UN IOM gathers labour migration experts to address recruitment issues in PH

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UN IOM –Philippines in collaboration with the Scalabrini Migration Center holds migration conference to address prevailing direct hire recruitment issues in the Philippines

By Henri Abenis-Macahilo (Newsline Philippines) Contributor

Manila, PHILIPPINES – Aiming to provide a platform to share and substantiate the initial findings of the “direct hiring research project”, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) UN Migration – Philippines has recently held a consultative conference on The Future of Recruitment and Direct Hiring in a Changing World of Work and Migration at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati.

The conference entitled “Direct Hiring of Overseas Filipino Workers-Policy Research and Development of Risk Assessment and Due Diligence Guidelines”, has sought to hear the views of various stakeholders among the recruitment industry, the OFW sector, civil society organizations and the government in a less structured interactive process.

Gulf Labour Markets and Migration (GLMM) associate Froilan Malit, Jr. who founded Rights Corridor (RC), a newly established online news and research portal specializing in human rights and labor rights issues, has been invited by IOM to discuss the prospects and transitions in the domestic and global labour markets and their implications for the recruitment business, along with other labour migration experts from both government and private sectors, including Director Levinson Alcantara (POEA), Dr.Aniceto Orbeta (Philippine Institute for Development Studies), Dr. Nimfa Ogena (UP Population Institute), Marc Capistrano (Staffhouse), and Cesar Averia (EDIStaffbuilders).

“We’ve discussed data and policy trends on the Gulf labour market emergence, expansion and contraction in terms of destination, skills and POEA occupations, and whether the Philippine legislative policy on direct recruitment mirror the contemporary market shifts in the broader Middle East labor market,” explained Malit.

According to Kristin Dadey, Chief of Mission IOM-Manila who spearheaded the notable event, the future of the recruitment business is approaching a crossroads as the global labour market faces many changes.

“Technological developments impacting on trades and occupations, changing business arrangements and business outsourcing, the pressures for ethical business practices, freer mobility of people, expansive social media access and various other factors are likely going to affect the recruitment practices of foreign employers and the job search of applicants. These developments augur challenges to the regulatory framework of the Philippines on the recruitment of OFW’s,” Dadey added.

Also present in the conference were Khalid Hassan, ILO Country Director who spoke on “The Future of Work and the Pressure for Responsible Supply Chain” and Cheska Inigo, IOM – IRIS Programme Assistant who held a 20-minuted talk titled, “International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) Standards: How prepared is the Philippines?”.

Dr. Maruja Asis of Scalabrini Migration Center has made a presentation of initial research findings on direct hiring dubbed, “Is Direct Hiring an Option?”, followed by a round of discussion by panelists Alcestis Mangahas, SWS Fellow, Labor Attache Saul de Vries, Director Levinson Alcantara (POEA), and Edson Pabilona (WorkAbroad), with a special participation of direct hire OFWs from Singapore who participated through live streaming.

The discussion on “Recruitment Challenges and their Implications for the Government Regulatory Framework”, has delved on the governance outlook for Philippine labour migration given the issues arising from the evolving global economic, political and technological landscapes; has tackled concerns related to the coherence, relevance and effectiveness of present and ‘future’ migration policies and institutions.

Resource persons, Bernard Olalia (POEA Administrator), Lito Soriano (LBS E-Recruitment Solutions), Raquel Bracero (PASEI), Estrelita Hizon (POEA Governing Board), Susan “Toots” Ople (Blas F. Ople Policy Center) lead the stimulating discussion.

The consultative conference has been held as part of a project with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and Scalabrini Migration Center (SMC). (ham/NewslinePH)

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