Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Migrants' Stories, Migrants' Voices 6



The Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW), with support from the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, published the sixth volume of Migrants' Stories, Migrants' Voices. This edition features 10 stories of migrants, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and members of their families. It talks about the different faces of migration and the challenges migrants and members of their families had to go through abroad and in the Philippines. It speaks of how migrants faced the challenges of being in a foreign land and how the families left behind copes with the absence of their family members.

Here's a video presentation of Migrants' Stories, Migrants' Voices 6


The book was launched during the National Forum on Migration held on December 18, 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center. PMRW President Carmelita Nuqui presented the overview of the book at the start of the launch. Some of the contributors, Ms. Kanna Junio, Mr. Ericson and Dr. Adelemarie Nacion, were present to share their messages regarding their featured stories. Copies of the book were distributed at the forum.

Ms. Kanna Junio, a Japanese-Filipino child, one of the contributors of MSMV6
Mr. Ericson and Dr. Adelemarie Nacion, OFWs in Thailand, sharing their message
(L-R): Mr. Ericson and Dr. Adelemarie Nacion, Ms. Kanna Junio, PMRW President Carmelita Nuqui, PMRW Coordinator Lance Velasco and PMRW Treasurer Ma. Ediza Pumarada during the launch of Migrants' Stories, Migrants' Voices 6 last December 18, 2017 at PICC.
PMRW will continue to publish these series of migration stories. It is our hope that through this publication, our readers will have a deeper appreciation and understanding of the intricacies of migration and the plights of our migrants and OFWs.

Migrants' Stories, Migrants' Voices 6 is now available at the PMRW Secretariat. You may contact them at (63 2) 526-9098 or email pmrw@pmrw.org.ph

2017 National Forum on Migration



The culminating activity in the series of fora for this year is the National Forum on Migration and Celebration of International Migrants Day held at the Philippine International Convention Center on December 18, 2017. This Forum was organized by the IAC-MOF with support from the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT). This was attended by around 250 participants that include OFW Family circle members, academe, overseas Filipinos and their families, representatives from the government and other stakeholders in the migration process.

The Forum started with the screening of the award-winning film, "Sunday Beauty Queen." This was followed by short messages from the movie's director, Ms. Baby Ruth Villarama, and members of the cast, Ms. Mylene Jacobo and Daddy Leo Selomenio.

(L-R): Leo Selomenio, Ms. Baby Ruth Villarama and Ms. Mylene Jacobo of Sunday Beauty Queen
The Forum started with an invocation song composed by Fr. Graziano Batistella of the Scalabrini Migration Center, followed by the message from PMRW President and IAC-MOF Chair, Ms. Carmelita Nuqui. In her message, she has enumerated the key activities for this year’s celebration of the MOF and the importance of reintegration among migrants and members of their families. Introduced Dir. Maria Regina Angela Galias of the CFO, the Forum was graced by DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III. He has reassured the government’s support for OFWs through a wide array of programs and services specifically for them.

PMRW President and IAC-MOF Chair Carmelita Nuqui giving her message

DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello reassuring government's support for OFWs in his message.
With the Forum's theme centered on reintegration, the speakers presented their respective reintegration and programs and services to OFs and members of their families. OWWA Deputy Administrator Josefino Torres shared their programs and IACAT Executive Director Darlene Pajarito gave an overview on the human trafficking situation in the Philippines and interventions being provided.

OWWA Deputy Administrator Josefino Torres
IACAT Executive Director Darlene Pajarito
(L-R) IACAT Executive Director Darlene Pajarito & OWWA Deputy Administrator Josefino Torres during Open Forum
Mr. Roel Martin of NRCO shared their reintegration services, Ms. Corabeth Magkalas of DTI presented Entrepreneurship and Investment Opportunities for OFs, Dir. Marie Apattad of the CFO showcased the BaLinkBayan web-based portal, Dr. Joel Buenaventura discussed the IMRAP, and PMRW President and DAWN Executive Director Carmelita Nuqui shared DAWN's holistic approach to reintegration. Leo Selomenio shared her experience as an OFW and Filipino community leader in Hong Kong.

