An OFW Journalism Consortium news flash exclusive
MANILA—NUEVA Ecija, the country’s rice granary, has just included overseas Filipinos’ concerns in its local development efforts.
This was made possible by a migration-and-development plan formulated in a summit organized by the provincial government and a non-government organization recently.
Documents obtained by the OFW Journalism Consortium showed that the provincial and city and municipal governments intend to include overseas Novo Ecijanos in these local government units’ various socio-economic programs and services.
Nueva Ecija will also form its own migration and development council. Various tiers of the provincial and city/municipal government units of Nueva Ecija, financial institutions, civil society organizations, and associations of overseas Novo Ecijanos and their families will be invited in this council.
The provincial offices of national government agencies such as the departments of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Education (DepEd) and Trade and Industry (DTI), as well as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) have committed to contribute some of its services to overseas Novo Ecijanos.
The summit, co-organized by the provincial government and the nonprofit Batis Center for Women, comes at the heels of discovering the billion-peso remittances plowing into the province.
Citing the provincial government’s crunching of the 2009 Family Income and Expenditures Survey (FIES) data of the National Statistics Office, provincial social welfare officer Shirley Ann Angeles said that households of overseas Novo Ecijanos got around P7.3 billion.
As well, citing triennial FIES data from 1985 to 2009, Angeles said remittances to Nueva Ecija have been growing at around 10.9 percent annually. Novo Ecijano migrants’ families in the province were estimated to have saved P7 billion of household total incomes.
The nonprofit Institute for Migration and Development Issues cited government data as saying that the province has:
- About 5,742 temporary migrant workers as of 2007 data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration;
- Some 18,565 permanent residents and emigrants, citing 1988-2007 data from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas
- Some 21,530 households receiving overseas remittances, citing year 2000 FIES data from the NSO; and
- Over-P6.759 billion of remittances received by migrant households, as of 2006 estimates of the FIES.
Having a provincial migration-and-development plan runs in consonance with the provincial government’s amended 2010-2013 medium-term development plan. That plan, says a presentation by an official of the provincial planning office, aimed to see Nueva Ecija as an agro-industrialized province and as one of the Philippines’s major food bowls.
If the P7.3 billion estimated remittances from overseas Novo Ecijanos is correct, this is more than the P5.224 billion that the provincial government, four cities, and 22 municipalities earned in 2010 (data cited here come from the Bureau of Local Government Finance). –OFW Journalism Consortium
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Tags: 2009 Family Income and Expenditures Survey (FIES), Bureau of Local Government Finance, Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)