Message at the First Project Advisory Committee meeting: ILO Decent Work Across Borders Project

By Ms Catherine Vaillancourt-Laflamme, Chief Technical Adviser ILO at the First Project Advisory Committee meeting: ILO Decent Work Across Borders Project, Bayleaf Hotel Manila, Philippines, 6 July 2012.

Statement | Bayleaf Hotel, Manila, Philippines | 06 July 2012


• Administrator Cacdac

• Ms Camilla Hagstrom, Deputy Head of Operations Section, Europhean Union Delegation, Manila

• Ms Catherine Vaillancourt-Laflamme, Chief Technical Adviser ILO-Decent Work Across Borders

• Our active social partners in the industry, my co-workers in the government

• Ladies and gentlemen, good morming

I am very pleased to be given this opportunity, in behalf of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, to welcome you today, during this first project advisory committee meeting.

First, please allow me to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the European Union for Implementing a 3 years project entitled Decent Work Across Borders: A pilot project for migrant health professionals and skilled workers.

Second, we commend this project which seeks to better understand particular schemes targeting migration of health professionals.

For more than three (3) decades now. The Philippines has been a major supplier of health professionals to many countries. The Philippines is acknowledged as the major and preferred source of nurses because of their technical competence, fluency in the english language and warm, compassionate and caring attitude.

In the last two years (2010-2011) alone, a total of 38,506 health professionals left the Philippines to gain productive employment overseas.

However, the deployment of Filipino health care professionals to foreign labor markets has faced serious issues and challenges such as recognition of their educational qualifications, oversupply of general nurses and shortages of highly specialized nurses, among others. For these reasons, the Philippines has been working to address these issues through an inter-agency body called the human resources for health (HRH) network.

The Department of Labor and Employment for the Philippines, as the government agency responsible for the management of migration of OFW, and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) have been actively involved in the project since its inception.

In the Philippines, the decent work agenda are anchored on four objectives- employment opportunities, rights at work, social protection and dialogue.

We are glad that the project has included the Philippines as one of the three (3) Asian countries with experience in the outflow of the health professionals and skilled workers for foreign employment for the implementation of this project.

By engaging governments, Trade Unions and Employers, Professionals Organizations and other relevant stakeholders we can better appreciate and attain this project’s objectives, namely:

    To strengthen mechanisms of policy dialogue among stake holders;

    To strengthen employment services for healthcare professionals and skilled workers,

    To enchance labour market information system with regards to the migration of healthcare professionals and skilled workers.