ICMA 2014_Panel 4_Maruja Asis

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1. RETURN MIGRATION POLICIES &PROGRAMS IN THE PHILIPPINES: A WORKIN PROGRESSINTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MIGRATIONIN AFRICACape Town, South Africa, 3 December 2014Maruja M.B. Asis Scalabrini Migration Center 2. Return migration in the Philippines: overview ofresearch findings and knowledge gaps Highlights of major policy developments & keyprograms in facilitating the return andreintegration of Filipino migrants Return migration and development in thePhilippines Concluding reflectionsOutline of presentation 3. Large-scale, persisting internationalmigration since the 1970s The Filipino diaspora 10.4 million overseas Filipinos Present in all regions, but largely in the Americas Diverse occupational profile, with concentrations innursing, maritime & domestic workCountry Migration Report: The Philippines (2013) -http://publications.iom.int/bookstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=41_7&products_id=971PRELUDE: THE PHILIPPINES, A COUNTRY OFMIGRANTS 4. Region Permanent Temporary Irregular TOTALWORLD 492579747%422104140.2%134279012.8%10489628Africa 4641 47992 8240 60873Asia- E&S 266627 798510 514215 1599352Asia-W 7478 2449583 378475 2835536Europe 392195 219896 156315 768326Americas &3875930 240827 279595 4396352Trust Terr.Oceania 358926 97448 5950 462324Seabasedworkers366865 366865Distribution of Overseas Filipinos by World Region :Stock Estimate (Dec 2012) 5. International labor migration has contributed to transforming thePhilippines into a country of migrants.Remittances show an upward trend (USD118 million in 1974; USD24billion in 2013); PH ranked 3rd after China and India in remittancesreceived in 2013. 6. Return migration is structural in temporarylabor migration in Asia Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are focus ofreturn migration policies & programs Tendency of OFWs to renew their contracts or re-migrateto other destinations Retirement migration: end of migration? Permanent migrants are engaging intemporary returns Reflects transnationalism among migrants Retirement migration as return migrationPRELUDE: THE PHILIPPINES, ACOUNTRY OF MIGRANTS 7. Data on return migration lacking; scale andprofile of return migration are not known An estimated 3.5-4.5 million overseas Filipinoworkers have permanently returned since 1974 Studies on reintegration point to economicconcerns as the primary concern of returnmigrants Few returnees return home for good Temporary overseas employment becomes thepermanent employment Family needs urge returnees to go abroad again In general, return migrants have little knowledgeabout return & reintegration programs & services No study on the return of permanent emigrants?RETURN MIGRATION: KEY FINDINGS & GAPS 8. Emergency or unscheduled return due to conflict,economic crisis, or natural disasters Return migrants are not well-informed aboutreturn and reintegration programsRETURN MIGRATION: KEY KINDINGS & GAPS 9. Return of return migration policies in Asia in connectionwith diasporas & their potentials as development partners(Xiang, 2014) Recent turn in return migration policies in the EU linked topolicies on unauthorized migration (Cassarino,2014) Return migration in the Philippine, a policy concern sincethe early years of the overseas employment program Underlying assumption, return migration is the end oftemporary labor migration To date, return and reintegration programs are still a workin progress compared to interventions in the pre-migrationand migration phasesRETURN MIGRATION: POLICY DEVELOPMENTS 10. Sec 18 of RA 8042 as amended by RA 10022 defines thefunctions of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO): Develop and support programs and projects for livelihood,entrepreneurship, savings, investments and financial literacyfor returning Filipino migrant workers and their families . . . Coordinate with appropriate stakeholders, service providersand relevant international organizations . . . Institute, in cooperation with other government agenciesconcerned, a computer-based information system on returningFilipino migrant workers. . . Provide a periodic study and assessment of job opportunitiesfor returning Filipino migrant workers Maintain an internet-based communication system for on-lineregistration and interaction with clients, and maintain andupgrade computer-based service capabilities of the NRCO Develop capacity-building programs for returning overseasFilipino workers and their families, implementers, serviceproviders, and stakeholders; and Conduct research for policy recommendations and programdevelopment.RETURN MIGRATION: POLICY DEVELOPMENTS 11. Return & reintegration programs were under the purview ofthe Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (an attachedagency of the Department of Labor and Employment) Livelihood assistance; entrepreneurship Psycho-social support for migrants and their families RA 10022 (2010), which amended the Migrant Workers andOverseas Filipinos Act of 1995, defined the functions of theNational Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) NRCO established in 2007, but resources (staff, funds)were provided from 2010 www.nrco.dole.gov.phRETURN MIGRATION: POLICY DEVELOPMENTS 12. RETURNDecisionTimeVOLUNTARY INVOLUNTARYEND OFCONTRACTAchievementEntrepreneurshipDerived from Battistella (2004: 212-229)CompletionEconomicReintegrationDEVELOPMENTBEFORE ENDOF CONTRACTSetbackReintegrationRedeploymentCrisisEmergencyinitiativesASSISTANCEINDIRECT DIRECT TypeActionPOLICIES 13. NRCOs programs and services Scaling up of existing businesses; jobs-generatingbusinesses (facility for larger loans) Balik Pinay, Balik Hanapbuhay (Filipina returninghome, back to employment) 10K livelihood financial assistance to distressedoverseas Filipino workers Recent experiences: crisis-related returnmigration (e.g., global economic crisis, MENAcrisis, civil war in Syria) The Philippines has developed mechanisms to dealwith mass evacuation and emergency assistance The challenge: post-repatriation employmentRETURN MIGRATION: POLICY DEVELOPMENTS 14. Recent approaches to support return &reintegration programs Financial education for migrants & theirfamilies Integration of planning for return early on(e.g., pre-departure orientation seminars havea module on financial planning) Involving local governments Involving the cooperation of destinationcountries (e.g., South Koreas happy returnprogram)RETURN MIGRATION: POLICY DEVELOPMENTS 15. Assessments and recent nationalconsultations find problematic issues Lack of data on number and profiles of returnees Lack of knowledge about return & reintegrationprograms Information on programs, requirements & benefitsnot clear Reconsideration of the large loanable amounts OFWs tend to view loans as grants, hencerepayment is problematic Reestablishing life in the Philippines vs. re-migrationRETURN MIGRATION: POLICY DEVELOPMENTS 16. Myrna Padilla was adomestic worker for 20years (Taiwan,Singapore, Hong Kong) Founded a BPO companyin Davao City, Philippineshttp://myndconsulting.com/ Advocate of migrantprotection http://www.ofwwatch.com/RETURN MIGRATION & DEVELOPMENT 17. RETURN MIGRATION & DEVELOPMENTRista, an Indonesian, worked in Singapore for 10 years.She was amazed at the many books that her 2-year old ward hasread. This inspired her to open a library for children in hervillage. 18. RETURN MIGRATION & DEVELOPMENTThe childrenslibrary ,Ceria,which meanshappiness,opened in July2013Source:https://www.facebook.com/readingacrossworlds 19. Information onstarting abusiness/investment,donation/volunteering,governmentservices, andinteractivemapshttp://www.balinkbayan.gov.ph/ 20. Caveats the different context & degree of institutionalizationof international migration from the Philippines initiatives are in the pilot stage importance of learning from each other (e.g.,insights from the MIDA program) It takes a village to realize the developmentpotentials of return migration.INSIGHTS FROM THE PHILIPPINEEXPERIENCE