Philippines Department of Health, IOM Hold Migrant Health Conference

Migration Health

Philippines - The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) in collaboration with IOM held the 2nd National Conference on Migrant Health (NCMH) on 17 June 2016 in Pasay City, Philippines.

The NCMH is an annual event which gathers government officials, academic experts, representatives from international organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, migrant associations and the private sector to discuss migration health in the country. This year’s theme was Advancing the Health of Migrants through Multi-Sectoral Collaboration.

In her opening remarks, Department of Health Undersecretary Lilibeth David emphasized that “Healthy migrants contribute to a healthy and robust economy not only in destination countries but also in the sending countries.”

She also reiterated the government’s commitment to Universal Health Care and migrants’ right to health. “[We] affirm with conviction to work hard to ensure that no one, no migrant is left behind. Only then can we say there is universal health care.”

IOM Manila (Global) Administrative Center Director and Philippines Chief of Mission Marco Boasso told the conference, “IOM’s work on health is rooted in the understanding that health is a basic human right and an essential component of sustainable development. Being and staying healthy is a fundamental precondition for migrants to work, to be productive and to contribute to the social and economic development of their communities of origin and destination.”

Commenting on the theme of the conference, Boasso highlighted the significance of multi-sectoral partnership and collaboration. “It is not the sole responsibility of one sector or either migrant‐sending or migrant‐receiving countries but it is a joint responsibility that requires close cooperation among the different sectors and between relevant countries,” he said.

He affirmed IOM’s commitment adding, “IOM is committed to continue working with the government and multi-sector partners in advancing the health of migrants by providing technical expertise on all aspects of migration. IOM looks forward to working more closely with the DOH, its Bureau of International Health Cooperation and other relevant units towards technical guidance, policy advocacy and practical solutions that advance the health of migrants.”

The partnership between IOM and DOH began in 2013 upon the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement on the Health of Migrants and enabled the collaboration on key actions such as policy development, capacity building and research and advocacy.

The NCMH and Philippine Migrant Health Network (PMHN) are products of the DOH-IOM Joint Project on Migration Health which sought to map the status of Migration Health in the Philippines. The findings of the project laid the foundation for the development of policies, programs and activities in the area of migration health in the country including the recently signed National Policy on the Health of Overseas Filipinos to be adopted by the government, the broader health sector, and all other sectors and stakeholders who contribute to the promotion and protection of the health of migrants in the Philippines.

For further information please contact Dr. Predrag Bajcevic at IOM Manila Health Centre, Tel: +6328839340, Email: