In its CY 2022 1st Semester Meeting on 20 May 2022, the Social Development Committee – Sub-Committee on Migration and Development (SDC-SCMD) XI discussed the LGU initiatives on mainstreaming migration and development in local development planning and governance. This was in view of the passage of Regional Development Council (RDC) XI Resolution No. 87, series of 2015, approving the adoption of the “Guide on Mainstreaming Migration and Development in Local Development Planning and Governance”.  It aims to capacitate LGUs in integrating M&D in local development planning, provide sample set of services to localities for migrants and their families, and serve as practical reference in building local institutional capacities.

Six Davao Region LGUs provided the SCMD XI with updates on the ongoing initiative. These were the City Governments of Davao, Tagum, Digos, Panabo, Samal and the Provincial Government of Davao de Oro. Among the major accomplishments were the establishment of OFW help desks in these LGUs, the organization of local OFW associations, as well as various livelihood assistance to returning OFWs.

The Department of Foreign Affairs also presented its CY 2021 Accomplishment Report on services provided for Overseas Filipinos. DFA was able to assist on 228 new cases on Assistance-to-Nationals (ATNs) for 2021. These cases included repatriation assistance, shipment of remains/belongings, medical assistance, and detention issues. The DFA established its ATN Desk to act on urgent requests and pressing concerns for Filipino nationals, and acts as a venue to promote the rights and welfare of Filipino migrants.

The SCMD XI also discussed the preparations for the CY 2022 Davao Region Migration and Development (M&D) Forum, tentatively scheduled on 21 July 2022. The M&D Forum is pursuant to RDC XI Resolution No. 139, series of 2021, which enjoins government agencies, private sector, and stakeholders to support the conduct of a migration and development forum in Davao Region in CY 2022. The M&D Forum’s goal is to focus on the government’s programs for migration and promote the importance of partnerships and continued cooperation among various development partners in providing opportunities for Overseas Filipinos. The Forum shall also showcase the success stories of Davao Region Overseas Filipinos and other initiatives for migration and development in Davao Region.

-Laurence Gido, NEDA XI