By Julius Garcia Matibag
In a country full of venerated heroes, from the brave Lapu-Lapu to the revolutionary Bonifacio and the patriotic writer Rizal, it is no surprise that Filipinos regard any acts of living Pinoys, individually or collectively, that are deemed to create positive impacts on the Philippines as a nation as one of heroism. As such, with the huge amounts of annual remittances of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)—more than US$20.1 billion in 2011 comprising almost 10% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product—OFWs have been highly regarded as the Bagong Bayani (New Heroes) in the Philippines. Their contribution to the country’s economy cannot be overemphasized, as OFW remittances have perennially saved the nation from recurring global and regional financial crisis, starting from the Asia financial collapse in the mid-1990s.
And like their hero counterparts of the olden times, however, these present-day heroes—who are in almost any part of the world in a staggering number of 9.45 million OFWs in 2010—despite their major drive inputs to the economy, have become vulnerable targets of oppression and exploitation, from the Philippine government’s neglect of its obligations to protect their rights and promote their welfare to most of the destination countries’ apparent unequal and discriminatory treatment against OFWs.
OFWs are not alone in this predicament, as the entire Asia-Pacific region shows a pattern of conferring legitimacy to labour-export policy of States that deny and deprive migrant workers, along with other marginalized sectors of society, of their right to be accorded by their own government of their economic and social rights.
Profile of Labour Migration in Asia Pacific
Labour migration has become a global phenomenon spurred by the advent of globalization (of products and services) in the late 1970s. Though the major inputs into the economy of overseas workers are admirable, labour migration is a prominent feature of a crisis within the economic order not only of the respective origin countries but more importantly of the current global economic paradigm. “The global labour market becomes one big pool of “flexible labour” that can be shifted within and across national borders based on the needs of monopoly capital.”
In Asia-Pacific (excluding Oceania countries), the numbers are staggering: there are 27.5 million migrant workers in 2010, from 25 million in 2005, and which accounts for almost 13% of all world labour migrants. Almost half (48%) of the migrant stock is composed of women workers. The top origin countries of migrants are China, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Pakistan. It has been noted that while the United States and the Middle East are the main destination countries of most migrant workers, intra-regional labour migration is becoming a pattern, as the top destination countries in the region in 2010 are India (6.1 million), Hong Kong SAR (2.5 million), Iran (1.9 million), and Malaysia (1.7 million).
The Oceania region is no different. It has 6.8 million migrant workers and that is 16.8% of the total population in the region and 3.2% of all world labour migrants. Labour migrants account for a quarter of the population in cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in Australia, and Auckland in New Zealand, which are the two primary destination countries in the region. The most number of migrant workers are in Sydney (1.2 million) and Melbourne (940,000).
As such, in Asia-Pacific, including the Oceania region, there are a staggering 34.3 million migrant workers or 16.2% of all world labour migrants. Another regional trend that should be a cause of concern is the rising number of irregular or undocumented migration, estimated by the International Organization for Migration as one of the largest in the world according to overall contemporary flows. The Bangladesh-India corridor alone contributes to around 17 million irregular migrant workers in 2010.
All these figures are striking that the numbers portray the fundamental protracted economic crisis that the origin countries are facing in their respective territories. It is because the push and the need to work in another country—compelled primarily by the scarcity in labour opportunities and insufficiency of domestic wage levels—that is at the core of the labour migration phenomenon. This is the crux of the problem, and the exploitation and oppression of migrant workers in their destination countries are merely the consequences of the same.
It must be emphasized that most of the origin countries’ economies in Asia-Pacific can be aptly characterised as primarily pre-industrial and agrarian, and have always been bombarded by the harsh effects of the adopted/imposed neo-liberal, free-market system. These underdeveloped and developing origin countries have been placed at the mercy of the predatory structural adjustment packages of deregulation in the economy and privatisation of social services by industrialized nations and lending institutions—the immediate effect thereof is the perennial increase in the price of basic commodities and essential social services—at the expense of the collective interests of the majority of their people. Also, even the giant countries like China and India, with their rising capitalist economies, could not contain the labour migration of their own people as there is a great disparity (and inequality) in the distribution of wealth therein between the very few that own the large majority of resources and the very majority of people who are put in a bleak situation to share among them the scant resources that are made available to them.
As such, these increasing labour migration figures, not only in the Asia-Pacific region but also in other parts of the world, constitute a preponderance of evidence that the origin countries have continued to fail in their obligation to even progressively realize to their own people the economic and social rights that must be accorded to them. Labour migration, particularly from underdeveloped and developing origin countries in Asia-Pacific, has become in essence an institutionalized framework of ‘passing the buck’ of the realization of this obligation to the destination countries through the transformation of the human capital into a pool of flexible labour, or a metamorphosis from subjects into usable products-services that may be utilised/exploited.
