PH supports adoption of UN Post-2015 Migration and Development Agenda
(Statement of Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, Secretary, Department of Labor and Employment, at the 2nd High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, United Nations Headquarters, New York, October 3-4, 2013.)
The Philippines as a major labor country origin has pioneered a system of managing temporary contract migration, recognized as a model by the international community. It is founded on a strong legal and social framework and known for its comprehensive State policy of protection of the rights of migrants, regardless of status, covering all phases of the migration cycle. It serves as one of the pillars of the Philippine economic, social, and foreign policy. Notwithstanding this long-tested model, the management of migration of more than 10 million overseas Filipinos, living and working in more than 200 countries, and annually contributing $22 billion in remittances or 10 percent of our GDP (gross domestic product), continues to face many challenges in the light of the development goal set by President Benigno Aquino III of sustainable inclusive growth and decent work for all, where remittances are leveraged to spur investment and growth to MSMEs, and where migration for work is envisioned to be a genuine option and not a necessity.
In recognition of the positive contributions of migrants to both countries of origin and countries of destinations, and in pursuit of the goal of protection of their rights, the Philippines supports the inclusion of migration in the post-2015 UN development agenda with the goal of achieving decent work for migrants and their families, anchored on governance principles of transparency, responsibility, accountability, and mutuality of benefits. We also express our desire that the dialogue be reconvened periodically every five years to assess its progress; and that stock–taking consider the results and outcomes of dialogue processes like the Global Forum on Migration and Development, the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, the Colombo Process, among others.
The Philippines, based on its long experience as a major country of origin, supports a post-2015 migration and sustainable development agenda which may be pursued through national, bipartite, and multilateral arrangements, with the following objectives: respect for the universally recognized rights of migrants and their families, promotion of legal, ethical and orderly migration, measures to address the gender dimension and migration’s impact on women and children, particularly those in domestic work, effective access to fast and fair complaint mechanisms and judicial remedies, labor mobility through mutual recognition of skills and professions, regulation and monitoring of recruitment agencies, access to social security and health care and portability of social security and pension rights, “return home” programs for effective reintegration, faster, safer and less costly transfer of remittances, assistance to returning distressed migrants and trafficked persons, international action against trafficking and human smuggling, and UN – led multilateral action involving countries of origin, transit and destination, to address the plight of migrants caught in conflict and crisis situations, to keep them from harm’s way and ensure their fast and safe return.
With the support of Member States, relevant international development organizations, the social partners and civil society organizations, we also express the hope that progress made in this post–2015 agenda in terms of concrete follow–up plan of actions at the national, regional, and international levels, may be monitored trough a set of global migration and development indicators to benchmark good practices on decent work for migrants and their families.
With the adoption of the post-2015 migration and development agenda, the commitment of Member States for follow–up concrete plan of actions at appropriate levels of engagement, and its periodic assessment using the set of indicators to monitor its progress, the outcome of this High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development will be assured of its success and, together we will be able to help strengthen the foundation of global peace, security, and prosperity for all.