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Pre-departure orientation seminars (PDOS) for migrants have the potential to become a key policy tool for harnessing the benefits of migration for migrants, their families and their home and host countries at large. Indeed, many developing countries have shown interest in providing PDOS for prospective migrants. PDOS can empower migrants by providing them with the right information to succeed abroad, in particular in terms of favorable labour market outcomes and protection against exploitation and human trafficking. Furthermore, economic success abroad affects the level of remittances sent home and therefore indirectly affects the development impact of migration.
Of all major migrant-sending countries, the Philippines has done the most to integrate international labor migration into its national development strategy and engage in pro-active migration management. This process includes the legal requirement for every Filipino emigrant to attend a brief PDOS. These seminars cover various topics such as travel regulations, immigration procedures, cultural differences as well as employment and social security concerns. The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) now plans to introduce enhanced training modules to also foster the development benefits of migration, going beyond the immediate needs of the migrant on arrival. The enhanced modules aim to (i) increase financial literacy, (ii) engage migrants in diaspora activities that contribute to development in the Philippines, and (iii) improve migrants' labor market success abroad and protect them from exploitation.
There is currently no rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of PDOS and on what kind of training modules really matter. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the enhanced modules using a randomized control trial. Researchers will survey 3,000 migrants and their families over a period of two years after the training takes place. The results of the evaluation will be directly incorporated into CFO's future PDOS and will be highly informative for deriving best practices for other migrant sending countries.
- Department of Labor and Employment, 3 July 2014
- OFW seminars being used to sell financial services to them'Baldoz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8 July 2014
- Labor chief orders OWWA to review content, conduct of PDOS for OFWs, Philippine Information Agency, 5 July 2014
- Baldoz orders OWWA to review PDOS and weed out 'undesirable' providers, OFW TRIBUNE, 3 July 2014
- Departure seminar for OFWs upgraded, The Manila Times, 4 July 2014
- DOLE orders PDOS revisions, Kabayan Weekly, 17 July 2014
- Gov't to shut down OFW seminar providers, The Philippine Star, 5 July 2014
- Conference highlights results of 3-year OWWA and AIM study on OFWs, BusinessMirror, Oct 2017