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Baldoz hails setting up of youth migration centers in Visayas, Mindanao

MANILA, April 27 — Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz on Friday welcomed the establishment of four, One-Stop Resource Centers (OSRCs) in the Visayas and Mindanao which will provide services to returning youth migrants, young members of families left behind by OFWs, as well as the poor and disadvantaged youth so that they will have viable options in life.

The OSRCs are located in Agusan del Sur, Antique, Masbate, and Maguindanao, four of the country's less developed provinces, and were set up as part of the Joint Programme on Youth, Employment and Migration (JP-YEM) under the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Fund.

The OSRCs aim to help the Philippine government achieve its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by giving it the capacity to implement youth employment and migration programs and in providing increased access to decent work for disadvantaged youths.

Part of the work of the OSRCs is to teach returning migrants how to engage in business or invest their earnings; to provide young people opportunities which can help reduce the burden of migrating out of need; and to save youths from human traffickers and illegal recruiters.

“I welcome the establishment of the OSRCs in these provinces. These centers will definitely provide the youth access to much-needed services on decent work, support, and information so that they may have opportunities to consider other than working abroad," said Baldoz.

"These areas where the OSRCs are located are pilot provinces under the JP-YEM program, and as such the drive to migrate is understandably high and the risk of prospective migrants being abused is equally great." shge said.

She lauded the officials of the said provinces, the non-government organizations, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for working together to establish the OSRCs.

She also said that the OSRCs would be linked to Public Employment Service Offices (PESOs) in the said areas.

As a one-stop shop for migrant youth, each OSRC will have a coordinating committee composed of four sub-committees, namely information, education, research, networking and advocacy; psychosocial services; economic, savings and investment program; and migration and development initiatives.

Aside from providing economic opportunities by creating or expanding livelihoods and community enterprises through investments, job matching, and incubation centers for micro-enterprise development, the OSRCs will also provide advice on safe and legal migration and local opportunities for migrant reintegration. They will also provide training on savings and financial literacy, enterprise management, and psycho-social counseling. They will also provide paralegal services and implement anti-illegal recruitment and and anti-trafficking programs to community residents, especially the youth.

The JP-YEM was developed and is being supported by the UN Country Team agencies such as International Organization for Migration, International Labour Organization, United Nations Children's Fund, and the United Nations Population Fund. Its Philippine government partner agencies are, aside from the Department of labor and Employment, the Department of Education, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Department of Trade and Industry, National Youth Commission, and the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women. (PNA) RMA/DOLE-PR/mec

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