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Friday, March 13, 2009

RP to join preparatory meeting in Washington, DC toward second annual Transatlantic Forum on Migration

The Philippines, a leader in the global arena on welfare-oriented and productive migration, will boost the crucial preparatory proceedings to the second annual Transatlantic Forum on Migration and Integration meeting which will take place in Washington, D.C. on March 13 to 15 under the aegis of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS) in cooperation with the Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque has assured that key labor and employment expertise would facilitate the Philippines’ inputs during the event, which will chart the agenda of the forthcoming 2nd annual Transatlantic Forum on Migration and Integration in Austin and San Antonio, Texas, the United States from July 15 to 19, 2009.

Roque cited the importance of the Transatlantic forum, at which the allied economies and host nations of the United States and Europe play a major role, in understanding and leading the development of responses to the issues and trends affecting global productive migration today.
“Inevitably, such an effort will hold the promise and potential, whether directly or indirectly, of complementing the current efforts among the economies to address the global financial crisis (GFC) and its effects on vulnerable migrant workers.”

Amidst the development, the Labor and Employment Chief stated that notwithstanding the GFC, RP remains a leader in the field of productive migration following the global deployment of some 1.376 million documented overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who also remitted back to the Philippine economy some US$ 16.4 billion from more than 190 host destinations in 2008. Roque further reported that, undaunted by the GFC, global OFW deployment showed an uptrend reaching some 165,737 in January 2009 alone, for a total worldwide growth of 25.3 percent, from 132,285 in the same period in 2008.

Roque, thus, in connection with RP’s participation in the agenda-setting meeting on March 13-15, and the second annual Transatlantic Forum on Migration and Integration in the GMFUS headquarters in Washington, D.C. on July 15 to 19, 2009, designated DOLE official Merliza M. Makinano, who is the vice head of the DOLE Task Force on the Global Forum on Migration and Development, to attend the proceedings.

Makinano, who represents RP in the international forum, is currently the Deputy Executive Director of the DOLE’s “think-tank,” the Institute for Labor Studies, after previously heading the Department’s International Labor Affairs Service (ILAS).

She had earlier represented the Philippines in the pioneering, first annual Transtlantic Forum on Migration and Integration held at the Castle Pommensfelden near Nuremberg, Germany on July 9 to 13 last year.

The sponsors of the successful first forum --- GMFUS which is a grantmaking and public policy institute dedicated to strengthening cooperation, as well as the Robert Bosch Stiftung, a major German foundation devoted to international relations, health, and education --- ensured the participation of some 55 emerging leaders from migrant sending and receiving nations including the Philippines, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Gambia, Senegal, Spain, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, along with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Organization for Undocumented Migrant Workers (OUMW).

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