Protecting Temporary Workers, Dovelyn Agunias


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  • I’m here to present to you the main findings of of a research study my organization, the Migration Policy Institute, started early started. Its an assessment of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, or OWWA, the main agency tasked to ensure that temporary labor migrants are protected while working abroad.
  • Protecting Temporary Workers, Dovelyn Agunias

    1. 1. Protecting Temporary Workers Lessons and Cautions from the Philippines Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias Migration Policy Institute Washington, DC USA [email_address] November 2, 2007
    2. 2. OUTLINE <ul><li>Background: Emigration from the Philippines </li></ul><ul><li>What is OWWA? </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges for OWWA </li></ul>
    3. 3. I. Deployed OFWs, 1975-2006 Source: Dovelyn Agunias and Neil Ruiz. “Protecting Overseas Workers: Lessons and Cautions from the Philippines,&quot; Insight (Migration Policy Institute), September 2007.
    4. 4. Deployed OFWs by Destination, 2002-2006
    5. 5. What is OWWA? <ul><li>Government-managed fund </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primarily comprise of a mandatory $25 membership contribution of OFWs and/or their employers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fully self funded </li></ul><ul><li>International Operation with a complex organizational structure </li></ul>
    6. 6. OWWA within the Philippine Government
    7. 7. OWWA Welfare Officers by Destination, 2006
    8. 8. OWWA Services and Benefits <ul><li>Repatriation </li></ul><ul><li>Workers Assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Insurance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Life: $2,000 for natural death and $4,000 for accidental death </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Burial benefit: $400 Loans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work-related injuries, illness & disabilities: $40 to $2000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medical insurance (for additional US$ 20) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Loans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-departure loans: $800 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Family-assistance loans: $ 800 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Livelihood Loans: $4000 to $20,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groceria Project : $1,000 worth of groceries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Education and Training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-departure Orientation Seminar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education for Development Scholarship : $1,200 p/yr </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seafarers Upgrading Program: $24 to $150 p/course </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Challenge # 1: Protecting Overseas Workers on a Budget <ul><li>Juggling Two Tasks: Achieving Fund Stability and Providing Services </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>OWWA is a US$172 million fund </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grew 4-fold in 11 years </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Average Income from 2002-2006: 1.9 Billion pesos </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(US$ 38 million) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expenditures in services in 2005 equals 3% percent of the fund balance </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>78% of fund balance in investment </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Average expenses from 2002-2006: 865 million pesos (US$17 million) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Why Save First-Spend Later ? </li></ul>
    10. 10. Finding the right balance of services 0.03% 0.2% .95 % (of sea-based workers) Maintained 269 Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) grants Made 1,981 Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) grants Made 2,177 Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP) grants Education and training 0.01% 0.05% 0.03% 0.02% Made 137 Predeparture Loans (PDLs) to OWFs Made 543 Family Assistance Loans (FALs) to OFWs Made 261 GROCERIAS loans Made 198 loans through OWWA-NLSF Livelihood Development Program Loans 0.11% 0.04% Paid 1,122 OFWs’ claims for insurance and burial benefits Paid 395 OFWs’ claims for disability and dismemberment Insurance 61.83% Assisted 614,697 (local and overseas) workers at 24/7 operations center Workers assistance 1.09% Repatriated 10,834 Repatriation Number of beneficiaries/claims/loans/ grants as a percentage of total membership in 2006 Number of beneficiaries/claims/loans/grants in 2006 Services
    11. 11. Challenge # 2: Migrant Workers Representation and Participation
    12. 12. Challenge # 3: Transparency and Accountability <ul><li>No periodical and accessible update on the fund’s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>financial standing and, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the services rendered in a given period </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Board meeting minutes off-record </li></ul><ul><li>Especially important given past cases of mismanagement of funds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>millions of pesos in unrecoverable or “doubtful accounts,” and nonliquidated cash advances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>479 million pesos (US$10.6 million) unredeemable investment in the Smokey Mountain Project </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Challenge # 4: Involve Destination Countries <ul><li>Countries of destination should consider: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing mechanisms for protecting the welfare of temporary workers (bilateral agreements or protecting in employment-related matters) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complement offerings of welfare funds </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. MARAMING SALAMAT PO! Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias Migration Policy Institute 1400 16th Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20036, USA Phone: 00-1-202-266-1925 Email: [email_address] Web: CONTACT INFORMATION: