Thursday, 15 September 2011
Migration and Development-Related Excerpts / Provisions in the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016
The Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 serves as a guide in formulating policies and implementing development programs for the next six years. It enables the government, in partnership with the private sector and the civil society, to work systematically to give the Filipino people a better chance to find their way out of poverty, inequality and the poor state of human development. The following are some of the migration and development-related excerpts/ provisions in the PDP which the CFO strongly advocated, in line with its vision of being the Philippines' premier institution in promoting policies, programs and projects with Migration and Development as a framework:
60 provisions on Migration and Development were included in 7 out of 9 chapters of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016
CHAPTER 1: In Pursuit of Inclusive Growth
What Is Inclusive Growth (p. 18)
"Inclusive growth means, first of all, growth that is rapid enough to matter, given the country's large population, geographical differences and social complexity. It is sustained growth that creates jobs, draws the vast majority into the economic and social mainstream, and continuously reduces mass poverty. This is an ideal relative to which the country has perennially fallen short, and this failure has had the most far-reaching consequences, from mass misery and marginalization, to an overseas exodus of skill and talent, to political disaffection and alienation, leading finally to threats to the constitution of the state itself."
How Shall We Achieve Inclusive Growth (p. 31)
"Relations with foreign nations shall be actively cultivated to support sovereignty, regional peace and security, and economic cooperation based on equitable and mutual benefit. Paramount consideration shall be paid to the ensuring the welfare and protection of the millions of Filipinos working overseas."
A Window of Opportunity (p. 32)
"In economic terms, the country's external payments and international credit position have not been healthier in decades for various reasons. Thanks to overseas remittances, surpluses on current account have been run consistently since 2003."
"Nor should it be forgotten that today's chances were purchased by past sacrifices: by overseas workers who endured separation from their families; by laborers and farmers who experienced wrenching structural changes; by the middle class and other taxpayers who shouldered the debt burdens of the past; by government personnel who soldiered on professionally despite the rot surrounding them; and by the brave and vigilant citizenry who never lost faith in constitutional values, democratic processes and the possibility of an honest government."
CHAPTER 2: Macroeconomic Policy
OUTPUT & EMPLOYMENT (Economic Performance 2004-2010)
"GDP growth averaged 5.6 percent for the period 2004–2006, while average GNP growth was higher at 5.9 percent, boosted by transfers from overseas workers."
"Overall, consumption fuelled by remittances is the largest and most stable source of growth from the demand side. The contribution of net exports (including BPO), although volatile, was also positive."
"Private construction likewise grew 13.3 percent, boosted by remittance-fuelled residential construction as well as the need for more supply of office space. Overall, capital formation grew 12.4 percent, up from the 5.1 percent growth of a year ago and the 8.8 percent contraction two years previously. Likewise, private consumption, which constitutes the largest proportion of GDP on the expenditure side, continued its stable growth at 5.9 percent, fuelled by remittances from overseas workers."
EMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY
"This partly reflects the difficulty of gaining employment in the formal labor market and implies a high incidence of informal sector work. In addition, the 43.2 percent "educated unemployed" out of the total unemployed labor force is also very high, a symptom of the labor mismatch in the country and a factor contributing to the growing deployment of Filipino workers overseas, averaging about 1.1 million per year."
"The sheer volume of workers working temporarily overseas indicates the lack of employment opportunities and suggests that domestic investments and entrepreneurship are being held back. These constraints need to be addressed along with strategies formulated to ensure that the working poor and the unemployed can participate and benefit from the development process."
MONETARY AND EXTERNAL SECTORS (External Sectors)
"The current account balance as a ratio of GDP has increased from 1.9 percent in 2004 to 4.5 percent in 2010. The current account position has shifted to structural surpluses in large part due to the resilience of overseas remittances, increased services receipts from business process outsourcing and steady tourism receipts. These sources of foreign exchange inflows have been more stable than investment flows."
"Overseas Filipino (OF) remittances have been steadily growing even when the global financial crisis broke out. In 2010, remittances coursed through banks amounted to US$18.8 billion, an increase by 8.2 percent from the level recorded in previous year."
MONETARY POLICY AND EXTERNAL SECTOR REFORMS
"Furthermore, policymakers will need to focus on leveraging remittances as a tool for economic development. While remittances are private transfers, the government can ensure that the policy environment is conducive to the use of remittances for investment in well-considered financial products, in productive activities such as entrepreneurial undertaking as well as in better housing, education and healthcare for remitters and their beneficiaries. Improving the financial education of the overseas Filipino community and implementing measures to further promote the flow of remittances through the financial system would help catalyze the developmental role of remittances."
CHAPTER 3: Competitive Industry and Services Sector
"By addressing the country's problem of low competitiveness, this Plan aims to promote higher growth in per capita GDP and boost employment. The focus shall be to enable the industry and services sectors to contribute to massive job generation, provide opportunities for Filipinos to rise above poverty, and ultimately offer a meaningful choice for Filipinos to pursue gainful employment here or abroad."
"Government shall promote sustainable livelihood and micro enterprise development, harnessing the Overseas Filipinos (OFs) community as a source of capital."
EXPORT OF GOODS AND SERVICES
"Globally, the evolution in technology, prioritization of business strategies, migration, innovation and trends, environment-consciousness, and value for money have influenced the emergence of technology-based sectors, strengthened hospitality services and increased the capability for borderless transactions. The Government has been vigilant in the growth of these industries, two of which are the BPOs and tourism."
Tourism (p. 69)
"Tourism is regarded as the fourth largest contributor to foreign exchange receipts. The top three are electronics and semiconductors, overseas Filipino remittances and BPO."
Goal 2: Action Agenda to improve productivity and efficiency (p. 85)
"To ensure market-responsive education and training, the supply side of the labor equation should be addressed through quality education/training and effective assessment and certification systems. The government shall undertake and maximize capacity-building programs with the support of foreign governments and intra-government organizations under the framework of various bilateral and multilateral engagements. Likewise, linkages among Filipino skilled workers and their business network, technical experts and Filipinos involved in epistemic communities abroad shall pursue various multi-stakeholder talent-sharing, brain-gain and skills enhancement initiatives (e.g., Science and Technology Advisory Council, the Balik-Scientist Program and ERDT).
In addition, "sunrise" industrial or service activities with global potential shall be identified by roadmaps that forecast and prepare initiatives for skills requirements on employment needs. From 2007 to 2010, four roadmaps were developed for such industries: (a) electronics, (b) BPO/IT enabled-services, (c) medical tourism, and (d) health and wellness (including the retirement) sectors. By 2016, roadmaps for the remaining sunrise industries namely agribusiness, eco-mining, value chain materials, and manufacturing, shall be developed to complement the employment requirements. In cooperation with higher education institutions and the private sector, niches shall be identified and matched with the employment needs and strategic positioning of local firms and industries."
Focus Interventions To Increase Exports/ Investments/ Tourism (pp. 87-88)
"Undertake a focused and sustained international and domestic tourism promotion campaign and programs using both traditional and the new social networking media targeting existing and new markets as well as OFs. Launch focused and sustained international and domestic tourism programs using the new media with the support of OFs. Likewise, the support and cooperation mechanism for private sector and non-government organization's participation shall be enhanced. Efficient intra-government coordination system shall be put into practice in tourism promotional and planning activities. These shall involve the Tourism Promotions Board (as mandated by the Tourism Act of 2009) and the respective tourism related promotional units of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), BOI, DTI, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the various agencies and councils supporting culture and the arts (i.e., CCA, FDCP, and so forth). The entry of tourists under thematic programs (e.g., health and wellness and employment generation) shall be further facilitated in coordination with the DFA, Department of Justice (DOJ) and the BOI. Such a multi-dimensional stakeholder approach shall maximize the promotion of medical tourism; retirement; meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE); adventure and ecotourism; film production, and Philippine cultural and culinary diversity."
Promote Entrepreneurship among OFs (p. 95)
"A more aggressive campaign to tap OFs as sources of capital shall be pursued. Government shall utilize media and various forums, including presidential and official trips, in encouraging entrepreneurship among OFs and/or their dependents. DTI and DOLE shall review and strengthen existing programs and consider ways to maximize the brain-gain derived by OFs from foreign deployment. The DFA, DOLE, DOF, Commission on Filipinos Overseas, and the Bangko Sentral shall conduct financial literacy campaign overseas to educate and orient OFs regarding their investment and remittance options which may include special bond issuances and related financial instruments.The government shall continue to implement the national innovation strategy called Filipinnovation."
CHAPTER 6: Towards a Resilient and Inclusive Financial Sector
ASSESMENT AND CHALLENGES (p. 182)
"Together with improved macroeconomic conditions, the steady inflow of remittances from OFWs, a minimal investment exposure to foreign structured products and a low dependence on exports, these reforms allowed the financial system to avoid the worst difficulties encountered by other economies during the 2007-2008 financial crises."
STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK (Specific Reform Strategies)
Credit Surety Fund Program (CSF) (p. 194)
"The CSF is a program that involves the creation of a trust fund contributed by cooperatives from a province and its provincial government intended primarily to make micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) bankable by giving them access to formal sources of financing by means of a surety cover as a substitute for collateral."
Micro-Housing (p. 194)
"5. Encourage the continuing development of new loan products and other banking services aimed to address the special needs of the poor, women and persons with disability (PWDs). Unlike other borrowers, the target market for microfinance products such as those belonging to the agriculture sector might have cash flows that are different from those observed from the usual borrower. Likewise, there is a wide variety in the purpose of their loan application: consumption smoothing, financing for educational needs and funds for migration purposes such as placement fees, document processing fees. Hence, these warrant the introduction of financial products specifically designed for this group of borrowers."
Establish a strong legal framework for financial sector development (p. 200)
"4. Provide an adequate legal framework to encourage greater investor participation, address financial taxation and effective oversight of the national payments systems. A Collective Investment Schemes Law (CISL) to broaden investor participation in the securities market, including participation by Overseas Filipinos."
"8. Introduce alternative savings and investment products through the following specific reforms: Address the needs of the resurgent real estate industry by providing funds for infrastructure projects, widening access to investment in real estate projects, broadening the participation of the public, including OFs, in the ownership of real estate, and protecting the investing public from abuses of real estate investment trusts pursuant to provisions of the Real Estate Investment Trust or REIT Act of 2009 (RA 9856)."
"11. Empowerment of Filipino consumers through strong consumer protection mechanisms and financial literacy or education programs: a) Promote greater financial literacy of the population, including those in the countryside and OFW-rich areas abroad by encouraging the participation of non-government and private sector organizations in the delivery of financial education programs."
CHAPTER 7: Good Governance and the Rule of Law
Gender Roles in Governance Structures (p. 214)
"Major progress has been slow, however, as seen in more recent international gender assessments. The Gender Development Index in the 2009 Human Development Report of the UNDP and the Country Gender Assessment of the ADB in 2008 showed similar findings that the Philippines' workforce continues to be dominated by males, despite increasing numbers of women having higher educational attainment. Women continue to be burdened by the debilitating impact of poverty and the lingering economic crisis, and out-migration among women remains high, with many in service and domestic occupations. The challenge remains for government to ensure that statutory mandates relating to gender and development concerns are observed and implemented efficiently and effectively by all concerned sectors."
Strengthen the Rule of Law (p. 227)
"Increase resources for justice sector agencies and quasi-judicial bodies. Modernize and upgrade facilities for law enforcers such as the PNP and the NBI crime laboratories, forensic investigation facilities and equipment. Improve capacities of prosecutors and law enforcers particularly NBI agents in the investigation and prosecution of special cases involving economic or white-collar crimes such as money laundering, tax evasion, smuggling, human trafficking, violations of intellectual property rights and antitrust laws, illegal drugs, and even cases involving extra-legal killings and other human rights violations as well as violation of environmental laws."
CHAPTER 8: Social Development
ASSESMENT (Social Protection)
"Wide disparities across regions were also evident. Among regions, ARMM had the highest poverty incidence in 2006 according to six basic sector categories, namely: children, farmers, youth, urban population, and senior citizens. CARAGA had the highest poverty incidence under fisherfolk and migrant and formal sectors (Annex 8.9). Meanwhile, NCR posted the lowest poverty incidence in five sectors, namely children, women, youth, senior citizens, and migrant and formal sector workers (NSCB, 2006)."
