BPI, UA&P tie up for migration and OFW studies
As migration and overseas work play an important role in the economic and social status of the country, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation and the University of Asia and Pacific (UA&P) has established a professorial chair that would further study the issue for five years starting 2014.
A memorandum of agreement creating the BPI Professorial Chair on Migration and Overseas Filipino Work was signed on Feb. 3, initiating a research program that would engage the concerns of overseas Filipino workers.
The program has an initial allocation of P30 million.
“We need policies [on migration and overseas work]…the money allocated for the research is money that will be very well spent,” BPI President Cezar Consing said.
UA&P President Jose Maria Mariano said the purpose of the research was to make current issues understood and also reflect the university’s commitment to care for the migrant workers.
Since the issue cannot be purely explained solely from the economic stand point, UA&P will be tackling its research with a mix of political, socio-economic, philosophical approaches, among other things.
“Our idea is for research to be always relevant with what is happening,” UA&P director for research Bernardo Villegas said. “We are hoping that it will become a model of other universities who will start a similar research program.”
The professorial chair will conduct lectures on migration through UA&P’s academic programs and undertake studies that will lead to relevant policy papers. It will also develop and hold community services and outreach activities, and conduct an annual conference on migration and overseas Filipino work.
BPI Foundation executive director Florendo Maranan said it may also urge OFWs to settle back with their families in the Philippines.
“Education is one of the very important advocacies of BPI. [The purpose of this is] to develop a definite and complete framework of the study on migrant workers,” Maranan said.
He pointed out that the research is not be limited to the Philippines.