and electronic devices. Only 20 percent own real properties, 30 percent own or manage a business, and 39 percent have outstanding loans. Most common leisure activities included eating in fast food restaurants, shopping in the malls, or simply staying at home.

    Click here to read the full study.

  • The Migration and Development Initiative for Western Visayas (MDI-WV) Project conducted its Knowledge Exchange with the Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) CALABARZON last November 8-10, 2015.

    The activity, organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with MDI counterparts in Western Visayas and Region1, took place in Batangas City, San Pablo City, and Dasmarinas, Cavite.

  • As part of the advocacy in mainstreaming migration and development at the local level, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, National Economic and Development Authority Region VI and Western Visayas League of Local Planning and Development Coordinators conducted a three day capacity building on M&D mainstreaming in select LGUs in the Province of Aklan. Data from the CFO shows that the top three municipalities with the most number of permanent migrants came from the municipalities of Kalibo, Banga and Numancia.

    The training and strategic planning is part of the series of activities under the Migration and Development Initiative-Western Visayas, a project which is funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation and currently being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme.