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Philippines to aim for 'Brain Gain' from global OFW deployment

Philippines to aim for 'Brain Gain' from global OFW deployment

The Philippines is working to turn the global deployment of documented overseas Filipino workers, which has surpassed more than one million in more than 190 host economies worldwide for the first time in 2006, into a source of "brain gain" for the country, Philippine Labor and Secretary Arturo D. Brion said in a statement.
Over the weekend, Brion called on businesses and other concerned sectors to be partners of the government in ensuring that global OFW deployment translated into "brain gain" for the country.
Speaking during the sixth Department of Labor and Employment Research Conference led by the Institute for Labor Studies, Brion said he and Philippine Business for Social Progress chair, Manuel V. Pangilinan, have recently discussed the possibility of assisting OFWs in becoming assets of development on their return.
"During this discussion, I broached to Mr. Pangilinan, chairman of the board of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Corporation, the importance of businessmen who can take care of our OFWs, particularly those skilled in science, economics, business, and other disciplines, on their return to the Philippines," Brion said in a statement issued by DOLE.
The labor chief added that those developments are in the light of the emphasis on "Brain Gain" by the Geneva, Switzerland-based International Organization for Migration.
"The IOM, which considers the Philippines' global migration management system as a model for the world, believes that migrants who have developed and improved their skills abroad could be catalysts of 'brain gain' by transferring and infusing knowledge, skills, and technology into their countries of origin," Brion said.
He cited the IOM's recent 92nd session and high level discussions in Geneva that focused on global migration management based on the Philippines' role as the leading source of productive workers for today's global economy. The event reflected international and local developments in policy and perspective on global migration both among OFW host and receiving economies amidst the pursuit of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, DOLE said.
In a related development, Brion said Taiwan, a major host country of OFWs, is helping to make "brain gain" become a reality by initiating a databank of OFW returnees, who have worked for six years in Taiwan, for potential engagement by Taiwanese job-friendly investors in the Clark and Subic special economic zones in the Philippines.
"Taiwan considers the return to the Philippines of OFWs who have worked for six years there -- the maximum period allowed by that host country -- as its very own loss or brain drain. Their inclusion in this databank upon their return will help to ensure these OFWs' continuing productivity -- proving to be a brain gain for both the OFW host and origin economy," Brion said.