Mr. Roel Martin of NRCO
Ms. Corabeth Magkalas of DTI

Director Marie Apattad of CFO
Dr. Joel Buenaventura of DOH
PMRW President and DAWN Executive Director Carmelita Nuqui

OFW and Filipino Community Leader Leo Selomenio
(L-R): Leo Selomenio, Corabeth Magkalas, Roel Martin, Dr. Joel Buenaventura & Carmelita Nuqui during the Open Forum
After their presentations, PMRW launched the 6th edition of "Migrants' Stories, Migrants' Voices." This is a collection of stories of migrants and their families. The launch included short messages from PMRW President Carmelita Nuqui and selected contributors, a video overview of the book, and distribution of the book to the participants. IOM also launched the MigApp, a One-Stop Migration mobile application. This was facilitated by IOM's Alex Dougan, which included a video overview and live demonstration of the app.

PMRW's launch of Migrants' Stories, Migrants' Voices 6

Mr. Alex Dougan of IOM
After the launches, a special song presentation was given by The Nightingales, courtesy of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. The final activity for this year's Forum was the Awarding Ceremonies for the Migration and Media Awards.


After the launches, a special song presentation was given by The Nightingales, courtesy of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. The final activity for this year’s Forum was the Awarding Ceremonies for the Migration Advocacy and Media Awards.

The Nightingales

PMRW President and IAC-MOF Chair Carmelita Nuqui (center) congratulating a MAM Awardee

Monday, December 4, 2017

International Forum on Migration in Doha

The second International Forum on Migration was held at the Intercontinental Doha in Doha, Qatar on December 1, 2017. The Forum was organized by the Inter-Agency Committee on the Celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos (IAC-MOF) with the Philippine Embassy and POLO Doha. The activities was also attended by 250 participants composed of OFWs and Filipino Community leaders.


Ambassador Alan Timbayan gave his message by placing importance on reintegration among OFWs. PMRW President and IAC-MOF Chair Carmelita Nuqui commended the active involvement of the Filipino community in Qatar in promoting the welfare of migrants and members of their families. Several government agencies presented their services, such as Consul General Roussel Reyes on Overseas Absentee Voting registration and Mr. Mark Espina on NRCO’s programs and services.

Ambassador Alan Timbayan
PMRW President Carmelita Nuqui
Consul General Roussel Reyes
Mr. Mark Espina of NRCO
Filipino NGOs in Qatar also shared their programs and services such as PinoyWISE and WASAHQ. Ms. Leslie De Leon of SSS and Ms. Maria Analyn Gaoat of Pag-IBIG shared updates on their respective programs and services.





To impart inspiration to the forum’s attendees, POLO-Doha IT Training Program consultant,  Mr. Robin Oira, shared his training experience and its impact to his students that returned to the Philippines. A special number then followed rendered by Philippine School Doha student and Tawag ng Tanghalan Middle East Edition finalist, Ms. Thea Astley. Afterwards, an open forum was facilitated by Labatt Des Dicang.

Mr. Robin Oira, consultant of POLO-Doha IT Training Program
Ms. Thea Astley sharing a special song number to the participants of the forum.
Open Forum
Labatt Des Dicang

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

International Forum on Migration in Hong Kong

The International Forum on Migration was held at the Admiralty Conference Centre in Hong Kong on November 19, 2017. The Forum was organized by the Inter-Agency Committee on the Celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos (IAC-MOF) with the Philippine Consulate General and POLO Hong Kong. The activity was attended by 250 participants composed of OFWs and Filipino Community leaders. This is the first of two international fora conducted this year, with the second forum held in Doha, Qatar.


PMRW President and IAC-MOF Chair Carmelita Nuqui presented the activities lined up for this year’s celebration and the importance of reintegration as this year’s theme. Deputy Consul General Roderico Atienza of PCG Hong Kong gave his remarks with highlighting the recent signing of the ASEAN Accord on the Protection of Migrant Workers.


PMRW President Carmelita G. Nuqui


Deputy Consul General Roderico Atienza of PCG Hong Kong

Several government agencies provided their services for OFs as well as tackle several issues affecting them. Mr. Mark Espina of NRCO presented their reintegration programs and services, while Mr. Frencel Tingga of the CFO presented the initiatives of the Philippine government to combat human trafficking and CFO’s programs and services. Mr. Raymond Francis Ramos of Pag-IBIG Hong Kong and Ms. Lucille Blesilda Simbol of SSS Hong Kong presented updates on their respective programs and services.





Leo Selomenio of Global Alliance shared her experience as a domestic worker and community leader in Hong Kong. She is also one of the main cast of the award-winning film, “Sunday Beauty Queen.” An open forum and cultural presentation followed, performed by OFWs. The forum was capped by a message from Labor AttachĂ© Jalilo dela Torre. 



