- Honourable Mayor Maria Josefina “Joy” Belmonte of Quezon City;
- His Excellency Ambassador Luc Veron of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines;
- Mr Selva Ramachandran, Resident Coordinator ad interim of the United Nations in the Philippines;
- Undersecretary Hans Cacdac of the Department of Migrant Workers;
- Mr Rogelio Reyes of the Quezon City Public Employment Services Office;
- Ms Ellene Sana of the Center for Migrant Advocacy
- Members of the Quezon City Migration and Development Committee
- Partners from the government, civil society, and the private sector;
- OFWs and their families;
- Colleagues from the UN Country Team - the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)
- Ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga (good morning)!
Local governments are key actors in migration governance. Being in the frontline, they are responsible for cascading and translating national policies and programmes to better reach migrants, their families, and communities.
The National Capital Region (NCR) is a top place of origin of Overseas Filipino Workers. Quezon City is the biggest city in the NCR in terms of population. It also has a well-developed migration governance efforts in the NCR. To note, they are the first to set up an OFW Help Desk in Metro Manila.
Coordination and effective service delivery are key to in enhancing the well-being of migrants and their families, especially ending violence against women/ gender-based violence and labour exploitation in line with the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190), and the Safe Spaces/Safe Cities agenda.
The MRC, local OFW help desks and local migration programmes must provide effective gender-responsive services to migrant workers and their families.
The ILO, with the support of development partners, the European Union (EU) and the Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF), affirms its partnership with the Quezon City MRC on the following components: improving gender-responsive service delivery and coordination mechanisms; enhancing local data collection and management; building the capacity of migration stakeholders including service providers, OFWs, families, communities, OFW groups and network); strengthening migrant groups and networks; and increasing public awareness of labour migration and the MRC’s services.
These support the ILO’s Global Call to Action for an inclusive, sustainable, resilient and human-centred recovery from COVID-19.
The ILO also supports MRCs in Region V (Bicol) and Region VI (Western Visayas). Quezon City can learn from these engagements. Similarly, the practices and innovations that will emerge out of the partnership with Quezon City can replicated in other areas.
I hope that the Quezon City MRC, with help from development partners, will be able to keep implementing programmes and services that meet the needs of our migrant workers and their families.
Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much)!