PH sees migration pact as ‘instrument’ in bilateral talks

MANILA The Philippines is planning to use the soon-to-be adopted Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) as an instrument for future bilateral talks and crafting of agreements with other countries accepting overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

"We are looking at using the instrument for bilateral relations or even, perhaps in the future, for bilateral agreements with other countries," DFA Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said during a panel session at the two-day inter-agency experts' workshop for the implementation of the GCM.

The official stressed that the document will instantly serve as benchmark, particularly for labor-accepting states, in setting the standard on the treatment of Filipino migrants.

"It's a landmark document because there will be hundreds of countries that will adopt it and will look at it as minimum standard in the treatment of migrant workers," she told reporters.

The international community is expected to adopt the approved final text of the GCM on Dec. 10 to 11, during the Inter-Governmental Conference in Morocco.

While not legally binding, the GCM secures commitment from more than 100 states towards enhanced cooperation on international migration "in all its dimensions."

"We have this compact to bring everyone in," Arriola pointed out. "As of now, this is as good as it gets, to have a consensus document to be able to bring everyone in."

The GCM's cooperative framework consists of 23 objectives, two of which are being implemented by the Philippines - the strengthening of international cooperation and the pathway for regular migration in partnership with the government of Bahrain.

Early this month, Bahrain launched its flexi-Visa program allowing undocumented migrants to regularize their status as workers there.

"In December, we will show them (party states) that it's workable, that the country of origin and the country of destination can be partners," Arriola said.

"There are many countries especially in the Middle East that are going to adopt, so far there are no indication they will back out," she said, adding that this alone is a good news since most Filipinos are deployed in the Middle East.

According to reports, some European countries are planning to follow the track of the United States, which pulled out of the GCM negotiations in 2017. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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