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99The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines hosted the first meeting of the Technical Working Group (TWG) for Migration and Development last October 23, 2015 at the 8th Floor Conference Room of DILG NAPOLCOM. Executive Director Estrella Mai Dizon-Anonuevo of Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiatives Inc., Sec. Imelda Nicolas of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Executive Director Carmelita Nuqui of Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW), Cielo Cabalatungan of DOLE- Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns, Director Chona Mantilla of the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO), Director Robert Larga of POEA, Joy Cervero of Landbank, Regional Director Rene Brion of DILG IV-A, Teofista Garcia of Department of Agriculture IV-A, and Julie Fabian of OWWA IV-A were among the participants of the meeting. Representatives from the central offices of Department of Agriculture- Agricultural Training Institute, DFA- OUMWA, DILG, DOLE, DSWD, NRCO, PCW and CFO, as well as the CALABARZON offices of DILG, DTI, DA, and TESDA were also present in the event. Private institutions such as SIDC and NATCCO were also represented in the event.

The TWG aimed to map out and harmonize the existing programs and services of different stakeholders- such as national government agencies, local government agencies, private sector, and civil society organizations-- for overseas Filipinos and migrant families. Mapping out the program sites of the represented agencies brings the body one step closer to facilitating the sharing of financial, technical, and human resources in mobilizing migrant investment for the development of the migration stakeholders, linking local government units to other stakeholders, and facilitating convergence towards mainstreaming migration initiatives.

The TWG meeting also became a venue for the represented agencies to forward policy recommendations that will enable them to strengthen and replicate localized implementation of programs into other LGUs, which will be forwarded to the Sub-committee on International Migration and Development, under the National Economic Development Authority.

The TWG meeting was conducted under the “Scaling Up Initiatives in Mobilizing Migrant Resources towards Agricultural Development” project, which is co-implemented by ULAP and Atikha through a grant support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).