Therefore, the sad state of migrant workers is even more exemplified by the act of conferring legitimacy to labour migration by these underdeveloped and developing origin countries in Asia-Pacific through their usually unadmitted labour-export policy, since these governments heavily rely on overseas workers’ remittances to keep their respective economies afloat. Thus, efforts to address labour migration, by governments and even by some NGOs, are merely focused on mitigation of the ill-effects of labour migration on migrant workers (e.g. reforming labour-export practices in origin countries and demanding for proper employment terms and working conditions in destination countries), and not towards the realization of the economic and social rights of the people and the overarching and long-term objective of the elimination of labour migration, in order to “ensure that migrant advocacy will not go around perpetually in circles, like circular migration.”
Philippines’ Situation vis-à-vis International Standards for Migrant Workers
The first generation of Filipino labour migrants started in 1565 when Filipinos, or Indios as the Spaniards had labelled them, worked in dockyards and aboard ships that brought them to Mexico. After that, there were already three waves of Philippine labour migration as an origin country: 1900-1940s, 1940s-1970s, and 1970s-1990s, which all made it as one of the world’s largest labour exporting countries. In the 1970s, the late strongman, Ferdinand Marcos, created the policy of Development Diplomacy which was focused on utilizing surplus labour capital to export the same to oil-exporting countries. This led to an increase of OFWs by 75% in 1980 from the previous year.
From the mid-1990s until the present day, it may be categorized as the fourth wave of Philippine labour migration, as for the first time after centuries since the first generation of Filipino labour migrants, a statute on the matter was finally enacted by Philippine Congress in 1995: Republic Act No. 8042 or The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of 1995. But this statute, however, was a result of the intensified pressures from migrant advocates for the Philippine government to promote and protect the rights and welfare of OFWs in view of the controversial case of Flor Contemplacion, a Filipina domestic helper in Singapore who was executed on March 17, 1995 by authorities therein for allegedly murdering a fellow Filipina domestic helper, Delia Maga, and a four-year old Singaporean child that Maga was taking care of. The execution of Contemplacion aptly symbolized the long history of abuse, exploitation and oppression that OFWs around the world have been experiencing in their respective destination countries.
RA 8042 supposedly aims “to institute the policies of overseas employment and establish a higher standard of protection and promotion of the welfare of migrant workers, their families and overseas Filipinos in distress.” It affirms the State policies to uphold the dignity of its citizens in country or overseas, particularly the Filipino migrant workers, afford full protection to labour, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities to all, that overseas employment program rests solely on the assurance that fundamental rights and freedoms of Filipinos shall not, at any time, be compromised or violated, and that the State shall continuously create local employment opportunities and promote the equitable distribution of wealth and benefits of development, the equality before the law of women and men, free access to courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance and institution of an effective mechanism to protect the rights and interests of documented and irregular or undocumented OFWs, the right of OFWs to participate in democratic decision-making processes, that NGOs are State partners in the protection and promotion of OFWs’ welfare, and that government fees and administrative costs of recruitment, introduction, placement and assistance to OFWs shall be rendered free.
The Philippine government, however, denies that exportation of its labour capital is an established, albeit unofficial, policy of the State. As such, it has stated in RA 8042 that while the State recognises the OFWs’ significant contribution to the national economy through their remittances, “the State does not promote overseas employment as a means to sustain economic growth and achieve national development.” But the increasing annual rate of OFWs in exodus tells a narrative of doublespeak on the part of its government: there are 7.38 million OFWs in 2000 constituting a significant 9.65% of the country’s population in that year, 9.85% in 2007 and 10.23% in 2010.
RA 8042 establishes seemingly comprehensive mechanisms for the promotion and protection of the OFWs’ rights and welfare: detailed and all-encompassing provisions on illegal recruitment, and punishing syndicated and large scale illegal recruitment as an offense involving economic sabotage; deployment of OFWs only in destination countries where the rights of OFWs are protected, mechanisms for money and damages claims of OFWs arising from contract for overseas deployment where the domestic recruitment/placement agency is solidarily liable with the foreign principal/employer; free legal assistance for victims of illegal recruitment; travel advisory and information dissemination on migrant issues; free repatriation of OFWs and creation of an emergency repatriation fund at an initial cost of P100 million; mandatory repatriation of underage OFWs; creation of a re-placement and monitoring centre for returning OFWs’ reintegration into the society; establishment of OFWs resource centres in destination countries with large concentration of OFWs to assist them in all migrant matters; creation of a shared inter-agency government information system for migration; a migrant workers loan guarantee fund of P100 million for pre-departure and family assistance loan; and mechanisms for rights and enforcement mechanism under international and regional human rights systems.
