(28 February 2022) – The Department of Health (DOH), through the Migrant Health Unit lodged at the Bureau of International Health Cooperation (BIHC), organized the 12th Philippine Migrant Health Network (PMHN) Meeting last 24 February 2022 via an online video conference. The PMHN, since its inception in 2016, had worked hand in hand with different partners and organizations to:

  •  Increase the awareness and improve access of migrants and overseas Filipinos and their families to quality health care services
  • Secure and sustain technical and financing resources for migrant health
  •  Improve policy, plan, and management systems, as well as advocacy and evidence building, in support of migrant health
  •  Strengthen regulatory measures, improve knowledge and information management and monitor quality health care for overseas Filipinos

About a hundred participants from different offices, bureaus and attached agencies of DOH, other government agencies, private sector, civil society organizations, non-government organizations, members of the academe and international organizations attended the bi-annual activity. In this meeting, the four technical working groups of the PMHN, namely, Health Promotion and Service Delivery, Policy Advocacy and Research, Financing and Resource Mobilization, and Regulations, Information Management and Monitoring, presented their activities and commitments accomplished during the past year.
One of the agreements of the meeting is the approval of the concept of the PMHN Website which was hosted on the DOH website. This initiative will not be possible without the help of the DOH-Knowledge Management and Information Technology Service. The PMHN website is essential to increase the accessibility of the PMHN and all its activities.
Two research were highlighted during the meeting: (1) International Labor Organization’s draft for a term of reference for hiring an external consultant for the study “Multi-lens analysis of Philippine health laws and policies relevant to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their family” was presented and approved; and (2) the concept note on Baseline Study on OFWs Health written by Dr. Carmelita Canila of University of the Philippines-College of Public Health was also approved. These studies will fill the gaps in relation to the status of our country’s migration health.
And lastly the conduct of the 3rd National Symposium on Migration Health Research was scheduled to be held on June 9, 2022. The symposium will create an avenue for relevant stakeholders to present findings on migrant health that can help policy makers to craft policies catering the health of migrants.
Dr. Maria Soledad Q. Antonio, PMHN Chairperson and Director IV of DOH-BIHC, took pride of the milestones which had been achieved in the previous year and welcome the year with enthusiasm and aspiration as the world stride back to a new normal due of the decline of COVID-19 cases and as well as the hope that the new administration and the new Department of Migrant Workers entails in the future.