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Fund in Action: Philippines

Bridging Recruitment to Reintegration in Migration Governance: Philippines (BRIDGE) 

Philippines, Photo: ©IOM

The BRIDGE Joint Programme supported the Government of the Philippines in achieving priority objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). It focused on fair and ethical recruitment, decent work conditions, safe return and readmission, and sustainable reintegration of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). BRIDGE emphasized partnerships, stakeholder collaboration, and enhanced migration governance policies to ensure sustainability and aimed at addressing the needs and protection of OFWs throughout the migration cycle. 

To promote fair and ethical recruitment and sustainable reintegration, BRIDGE actively supported the Government of the Philippines in strengthening migration data governance. 

  • A Migration Data Governance Strategy aimed at helping migration governance agencies to harmonize their migration data systems and processes was adopted.  

  • 296 individuals were trained in data collection, management, analysis and verification. In addition, 225 individuals were trained in recruitment and reintegration. 

BRIDGE improved policies and practices related to fair and ethical recruitment and sustainable reintegration.  

  • BRIDGE equipped key migration stakeholders, including the newly established Department of Migrant Workers, with the necessary tools, expertise, and skills to advance gender-responsive policies and practices. 

  • A multi-stakeholder interagency Technical Working Group for the National Action Plan on Fair and Ethical Recruitment and Sustainable, Gender-Responsive Return and Reintegration was established, in collaboration with the Department of Migrant Workers.  

  • A Migrant Resource Center of the Local Government of Quezon City was operationalized in 2022, enabling the delivery of localized, coordinated and gender-responsive migration programmes and services to migrant workers and their families. 

  • 8 government agencies and national partners were trained on sustainable gender-sensitive reintegration programming. 

  • 95 female OFWs and their families were trained on agroforestry, agribusiness or data annotation.  

  • 505 individuals were trained in enhanced reintegration programming, gender responsiveness, and case management. 

BRIDGE undertook a wide range of activities, including advocacy and awareness-raising events, as well as multi-stakeholder initiatives aimed at enhancing the regulatory framework governing private employment agencies and worker protection. 

  • 1,913 individuals were reached through 16 advocacy and awareness-raising events on gender-responsive migration governance, reintegration services and social protection.  

  • 11 government agencies and national partners participated in a multistakeholder event promoting the ratification of ILO Convention 181, establishing a comprehensive framework for the registration, licensing, and effective regulation of private employment agencies and the protection of workers who use their services. 

BRIDGE trained 95 female OFWs and their families in agroforestry, agribusiness, and data annotation. The project's goals include piloting a reintegration initiative for female OFWs, building the capacity of returnees and their families in agroforestry business management, and increasing income for these individuals. 

Agroforestry, agripreneurship and farming training: 

"Training was a big help. Before, I didn't know how to clean the farm. What I knew before was just cutting down trees. During the training, we were taught how to plant hedgerows on sloping terrain...” 

Financial literacy training: 

"...I've learned that I should prioritize basic needs in my spending. I've also realized that, before saving, I need to pay off my debts first. After the financial literacy training, I thought of supplementing my income by becoming a rice, fruit juice, and load business agent, which I am now." 

Philippines, Photo: ©IOM/William Shea

Welyn dela Torre, a 42-year-old, faced the challenges of being an Overseas Filipino Worker in Singapore. Upon returning to the Philippines, while her seafarer husband navigated the seas, she took on the responsibility of caring for their land and raising their kids single-handedly. Welyn embraced transformative training, gaining essential financial literacy and sustainable farming skills provided by the Joint Programme.  

"For me, out of all the trainings I took part in, the [financial literacy] one that changed my life was understanding how to make money, how to spend money, and how to spend less of it.”  

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*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).