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Overseas Filipino Workers

Statement for International Migrants Day – December 18

Gustavo Gonzalez

by Gustavo Gonzalez, UN Philippines Resident Coordinator and chairperson of the UN Migration Network in the Philippines

To mark International Migrants Day, the United Nations Network on Migration in the Philippines reaffirms its commitment to work with the Government to promote the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) objectives and to recognize migrants’ contributions to sustainable development.

With over six million Overseas Filipinos and nearly two million Overseas Filipino Migrant Workers seeking temporary employment, the Philippines has played a leading role in developing a migration governance system that places migrants’ human rights at the centre. As a GCM Champion country, the Government has taken concrete steps to actualize and codify the Compact, which led to the establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers. Multiple stakeholders are working with the Government to carry out the National Action Plans on gender-responsive return and sustainable reintegration and on fair and ethical recruitment.[1]

In his recent “State of the Nation Address”, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. placed migration as a key priority of his Administration with a particular commitment to improve the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers and invest in their families.

Another key facet of human mobility inside the Philippines is climate change, to which the country remains acutely vulnerable. Greater attention and effort are necessary to address the varied dimensions of the climate crisis – whether slow onset or disasters – on displacement and labour migration. Leveraging man mobility as a positive adaptation strategy can, in fact, strengthen climate resilience.

The GCM commitments can only be achieved if human mobility is translated into adequate policies, and included in national budgets, development plans, and action through a whole-of government and whole-of society approach.

The new UN Cooperation Framework with the Philippines will reflect the UN’s collective support to the Government in accelerating the implementation of GCM objectives, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda), and the national 25-year vision of the Filipino people AmBisyon Natin 2040.

The UN Network on Migration in the Philippines will continue to offer coherent and UN system-wide support to strengthen the collective commitment to promote safe migration and to address adverse drivers.


[1] Multi-stakeholder National Action Plan and Roadmap on Mainstreaming Fair and Ethical Recruitment in the Philippines; National Action Plan on Sustainable Gender-responsive Return and Reintegration.

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