"Region 6 had the most number of poor youth and migrant and formal workers."
"The limited coverage of the social security schemes (i.e., Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System or SSS) means that the larger part of the workforce found in the informal and vulnerable occupations are marginalized. Although there have been attempts by PhilHealth to cover the poor and unemployed, as well as workers in the informal sector (IS) and those working overseas, universal membership has yet to be achieved."
Children (p. 246)
"Children in especially difficult circumstances include street children, victims of child abuse and commercial sexual exploitation, child victims of prostitution and pornography, children in conflict with the law, children in situations of armed conflict, children with disabilities, child victims of illegal recruitment and trafficking, and child laborers."
Women (p. 246)
"While Filipino women may be considered as relatively advanced vis-a-vis women in other developing countries (e.g., in the areas of education, profession, politics, and legislation), they also suffer from domestic violence, economic disadvantages, discrimination at the workplace, exploitation as migrant workers and prostituted women, and displacement brought about by the intermittent wars in conflict-affected areas. In general, women are in disadvantaged position due to differences in gender roles that limit their access to productive resources and basic services. In 2008, 54.7 percent of the total number of female OFWs were laborers and unskilled workers, including domestic helpers, cleaners and manufacturing laborers. Remittances from female OFWs worldwide were relatively lower than from their male counterparts."
Elderly (p. 247)
"In 2003 and 2006, the number of elderly people in the Philippines was estimated at about 5.2 million and 6.3 million, respectively. Some of the risks and vulnerabilities of the elderly included loss of income as a result of retirement, disability and impairment of functions affecting their quality of life, lack of or inadequate health care insurance and lack of adequate living conditions for those who live alone. There was also a rise in the number of elderly persons who were victims of violence and abandonment due to in and out migration of younger family members."
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) (p. 247)
"Social security and protection of OFWs are growing concerns, given the limited coverage of the SSS, PHIC and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). Out of 8.6 million overseas Filipinos (OFs) in 2009, 4 million are permanent migrants, 3.9 million are temporary OFWs and 658,370 are irregular migrants."
"There is, therefore, a need to review the viability of current social security and welfare fund schemes, given the limited capacity and resources of the country's social security and welfare fund institutions. Another challenge is the exclusion of domestic workers, the top occupational category with respect to deployment of land-based OFWs, in most of the social security laws particularly in top destination countries."
Displaced Workers (p. 248)
"While the global financial crisis had a minimal impact on the deployment of OFWs, OWWA and POEA data indicated that 6,957 workers in 327 companies lost their jobs mostly from factories in Taiwan and South Korea. Of this number, nearly two-thirds (4,495) returned to the Philippines."
Education, Training and Culture (p. 270)
"Devise a transnational education (TNE) strategy in programs and services for both in-bound and out-bound students and workers, including mutual recognition/accreditation of skills and professional development of Filipino workers vis-a-vis neighboring countries. Reasonable and mutually beneficial supervision and regulation of TNE should lead to quality assurance and management of foreign providers, as well as the integrity and competitiveness of Filipino providers."
Labor Market Interventions
"Balance the demands of globalization through a locally-adapted/indigenized curricula that promote and preserve indigenous knowledge by:
(a) expanding and upgrading the capacity to teach foreign languages in response to the requirements of internationally-shared human resources and emerging needs in the ASEAN region;
(b) integrating balanced messages on migration and development in the Philippine education, both in the formal and alternative learning system;
(c) making the education system responsive to the needs of the global community, while minimizing brain-drain, encouraging brain-gain and protecting the Filipino family from the social costs of migration; and
(d) encouraging Filipinos overseas to remain rooted in their culture through an appreciation of Filipino languages, culture and heritage."
"Implement active labor market policies and programs to enhance the employability of vulnerable workers, such as those affected by crisis, workers in the informal economy, displaced and distressed OFWs, internally displaced people, the youth and women:
a) Improve access, availability and affordability of training in new skills and occupations;
b) Expand training opportunities for vulnerable workers; and
c) Facilitate the reintegration of returning OFWs through appropriate training, investment and savings programs.