Leo Selomenio of Global Alliance and cast member of "Sunday Beauty Queen"


Open Forum


Cultural Presentation by OFW group in Hong Kong


Labatt Jalilo dela Torre

Friday, November 10, 2017

IAC-MOF Kicks off Celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos in Camarines Sur and Bataan

The Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) on the Celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos (MOF), kicks-off the celebration of the MOF through the conduct of Regional Fora on Migration and Migrants’ Health Fair in Camarines Sur and Bataan on November 6 and November 9, 2017.

This year’s MOF theme is “Enhancing Reintegration, Leaving No Migrants and their Families Behind”. It aims to provide awareness on the different reintegration program and services of the government and civil society groups for migrants, migrant returnees and their families. The Regional Fora were organized with support of the Local Government Units of Camarines Sur and Bataan. The Health Fair, which offered free health and wellness services to migrants and their families, was sponsored by the Department of Health.

Pili, Camarines Sur

The Regional Forum on Migration and Migrants' Health Fair was held at the Camarines Sur Convention Center in Pili, Camarines Sur on November 6, 2017 and was attended by 250 participants composed of migrants, migrant returnees and their families, representatives from the government and civil society organizations, mainly from Bicol Region.





Health and government services were provided to the migrants and their families at Camarines Sur.

The movie "Filemon Mamon" was shown before the forum. It's a 2015 film adaptation of the children's storybook of the same title and stage play "Sugod Filemon Mamon." It tackles issues on health and migration, as Filemon is a son of an OFW who dreams of becoming the lead actor in their school's theather play. This film screening was courtesy of the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

During the Forum in the afternoon, representatives from DTI, NRCO, CFO, Philhealth, DOH and the Government of Naga City presented their reintegration programs and services for migrants and their families. Ms. Kristina Oliveros of NRCO Region V discussed how migrants can sustainably prepare for their reintegration in the Philippines. Director Marie Apattad of the CFO presented the BaLinkBayan project, a one-stop online portal for diaspora engagement, while Mr. Ringo Danao gave an update on Philhealth's services for OFWs. Dr. Joel Buenaventura of the DOH discussed the Inter-Agency Medical Repatriation Assistance Program (IMRAP), which aims to streamline the efforts of involved government units during repatriation of Filipino in need of medical care and attention. On the other hand, Ms. Pinky Santi of Pag-IBIG presented updates on their services for migrants and the Pag-IBIG Loyalty Card. Lastly, Mr. Nonoy Reforsado of Naga-LGU discussed on migration and development mainstreaming in their city.





Representatives from various government agencies presented their reintegration programs for migrants and their families during the Regional Forum in the afternoon.

The success story of Mr. Ryan Antiquera, a seafarer who won the Grand Prize at the Business Plan Competition for Seafarers of the NRCO, was presented. His walis tambo business proposal was picked from a total of 41 entries sent by seafarers.

Balanga, Bataan


The Regional Forum on Migration and Migrants' Health Fair in Bataan was held at the Bataan People's Center in Balanga, Bataan on November 9, 2017 and was attended by 250 participants composed of migrants, former migrants and their families, representatives from OFW families' federation and the Local Government of Bataan. The ribbon-cutting ceremonies was led by the representatives of DOH Region III and the Provincial PESO of Bataan to formally open the Migrants' Health Fair. The event started with the Zumba / Hataw exercise care session of the DOH.


The Migrants' Health Fair in Bataan started with the Hataw group exercise.

Services like medical check-ups and lectures on healthy lifestyle and first aid were provided. A demonstration of how to conduct proper cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was also delivered among the migrants.


The participants were demonstrated on how to conduct proper CPR.

Stalls were also sey-up for relevant government agencies and organizations to provide free consultation about available services to migrants such as throse from DOLE, OWWA, CFO, Pag-IBIG, Philhealth, DFA. DTI and IOM. Resource persons from these agencies and organizations also presented their programs and services after the Health Fair.



Over lunch, there was also a film screening of the movie "Bamboo Flowers" courtesy of the Film Development Council of the Philippines. 



The CFO presented its BaLinkBayan website, followed by DOH's IMRAP program. Updates from Pag-IBIG Fund and Philhealth were also presented, especially those services which OFWs may avail. Afterwards, reintegration programs and entrepreneurship and investment opportunities for returning migrants were presented by OWWA and DTI respectively.