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Shelters represent a crucial component in the Philippine labor migration governance regime. It acts not merely as places of accommodation for distressed OFWs, but more importantly as hubs for developmental interventions in preparation for their effective reintegration following experiences of employers’ abuse and maltreatment. As of 2018, There are 20 Migrant Workers and Other Overseas Filipinos Resource Centers (MWOFRCs) in selected destination countries, and yet little has been analyzed and written of them.

Utilizing an ethnographic participatory action research (EPAR) approach, this study, therefore, seeks to contribute to both the scholarship and policy discourse around the operations, conditions and services of migrant shelters, starting with the case of Bahay Kalinga (BK) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Through focus group discussions (FGDs), key informant interviews, informal conversations, participant observation and document analysis, the paper lays down several key findings: (1) staffing for the management of BK is severely constrained; (2) funds for the operations of BK go inadequate at times with repercussions on shelter conditions and services; (3) the shelter is overwhelmed with the consistently high volume of distressed OFWs admitted; (4) basic necessities are barely met; and (5) much remains to be done to enhance reintegration programs in terms of quantity, quality and gender-responsiveness.

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Title: Enhancing Migrant Shelters through Participatory Action Research: The Case of ‘Bahay Kalinga’ in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
: Ronell J. Delerio || Frances Camille G. Dumalaog