Reintegration has increasingly drawn the interest of migration actors in the Philippines as the government repeatedly clarifies its intent of making overseas employment temporary and by choice. The evolving institutional and policy landscape reflects this. From a smaller unit with limited mandate in mid-1990s, the National Reintegration Center for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) was recreated with an expanded set of functions over 10 years after under the Migrant Workers Act, as amended. A recent major policy development is the intensification of the roles of local duty-bearers and rights-holders, especially through the local government units (LGUs).
This paper therefore sought to identify the factors influencing OFW decisions to return ‘for good’ and advance the discourse on what a sustainable reintegration framework may constitute in local practice. For the first phase whose qualitative results are presented here, the South Korea and Hong Kong corridors were covered, inolving mostly male manufacturing workers and female domestic workers in workshop-style focus groups. Interviews were also conducted with government officials and NGO leaders, as well as with an LGU officer. The findings reinforce existing critical perspectives in the field. First, reintegration is not the sole function of the national government but the concerted effort of different actors vertically and horizontally. Second, reintegration experience is not merely determined by individual considerations but also shaped by broader multidimensional factors. Lastly, an integrated and holistic approach to reintegration should be adopted. To facilitate this process, this study developed a local reintegration index tool for pilot-testing in the next phase...
Title: Strengthening Preparedness for Migrant Worker Reintegration: Thematic Analysis and Local Index Tool Development
Researcher: Maria Isabel D. Artajo & Ronell J. Delerio