My friend Ms. Ellene Sana, Executive Director of CMA (Center for Migrant Advocacy) inform us that Atty. Henry Rojas, CMAs Legal Counsel will give a presentation on Asian Overseas Migration and Human Rights in Norfolk, Virginia, USA on May 30, 2006. The event is part of the celebration of the Asian Pacific American heritage month and is sponsored by the Norfolk, BAH WLC, Diversity Committee and the Old Dominion University Filipino American Center. For those (FilAm) interested you may contact Erwin Sabile today, May 27 at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone number (US) 757 515 2531.
We hope that Atty. Rojas will include in his presentation the following; how to develop approaches and or rather; how to enhance or improve the participation of established communities of Filipinos overseas, in order to help poverty alleviation in our country.
Overseas Migration, Beyond Remittances
A study I read from Policy Institute, Beyond Remittances: (The Role of Diaspora in Poverty Reduction in their Countries of Origin, Philippines, July 2004). It says that;
The policies of the Philippine government appear to treat the financial contributions of Diaspora and temporary workers alike primarily as income flows rather than potential investment stock. As income flows, they relieve poverty directly. But the Philippine government does not seem to have a strategy to maximize the developmental potential of established communities of Filipinos overseas, which might have a more lasting impact on poverty reduction.
Above mentioned study collaborated former OFW Mr. Mike Bolos point of view in a letter to Mr. Rey Gamboa (Bizlinks)
of Philippine Star, published 01/30/2006 titled Harnessing the OFW Power, excerpt of the published letter below;
To date, the government’s view as far as the overseas Filipinos are concerned has been confined within a box.
Dependence to and assistance from the government by returning overseas Filipinos have become the centerpiece of the various reintegration programs at the micro-economic level. However, there have been far more failures than successes because not all mortals were meant to become successful businessmen or businesswomen. This situation to a large extent will sadly remain the same in the years to come if the government keeps looking just inside the box. The government should perhaps look outside the box for answers.
In my opinion, economic and political empowerment of migrant Filipinos can only be realized if we take a step outside from the realm of the Government, and look deeper into the potentials of migrant Filipinos in re-building our nation towards progress using its own developmental capabilities.
On Human Rights
In my understanding, the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995 requires the government to ensure that states hosting Filipino migrants protect their rights and conform to the provisions of international conventions and bilateral agreements. However, there are few provisions in this act that should be amended to assert the rights of all migrants as an essential component of good migration management. Though this particular issue remains politically sensitive one for both receiving and sending nations, more particularly between the Philippines and the Middle Eastern countries.
For me, in todays global scenario, the successful migration management can only be achieved when the human rights of migrants is respected.
I am wishing Atty. Henry Rojas successful presentation. From the U.S., he will proceed to Montreal, Canada in June, to participate in the International Human Rights Training Program of the Canadian Human Rights Foundation (now Equitas). Good Luck and more power Sir.