The NEDA, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), consulted Bicol migrants and their families on proposed legislation and provisions in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) related to migration and development. The consultation was held last November 11 (Friday) at the NEDA regional office in Legazpi City.
Atty. Golda Myra Roma of the UNDP facilitated the consultation on the bills filed in the 17th Congress creating a Department for Overseas Filipino Workers (DOW) or a Department of Migration and Development (DMD) and their salient features. The proposed creation of a DOW or DMD will entail dissolution, merger and/or consolidation of existing agencies related to overseas employment and migration. Majority of the participants raised issues and concerns that justify the creation of a single department for overseas workers and migrants, such as the lack of a harmonized database of migrants and their families and a single inventory of all programs, projects, and services that are being implemented and provided by different agencies for migrants and their families.
Ms. Vella Leonor Salazar of the NEDA-National Policy and Planning Staff facilitated the consultation on the proposed strategic framework for international migration and development under the successor PDP. Additional strategies that were proposed by the participants include: (a) enhancing education curricula at all levels towards changing the mindset of Filipino children that life is better in the Philippines than abroad, promoting cultural awareness, and instilling patriotism and preference for local products over foreign brands; (b) addressing the social cost of migration, particularly broken relationships; and (c) developing a common database and profile of migrants and their families as basis for more focused and responsive interventions.
The views and opinions gathered from the consultation will serve as inputs to the congressional hearings on the proposed legislation and the writing of the successor PDP 2017-2022 and Bicol Regional Development Plan components on migration and development.