Converging Initiatives in Engaging Overseas Filipinos and other Stakeholders on Migration and Development
The forum with Filipino community in Hong Kong took place on 27 September and gathered relevant migrants and migrants’ organizations for the purpose of:
- Converging initiatives of migrant groups, national and local governments, CSOs and private sector on local M&D policy dialogue, return and reintegration, and creating an enabling local business/economic environment for development.
- Updating and enhancing awareness of OFWs/OFs in HK of key migrant-related policies, laws, programs/services by relevant government agencies and CSOs to help protect, support, provide redress for OFWs in HK and/or their families in the Philippines; these services/policies aim to defend OFWs against abuses so that they can plan and build their savings, investment and reintegration plans/preparations.
- Building or enhancing the capacities of key migrants/migrant organizations as champions and advocates of the local-to-local dimension of M&D, which could potentially lead to more functional and productive twinning, territorial or sister-city partnerships and arrangements.
- Informing migrants on programs and good practices of national and local government, NGOs, cooperatives, financial institutions that help facilitate savings, investment and enterprise development.
The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, through its Advocacy and Communications Committee led by the CFO, provided additional support to the forum. The JMDI Bicol, SUMMID Calabarzon, and Migration and Development Initiative in Western Visayas and Region I projects participated. JMDI Bicol was represented by the cities of Naga, Legazpi, Tabaco, Sorsogon and Masbate, and the province of Camarines Norte. SUMMID Calabarzon was represented by Atikha; MDI-WV by NEDA Region VI; and MDI-1 by CFO.
The national government was represented by the Philippine Consulate General in HK (which also represented the Office of the Labor Attache, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Overseas Workers Administration, Social Security System and Pag-IBIG under the one-country team approach), CFO and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs.
The private sector was represented by the Soro-soro Ibaba Development Cooperative through Congressman Rico Geron.
A total of 135 participants attended the forum from the following Filipino organizations in HK.
There also were attendees who were not affiliated with any organization. Media entities from HK News, HK Life, The Sun and DBC5 also attended.
A mini-forum was conducted on September 28 at the PLU-DW office for OFWs who were not able to attend the September 27 forum. Fourteen PLU members participated. The issues/recommendations raised during the forum were on expanding the local M&D coverage to include regions beyond those under JMDI; migration and health especially on membership and benefits with PhilHealth; and savings for their eventual return.
- Diaspora engagement