[L-R]: Mr. Jose San Jose of Integrated Bicol Migrants, Ms. Kristina Oliveros of NRCO, and Ms. Jenevie Aguallos of OWWA during the mapping workshop.
The Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, Inc. (Atikha), in coordination with the Bicol Committee on Migration and Development, conducted a migration stakeholders’ consultation on August 23 at NEDA Regional Office 5, Legazpi City. The activity aimed to: (1) capacitate the participants on the Go, Earn, Achieve, Return-Uplift Philippines (GEAR-UP!) Program, (2) facilitate mapping of existing reintegration programs and services in the region, and (3) enable sharing of experiences and best practices among the participants to improve service delivery to migration stakeholders.
The consultation facilitated the orientation on the GEAR-UP! Program followed by the mapping workshops. The GEAR-UP! program focuses on bringing home Filipino domestic workers and provide them with sustainable jobs and businesses in the country through social and economic programs such as facilitation of savings, investments and engaging in entrepreneurial activities.
Two sessions were conducted during the consultation. The first session was participated by 24 representatives from regional line agencies (RLAs), national government agencies (NGAs), and civil society organizations (CSOs) while the second session was participated by 14 representatives from government financial institutions (GFIs), government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), and private and business organizations.
One of the strategies in the Philippine Development Plan and the Bicol Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 is to facilitate the successful reintegration of overseas Filipinos (OFs) and their families. As such, the Atikha also partnered with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) to ensure that the country’s reintegration mechanisms for OFs are well established.
Atikha is a non-government organization that provides economic and social services to overseas Filipinos and their families in the Philippines. The organization aims to help address the social cost of migration and tap the development potential of migration.