The Quezon City government and the International Labour Organization (ILO) today signed an implementation agreement to boost the city’s migration and development governance, program implementation, and service delivery. It includes the establishment of a Migrant Resource Center (MRC) within the City Hall Compound that is poised to become the first-ever one-stop shop destination for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families in the National Capital Region.








“We are elated about this partnership as this means, finally, the implementation of our existing ordinance that pushes for the creation of MRC. From then until now, our goal is to honor our OFWs by taking action and leading them to a future where they will be met with a positive, profitable, and successful cross-border journey,” said Mayor Joy Belmonte, referring to Ordinance SP 2500, s 2016  or “An Ordinance creating the Quezon City Migrants Resource Center” which she has passed as Vice-Mayor, together with the 19th City Council.

Meanwhile, QC Public Employment Services Office (PESO) Manager Rogelio Reyes said the move is a testament that the city is stepping up as a partner of the national government in protecting the rights and welfare of OFWs. “This time we are filling critical gap areas in policy and program implementation and service provision,” Reyes said.

Mr. Selva Ramachandran, UNDP Philippines Resident Representative and ad interim Resident Coordinator of United Nations Philippines further added, “Migration is a fact of life but UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that we must do more to better protect migrants. We must expand and diversify rights-based pathways for migration – to advance the SDGs and address labor market shortages. Returns and re-admissions must be safe, dignified and in full accordance with international law.” 














With the MRC, various migration programs and services from Quezon City and other partner groups will be brought under one roof. It will provide assessment and referral services, local employment facilitation, psycho-social first aid, and the provision of relevant information on migration through the OFW Help Desk.

Case handling and legal aid services will also be made available as well as reintegration services such as livelihood skills training, re-skilling, and re-tooling for those returning in the city and seminars and training to OFWs and their family circles.

The ceremonial signing was likewise undertaken in commemoration of the birth of the city’s founder, Former President Manuel L. Quezon who was also a known advocate of social justice for peasants and workers.













Funded by the European Union, this support is part of the Safe and Fair Programme, the programme for the ASEAN of the Spotlight Initiative, a 500-million-euro EU-UN partnership to end violence against women and girls. The ILO-UN Women-IOM BRIDGE Programme, which aims to help the government achieve its commitments under the Global Compact for Migration, will also contribute to the initiative. 

The agreements that were laid out in the partnership will be implemented by the city through its Public Employment Service Office (PESO) and will be supported through the ILO-UN Women Safe and Fair Programme, which is part of the United Nations European Union Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women and girls, and the ILO-UN Women-IOM BRIDGE Programme, which is supported by the Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) to help the government achieve its commitments under the Global Compact for Migration.

Mr. Khalid Hassan, Director of the ILO Country Office in the Philippines said establishing the Migrant Resource Center is a landmark step for OFWs, as Quezon City is recognized as one of the top places of origin for OFWs. 

He further shares, “We affirm the technical partnership with Quezon City on MRC on the following components: improving gender-responsive service delivery and coordination mechanisms; enhancing local data collection and management; capacity-building for migration stakeholders including service providers, OFWs, families, communities, OFW groups and network); strengthening migrant groups and networks; and increasing public awareness on labor migration and MRC.” The MRC operations will be guided by the good practices and MRC operations standards, including the “16 Essentials for Quality Multisectoral Service Provision to Women Migrant Workers Subject to Violence” (2019) and the “Coordinated Quality Services for Ending Violence against Women Migrant Workers” (2020) produced by Safe and Fair Programme.

The partnership will further support OFW reintegration and skills development opportunities for OFWs and their families, especially women and domestic workers. The “Reintegration Advisor and Referral Pathways” will help provide the operational framework in improving reintegration support services. The partnership will also continue strengthening the ongoing organizing, networking and capacity building of OFWs and families in Quezon City to promote their meaningful participation as stakeholders in migration governance and programmes.













The stress on women’s voice, choice, and agency is also at the core of this partnership as it recognizes the vital role women migrant workers play in global society, taking on critical frontline roles as healthcare workers, caregivers, and domestic workers, especially during this pandemic. “UN Women welcomes this partnership and is pleased to see that the local government of Quezon City recognizes the importance of having a safe haven for migrants and their families, particularly women migrant workers who face a higher risk of violence and discrimination. As a compliment to this physical haven, UN Women’s BabaengBiyahero Campaign supported by our Safe and Fair Programme will be able to offer a platform for these women migrants to share empowering stories and support fellow migrants throughout their migration journey,” shares Ms. Rosalyn “Lenlen” Mesina, Country Programme Coordinator, UN Women Philippine Programme Office.

At the signing event, H.E.  Ambassador Luc Véron of the European Union stated: “the cooperation between Quezon City, the ILO and the European Union is an important one: we join forces to protect and promote the rights of female migrant workers, to promote safe spaces and keep migrant workers free from all forms of violence. Labour migration can and should be safe and fair for all Filipinas!”

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, there are over 1.77 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) abroad as of 2020, almost 60% of whom are women. More than 75% of OFWs abroad work in lower-paid, more precarious jobs like domestic work, clerical, sales, services or factory/manufacturing jobs. Women predominate in these more precarious jobs. The National Capital Region is among the top 5 regions of origin of OFWs.

This huge population of migrant workers encounter various challenges at all stages of their migration journey. The vulnerabilities, challenges, and cases of labor exploitation and violations, including gender-based violence, are still prevalent, but not uniform – women are more adversely impacted by these, particularly in times of public crisis like the COVID pandemic. Guidelines on how service providers can respond to these needs are explained in the ”16 Essentials for Quality Multi-sectoral Service Provision to Women Migrant Workers Subject to Violence”, available for download at the