At the sidelines of the 103rd ILC
Baldoz and IOM’s Director General Swing vow closer cooperation on migrant protection

Geneva– Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz of the Philippines’s Department of Labor and Employment, in this city for the 103rd International Labour Conference, last Friday met with International Organization for Migration Director General William Lacy Swing during which both officials vowed for tighter and closer cooperation on migrant protection.

With Baldoz during the meeting with DG Swing were Ambassador Cecilia B. Rebong, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, Undersecretary Rebecca Chato, Head of the Philippine Delegation to the 103rd ILC, and delegation members Labor Attache Ma. Celeste Valderrama, Minister Enrico Fos, Regional Director Alex Avila, Director Saul De Vries, and Director Romeo Montefalco.

Secretary Baldoz and DG Swing engaged in a wide-ranging issues on migration, but both officials basically focused on current issues, such as return migration, cost of migration, and pandemic diseases.

Baldoz started the discussion by thanking Director General Swing for all the IOM’s support to the Philippines in the last few years.

“The IOM is really a partner of the Philippines in matters relating to migration, including migration management and migrant protection,” said Baldoz, informing the IOM chief that her statement at the 103rd ILC focused on fair migration.
Among the projects that she said have been completed through IOM-Philippine cooperation are the Youth Employment and Migration (YEM) project, which built and set-up One-Stop Shop Youth and Migrant Centers in Agusan del Sur, Masbate, Antique, and Maguindanao, four of the poorest provinces in the country.

“This project has improved policy coherence and implementation of youth employment and migration initiatives, built-up the beneficiaries’ policy advocacy to strengthen migration and development framework, and the youth employment and migration lens in migration governance,” Baldoz told DG Swing.

She also cited the completion in 2013 of the Philippines’s Country Migration Report, which organized the country’s migration information in line with the advocacy for migration profiles of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).

“With IOM support, we have been implementing an integrated campaign against illegal recruitment, trafficking and irregular migration (CAIRTIM) through the Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS),” she also said.

Under this IOM-Philippines partnership, the DOLE, through the POEA had produced Working Abroad: A Preparation Checklist, an accordion-type brochure that lists the 21 steps in applying for overseas employment to ensure safe and legal migration. The 21 steps start with attendance to the PEOS up to preparation of luggage, travel documents, and for departure. The POEA has also produced a Campaign Against Illegal Recruitment, Trafficking and Irregular Migration (CAIRTIM) Trainer’s Manual, an  instructional material developed primarily to guide trainers who will spread the myriad of anti-illegal recruitment, trafficking-in-persons and irregular migration core messages, labor migration regulations, labor laws, and related information on overseas employment.

Director General Swing cited the excellent relationship between the Philippines and the IOM and commended Secretary Baldoz for the Philippines’s advanced institutional and policy framework on migration.

“Regionally and globally, I think you are really taking migration management and migrant workers’ protection in a very commendable way,” Swing told Baldoz, adding that he appreciates very much the Secretary’s role in the Abu Dhabi Dialogue.

He said the IOM is ready to continue extending support to the Philippines so it “can build momentum” in its migrant protection initiatives, especially on lowering the cost of migration.

“We have to get more countries on-board this campaign to lower the cost of migration, particularly the cost of remittance, such as bank transfer fees. That is how people will begin to recognize the necessity of addressing this issue,” Swing said.


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