The almost 4-year journey of the OECD’s[1] project on the Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development (IPPMD) in the Philippines came into conclusion when the Philippines’ Report[2] was launched during the forum of the Final Global and Philippine Reports: Providing the Evidence on the Migration and Development Nexus held on June 14, 2017 at the Discovery Suites, Ortigas, Pasig City.


Started in July 2013, the IPPMD project in the Philippines was implemented by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Centre and the Scalabrini Migration Center (SMC) in close collaboration with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and the National Economic and Development Authority. The project sought to provide policy makers with empirical evidence on the importance of integrating migration into development strategies and fostering coherence across sectoral policies.

The report summarized the findings of the empirical research conducted between 2013 and 2016 in the Philippines and examined how the various dimensions of migration affect key policy sectors, namely, the labor market; agriculture; education; and investment and financial services.

Policy Recommendations

Intended as a toolkit for better understanding the role that public policies play in the migration and development nexus, the report also analyzed how the policies in these sectors influenced a range of migration outcomes, such as the decision to migrate, the use of remittances and the success of return migration:

  1. Decision to Migrate. The report reflected that the Philippine government now sees migration of Filipino workers as a reflection of the lack of employment opportunities, thus setting a goal of creating new jobs. The report thus, recommends policies that relieve financial constraints such as agricultural subsidies and cash-based education programs that tend to curb emigration.

  2. Remittances. The findings showed that remittances are invested in education, but not so much on productive investments. Policies that relieve financial constraints and improve market access and functioning was suggested in the report as these could indirectly influence the behavior of remittance recipients.

  3. Return Migration. While slowly changing as observed in the report, return migration is a largely underexploited resource. The migrant’s human capital potential is limited upon their return in the home country due to difficulty in finding a job in the Philippines. A role for labor market policies was recommended as self-employment or business creation are their only options.


    The report revealed that each of the various dimensions of migration has something to offer the Philippines’ economic and social development, but were not fully realized.


    The OECD Development Centre and the SMC assured their continuous co-operation with key stakeholders and policy makers in the Philippines to enhance the positive contribution of migration to the country’s sustainable development.

Interim Officer-in-Charge Maria Regina Angela Galias of the CFO also shared that CFO together with its partners continuously capacitate select LGUs on M&D to ensure that care is provided to all migrants and their families, while at the same time maximizing the benefits of migration for local development. Emphasizing on the primary duty of the government to protect the rights and interest of Filipinos who choose to live or work abroad, Ms. Galias advocated for a people-centered development agenda, where migration is seen as a program that promotes the development of people. She concluded “Let us all work hand in hand for the attainment of an inclusive development, where no one is left behind. Let us find creative and innovative ways how we can harness and maximize the positive development impact of migration and the Filipino diaspora.”


[1] Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Centre

[2] OECD Development Pathways – Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development in the Philippines