Initiate policy interventions, programs, projects, and other measures to ensure the transformation of the brain-drain into a brain-gain phenomenon, and enhance the earning capabilities and entrepreneurship opportunities of returnees."
"1. Achieve and sustain universal coverage of the poorest and vulnerable sectors, including the IS and OFWs who can afford to pay: a) Enroll the poorest families in PhilHealth by utilizing the NHTS-PR; b) Expand coverage of IS workers, and pursue legislation that mandates the enrolment among of IS workers who can afford to pay; c) Provide effective membership services; and d) Secure access to critical outpatient services at accredited rural health units and health centers, and to critical inpatient services at the national and local hospitals."
"2. Develop enhanced social insurance measures for vulnerable groups against economic and natural shocks particularly for laid-off workers: a) Implement employment insurance for workers in the private sector and IS; b) Implement indigenous microinsurance schemes and integrate microinsurance into microfinance lending; c) Re-examine whether the SSS contributions required of IS workers remain affordable and realistic; and d) Implement mandatory SSS coverage for landbased OFWs, and include SSS enrolment as prerequisite in the issuance of the Overseas Employment Certificate."
"7. Strengthen measures against human trafficking and provide support for its victims."
"8. Fully implement the laws protecting and promoting the rights of vulnerable groups, (e.g., IPRA, Expanded Senior Citizens Act, Amended Magna Carta for PWDs, Magna Carta for Women, Magna Carta for Migrant Workers, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, Juvenile Justice Welfare Act, Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act);"
"10. Campaign for other countries to ratify international conventions, treaties, standards, and protocols that are relevant to the protection and promotion of the rights and well-being of OFs."
"5. Strengthen safety nets for OFWs: a) Intensify the effort for OWWA membership enrolment and renewal; and b) Institute dialogues and forge agreements to further strengthen cooperation with labor-receiving countries towards mutual protection and benefits for the OFWs."
LEGISLATIVE AGENDA (Social Protection)
Anti-Prostitution Bill (p. 284)
"This seeks to address the system of prostitution through the apprehension and prosecution of agents, recruiters, traffickers, pimps, procurers, establishment owners, customers, and others who derive sexual gratification, financial gain or any other benefit from the prostitution of another person. It shall also complement the current laws on anti-trafficking and violence against women, in protecting and promoting the rights of the vulnerable groups, especially women and children."
Magna Carta for Domestic Workers (p. 284)
"It seek to protect and promote the welfare of domestic workers by providing realistic minimum wage and other benefits, such as SSS and PhilHealth, implementing the use of a formal contract to govern employee-employer relationship, and preventing physical, sexual, mental and economic abuse of workers among others."
CHAPTER 9: Peace and Security
ASSESMENTS AND CHALLENGES
"A stable national security environment is crucial to achieving development, human security and general welfare. Stability can be threatened, however, by internal security concerns such as recurring armed conflict and criminality, together with new global security threats such as terrorism, human trafficking, illegal arms trade, and drug trafficking."
External Security Challenges
"As global trade in goods and services and international investment become important drivers of the country's economic growth, government shall continue to be vigilant in responding to crimes that thrive under an environment of increasingly open borders, such as terrorism, human trafficking, arms and drug-trafficking, and smuggling."
"In addition to territorial threats, the overseas diaspora of Filipinos entails a wider redefinition and understanding of threats to Filipino interests. In particular, the predicament of overseas Filipinos who come into conflict with the laws of other countries poses complex new challenges to the country's conduct of foreign relations, with potential repercussions on issues of sovereignty and territorial integrity."
"A comprehensive response to these concerns involves initiatives to improve relations and forge cooperation with other nations to preserve and protect national security and interest, including the welfare of Filipinos living and working abroad."
Section 2. Ensuring National Security
"2. To assure full capability to uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, the following strategies shall be undertaken:"
"Pursue friendly and peaceful bilateral and multilateral relations with other nations and international agencies to promote cooperative projects in the political, economic and military fields, as well as assuring the security and welfare of Filipinos working and living abroad. "
"Enhancement of border security through the strict enforcement of the Philippine immigration laws and upgrading of surveillance and detection capacity to thwart the entry of foreign terrorists and other lawless elements as well as human trafficking and smuggling of anti-social goods and weapons of mass destruction."