Oliver Bugarin 10 0 0 4 min to read

ILO and QC collaborate to establish a one-stop shop for migratory workers

Within the grounds of Quezon City hall, a one-stop shop for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families will soon open.

The local government and the International Labor Organization (ILO) signed a partnership agreement on Monday to build the Migrants Resource Center (MRC), which is anticipated to improve service delivery, program implementation, and governance surrounding migration and development.

The program will receive funding from the European Union as part of its Safe and Fair Programme, which aims to improve labor migration governance, address risks associated with migration systems that may lead to violence and human trafficking, and support approaches to violence against women that are rights-based and gender-responsive.

“We are thrilled about this agreement because it implies that our existing ordinance, which advocates for the establishment of an MRC, will finally be put into effect. Since that time, we have worked to honor our OFWs by acting on their behalf and guiding them toward a future in which their cross-border travel will be met with success, profit, and positivity, stated Mayor Joy Belmonte at the signing ceremony at the city hall.

When Belmonte was still vice mayor in 2016, the city council enacted City Ordinance SP 2500 or An Ordinance establishing the Quezon City Migrants Resource Center.

According to the legislation, the MRC will serve all varieties of migrants, including undocumented, temporary, and permanent ones, and will offer assessment and referral services, assistance in finding local jobs, psycho-social first aid, and pertinent information on migration via a help desk.

For returning OFWs and their families, case management and legal assistance services will also be made available, along with reintegration programs including livelihood skills training and re-skilling.

The MRC is a significant move for OFWs, according to Khalid Hassan, head of the ILO Country Office in the Philippines, especially given that Quezon City is one of the major migration hubs in Metro Manila.

Hassan stated, “We affirm the technical partnership with Quezon City on MRC on the following components: improving gender-responsive service delivery and coordination mechanisms; enhancing local data collection and management; building capacity for migration stakeholders including service providers, OFWs, families, communities, and OFW groups and networks; bolstering migrant groups and networks; and raising public awareness of labor migration and MRC.

Activities for migrant women that are gender-sensitive will be created in collaboration with the Public Employment Services Office (PESO).

This time, according to Rogelio Reyes, manager of PESO, “we are implementing at the local level some of the essential tasks of the national government, and we are addressing crucial gaps in policy and program execution and service supply.”

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, about 60 percent of the more than 1.77 million OFWs will be women by 2020.

Over 75% of OFWs work in lower-paying, riskier occupations including domestic work, secretarial, sales, service, or employment in factories and manufacturing that are primarily held by women.

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