Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao assures ILO of jobs for its people


November, 2009- The officials of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) assured the officials from the International Labor Organization (ILO) that the regional government is persistently working to provide decent work to its people especially to areas with high incidence of poverty.


The statement quoted the message of ARMM Regional Governor Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan read by ARMM Executive Secretary Atty. Oscar Sampulna Sr. during the visit of ILO and International Organization on Migration (IOM) officials to the Office of the Regional Governor last October 26, 2009 in Cotabato City for the conduct of consultation on the implementation of the Joint Programme on Youth, Employment and Migration (YEM): Alternatives to Migration, Decent Jobs for Filipino Youth.


The Joint Programme was developed by United Nation Country team agencies, the ILO, IOM, United Nations Population Fund (UNFA) and United Nation Children's Fund (UNICEF) which aims to achieve for a period of three (3) years improved policy coherence and implementation on YEM through full stakeholder participation and increased access to decent work for poor, young women and men.


Ampatuan said with the support from the international humanitarian partners, he is confident that his administration's efforts will eventually lead to a sustainable peace and development in the region.


Ms Akiko Kikkawa, Project Manager, Labor Migration Unit, IOM said some 10,000 poor and vulnerable young men and women, aged from 15-24 years old who are Out-of-School Youths, In-school Youths, high school graduates, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and Youth left behind by OFW parents are beneficiaries of the program.


The YEM will be implemented by government agencies like the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Education (DepEd), Technical Education, Skills Development Authority, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Youth Commission (NYC), National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCFRW) and The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) acts as the National Steering Committee.


The YEM Programme will be implemented on the identified project sites in the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Antique, Masbate and Maguindanao.


Discussions and workshop were conducted during the Consultative meeting to be able to know existing policies and programmes on YEM and identification of relevant Stakeholders and potential partners in the implementation of the program in the projects areas.


Reports from Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWAA) in the ARMM bared that from January to September this year, there are 2,586 Balik-Manggagawa or vacationing Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) of which 97 are youth aged between 15-24 years old.


Kikkawa said that through the YEM window, the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F) seeks to provide interventions that will promote sustainable productive employment and decent work for young people including through a better management of the negative or positive effects of migration and by enhancing local capacities to develop, implement and monitor effective policies and programmes in this domain.


Aside from YEM, programs like Environment and climate change, economic governance and children, nutrition and food security will be implemented to the identified beneficiaries.


The MDG-F was established in 2006 by the Government of Spain and the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) to enhance efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to support UN reform efforts at the country level. The Spanish government has committed 528 million euros to the MDG-F to be programmed for the three year implementation from 2007-2010. (BPI/PIA9-BST)


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