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Activity Group1

The Second International Workshop in the Philippines

Activity Group1

Second Afrasian International Workshop

International Migration Issues from the Sending Country (Philippines) Perspective

3-5 February 2013, at Metro Manila and Laguna, the Philippines


Group 1 held its Second International Workshop in the Philippines on February 3-5, 2013. During the three-day workshop, we held a joint forum with the Third World Studies Center of the University of the Philippines Diliman, and we also had field visits to meet with key international migration stakeholders.


The forum discussed the governance of migration from the perspective of sending countries. Presentations were made by Dr. Jorge Tigno (UP Diliman) and Dr. Habibul Khondker (Zayed University). Dr. Tigno gave an overview of how migration is managed in the Philippines arguing that there’s very little coordination among the different state institutions involved in the migration process. Dr. Khondker discussed the challenge of how to harmonize the interests of labor sending and receiving countries, by describing the situation of Bangladeshi workers in the UAE. Two presentations and following discussion highlighted that migration challenges -- in terms of state sovereignty, lack of institutional communication, limited inter-state coordination, ambiguity of data and information sharing among relevant actors, and the impacts of ad hoc policy -- are still prevalent in society and may be worsening with the increasing rate of return back to hometowns.


As for field visits, we observed counseling and guidance session for emigrants at Commission of Filipinos Overseas, and also met officers there to learn and discuss about what the government can do to protect and improve rights and conditions of overseas Filipinos as well as possible cooperation with other stakeholders. At Maligaya House – NGO supporting Japanese Filipino Children – we could know the difficult life situation of Filipino women returned from Japan and their children with Japanese father, and what legal support NGOs and other actors are available, or cannot be provided, for them. And at Laguna province, we visited the area called “Little Italy” where there are many European style houses built by Overseas Filipino Workers, and also Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, an NGO working to support community development, to provide psychological and economic support for migrants and their families, and to develop financial literacy among them.


This workshop enabled us to adopt a more balanced and comprehensive approach in analysing micro-level conflicts arising from international migration and in addressing the economic, social and cultural determinants and impacts of international migration. (For the detail of this workshop, please see Afrasia Research Series No.3)