The Center for Research and Communication (CRC) signed a memorandum of agreement with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation, Inc., establishing the BPI Professorial Chair for Migration and Overseas Filipino Work (MOFW) on February 3, 2014 at the BPI Head Office. BPI Foundation Executive Director Florendo Maranan and BPI President Cezar Consing sealed the partnership with CRC President Dr. Jose Maria Mariano and CRC Director for Research Dr. Bernardo Villegas in the presence of Ayala Corporation Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

For three years, the holder of the professorial chair, Associate Professor and CRC Director for Operations Dr. Veronica Esposo Ramirez, will undertake research studies on migration and development, and publish teaching resource materials on the integration of migration into the K-12 BEC subjects.

This partnership will increase our capability to do our work even better,” Dr. Mariano said in his closing remarks. “We can now engage in intensive research that can guide policy makers towards inclusive growth and integral human development. With our joint commitment to care for our migrants and OFWs, we shall fulfill the vision that the founders of our institutions have set to benefit our country and our people.”

Dr. Villegas described how overseas Filipino work (OFW), as a field of study, is important to UA&P because it cuts across the major themes of the University’s research agenda.

The center’s first three years of work on overseas Filipino workers had a number of accomplishments, including the publication of the book Working Overseas: Diaspora that Sustains the Nation. The publication includes socio-economic analysis and benchmarking of overseas household service workers, as well as other research studies and activities initiated by CRC.

Together with its committee on OFWs composed of key stakeholders in the migration industry, CRC also crafted a legislative bill proposal for investment incentives for overseas Filipino workers and/or their immediate family members. A series of roundtable discussions and conferences was also held to bring together people engaged in overseas employment in reasoned conversation and dialogue on issues that affect not only OFWs, but also their families left behind, communities, and the entire nation. All these were done with the purpose of making current issues understood by decision-makers in business, government and civil society, who can translate progressive ideas into action.

Text by Dr. Veronica Ramirez.