Safe and fair migration

Opening address at the Second Philippine workshop on International Labour Migration Statistics (ILMS) and sex-disaggregated Philippine migration data

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the Second Philippine workshop on International Labour Migration Statistics (ILMS) and sex-disaggregated Philippine migration data co-organized by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) through the Safe and Fair Programme, 21 April 2022, Manila, Philippines via Zoom

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 21 April 2022
  • Undersecretary Claire Dennis Mapa, Philippine Statistics Authority;
  • Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and Safe and Fair NPAC Chairperson;
  • Atty. Kristine Rosary Yuzon-Chaves, Philippine Commission on Women, and Safe and Fair NPAC Vice-Chairperson;
  • Attaché Stephanie Carette, European Union Delegation to the Philippines;
  • Colleagues and stakeholders from government agencies, workers’ and employers’ organizations, UN agencies, and other partners;
  • Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon!
Welcome to the Second Philippine Workshop on the International Labour Migration Statistics (ILMS) and Sex-Disaggregated Philippine Migration Data!

The ILO and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) co-organized the First ILMS consultation in September 2020, the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like the first consultation in 2020, this second workshop will focus on the ILMS Database system in ASEAN, and the Philippines’ contribution to this database.

The ILMS provides policymakers and stakeholders with institutionalized, standardized, and powerful research tool to profile and monitor international migrant labour force within and from the ASEAN region.

It collects and publishes data from the ten ASEAN countries, including the Philippines.

The ILMS database now has 21 datasets covering country stocks (population), inflows and outflows of international migrant workers – Filipino migrant workers abroad, as well as foreign workers in the Philippines.

Today, we will reassess gaps and challenges, review progress, and recommend actions to improve ILMS collection and reporting.

Some critical needs and challenges identified in the 2020 consultation include ensuring sex-disaggregated ILMS datasets, and systematic and sex-disaggregated collection and timely reporting of statistics on OFW inflows (return), and the stock, inflows and outflows of international migrants and of foreign workers in the Philippines.

In addition, there are several Philippine labour migration datasets not in the ILMS but crucial in migration governance, policy-making, programming and reporting.

These can increase visibility of women and gender dimensions, as well as decent work and sustainable development, in Philippine labour migration statistics, including women and gender-related migration statistics; data on trafficking in persons, illegal recruitment, violence against women or gender-based violence and harassment, cases of abuses; health-related data (e.g. HIV-AIDS, OSH, medical and psychosocial cases among OFWs); social protection coverage for OFWs; recruitment fees and costs and recruitment cases/problems; decent work statistics (e.g. wages, working conditions, contract violations, unionization, etc.); migration and development statistics (e.g. remittance flows and use, reintegration, skills development among OFWs).

The pandemic underscored the importance of systematic, sex-disaggregated and timely reporting of ILMS and key Philippine migration statistics to immediately provide relief, repatriation or health services, as well as longer term recovery, reintegration and labour migration governance, programmes and strategies.

These statistics are among the essential indicators needed in operationalizing the ILO Global Call to Action, a roadmap adopted in 2021 for an inclusive, sustainable, resilient, human-centred recovery from COVID-19.

They are also urgently and periodically required for national and international monitoring and reporting as indicators in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP), National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS), Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Plan (GEWE), and in the Philippine implementation plans for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).

The successful operation of the new Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), which overhauls the labour migration governance system, will rely on systematic and proper data collection. These data can be used to create the Management Information System, report to the Congressional Oversight Committee, conduct gender audits, and the five-yearly DMW mandatory review. These reviews will determine whether the DMW should be reformed or abolished.

Today, we will revisit the ILMS and key migration statistics to recommend datasets for regular monitoring and reporting. We welcome solutions to improve collection, monitoring and reporting of sex-disaggregated labour migration data.

The ILO through the Safe and Fair Programme partnered with PSA on this initiative. This builds on previous data collection and reporting collaborations.

We appreciate PSA for this opportunity. We also thank the European Delegation to the Philippines, and colleagues from UN Women and the ILO for making this possible.

In a few weeks, the country will elect new leaders. National plans and frameworks require revision, updating and/or reformulation.

We count on you with this golden opportunity. Together we can enhance the ILMS and key Philippine migration statistics to mainstream and institutionalize in migration governance and practices.

Thank you very much!