(18 April 2022) – After a successful Philippine Migrant Health Network (PMHN) virtual meeting held last 24 February 2022, the four (4) Technical Working Groups (TWGs) namely:  Health Promotion and Service Delivery (HePSeD) TWG, Financing and Resource Mobilization (FARM) TWG, Policy Advocacy and Research (PAR) TWG, and Regulation, Information Management and Monitoring (RIMM) TWG conducted series of pocket meetings last March 2022 with the aim of planning for priority programs and activities based on the PMHN Strategic Plan 2016—2022 and set these commitments in one PMHN work plan for 2022

The first TWG to convene was the HePSeD held last 15 March 2022 via online platform, this was led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development – International Social Services Office (DSWD-ISSO) and co-led by the Kabalikat ng Migranteng Pilipino. Their primary objective is to increase awareness and improve access of migrants and overseas Filipinos and their families to quality health care services. For this year, the group proposed four (4) priority outcomes for 2022:

Outcome 1: Health Promotion and Communication Plan Implemented

Outcome 2: Health Modules developed and disseminated

Outcome 3: Directory of Health-related Services and Programs for Migrants and their Families developed

Outcome 4:  PEME Plus developed

Screenshot of the HePSeD TWG Meeting attendees held last 15 March 2022

The FARM TWG led by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and co-led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), held their meeting last 17 March 2022 and the overall goal of this TWG is to secure and sustain technical and financing resources for migrant health. They were able to identify three (3) priority outcomes for 2022:

Outcome 1: PMHN Website and social media account enhanced and maintained

Outcome 2: Consolidated health benefit package for migrants and Overseas Filipinos produced

Outcome 3: Migrant health financing landscape assessed

Screenshot of FARM TWG Meeting attendees held last 17 March 2022

Came after was the PAR TWG meeting held on 22 March 2022 which was led by  Commission on Overseas Filipinos and co-led by the Action for Health Initiatives, Inc. and Philippine Migration Research Network with the support of the Philippine Migrants’ Rights Watch, PMHN Vice Chair. The objective of this TWG is to improve policy, plan and management systems, as well as advocacy and evidence building, in support of migrant health, hence, they committed to prioritize the following listed outcomes for 2022:

Outcome 1: Codified Manual on Migration and Health completed

Outcome 2: PHIMRA aligned priority research identified and funded

Outcome 3: Policy and legislative agenda on migrant health developed

Screenshot of PAR TWG Meeting held last 22 March 2022
Screenshot of RIMM TWG Meeting held last 24 March 2022

Lastly, the 4th TWG, which is RIMM led by the Department of Foreign Affairs – Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs (DFA-OUMWA) and co-led by the Kapisanan ng mga Kamag-anak ng mga Migranteng Manggagawang Pilipino Inc., convened last 24 March 2022. They aim to strengthen regulatory measures, improve knowledge and information management and monitor quality health care services for overseas Filipinos. To achieve this, two (2) priority outcomes were considered for 2022:

Outcome 1: Data sources on health information from various agencies identified and mapped

Outcome 2: Additional Medical Facilities for Overseas Workers and Seafarers (MFOWS) in DOH Hospitals established

Evident in these endeavors the commitment of each TWG members toward the achievement of the specific goals and objectives embodied in the PMHN Strategic Plan 2016—2022; altogether, the PMHN overarching goal of improving the health of overseas Filipinos and their families strongly resonates. As we transition to the better normal this 2022 and adapt to the thrusts of the new Department of Migrant Workers, the Department of Health—Migrant Health Unit under the Bureau of International Health Cooperation together with its valued partners in the government, private sector and civil society organizations, will relentlessly pursue the advancement of the fundamental right to health of migrants and their families.