It designates the proper role of relevant Philippine government agencies to promote the welfare and protect the rights of OFWs in the entire migration process which comprises preparation for migration, departure, transit and the entire period of stay and remunerated activity in the destination country as well as the return to the origin State; the creation of the position of legal assistant for migrant workers affairs; and a legal assistance fund of P100 million for OFWs in distress.
All these guarantees, processes and mechanisms under RA 8042, on paper, appear to somehow address, albeit more in a general sense, “the situation of vulnerability in which migrant workers frequently find themselves,” and other similar considerations under the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which was ratified by the Philippines on July 5, 1995 or just almost a month after the enactment of RA 8042. The statute, however, is significantly lacking in terms of the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of the members of OFWs’ families, who are similarly protected in the same degree as migrant workers under all the standards laid down in the said international convention, as well as in the Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (C. 143), Migrant Workers Recommendation No. 151 (1975), and Migration for Employment Recommendation No. 86 (Revised), 1949.
Said statute relatively complies with the Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (C. 97) on matters involving the OFWs’ departure, journey and reception and transfer of earnings, in general and particular terms, as well as with said convention’s two annexes on matters involving conditions of labour, and recruitment and placement that are also contained in the Migration for Employment Recommendation No. 86 (Revised), 1949. The same may also be said in relation to the Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (C. 143) on labour migration’s standards that address abusive conditions, the need to suppress clandestine movements of migrants and their employment in irregular status by taking action against their organizers and employers, and protecting the rights of migrant workers in irregular status arising out of their employment.
But RA 8042 violates the international standard concerning recruitment and placement activities as it has a comprehensive deregulation plan on such crucial matters. Moreover, it is silent as to the categorical assertion of the paramount principle of equal and no less favourable treatment that is accorded to migrant workers and members of their families as a vital international standard under the foregoing international instruments. Also, said statute apparently lacks the particular and detailed principles and guidelines for a rights-based approach to labour migration under the International Labour Organization’s Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration (Principle 15).
Philippine labour migration policy, in sum, is far from being a comprehensive and detailed one that fully accords the standards established under international instruments on labour migration. Even the RA 10022, which was enacted on March 8, 2010 to amend several provisions of RA 8042, fails to sufficiently provide for the insufficiencies of the latter statute, especially on the detailed particularities of the rights of OFWs and members of their families pursuant to international standards.
In 2002, the country has already removed its cloak that disguises its labour-export policy when then President Gloria Arroyo announced employment abroad as a legitimate choice for the country’s workers, and that the government would fully respect the mobility of labour and the preference for working overseas. This started the shift of the government’s traditional role from merely managing the migration of OFWs into an active promoter of “international labour migration as a growth strategy, especially of the higher-skilled, knowledge-based workers.” This has resulted to the onset of the exodus from the country of a very substantial number of professionals, particularly nurses and doctors. As such, the country has long been suffering from the so-called brain drain phenomenon in the medical field.
But this should not come as a surprise because even the Migration for Employment Recommendation No. 86 (Revised), 1949 advocates for a flexible labour-export policy, a consequence of the current global economic order.
The wide gap between the present Philippine labour migration policy, even at least on the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of OFWs, and the enforcement/implementation thereof is still evident up to this day. The country may have already gone beyond the paradigm exemplified by the reprehensible remark of Corazon Aquino’s foreign affairs secretary, Raul Manglapus, in the early 1990s on the many cases of rape against Filipina domestic helpers in the Middle East—“If rape were inevitable, one should relax and enjoy it.” But the Philippine government has consistently shown its failure to accord sufficient and necessary protection to OFWs contrary to its rights and welfare policies—from illegal recruitment to unjust exaction of government fees, from inhumane conditions of work to exploitative terms of employment, from arbitrary prosecution/persecution of OFWs in destination countries to delayed and prolonged repatriation in needed instances.
They are heroes. They should be oppressed and exploited. This historical dictum is now applied in the Philippine labour migration policy.
Battistella, Graziano, Philippine Labor Migration: Impact and Policy, Quezon City, 1992.
Global Migration, Facts and Figures 2010, Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), Hong Kong SAR, China, 2010, pp. 5, 7, 9, 23, 95.
Go, Stella, Remittances and International Labour Migration: Impact on the Philippines, Philippine Migration Network, De La Salle University, Manila, 2002.
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families: Articles 1(2), 25(1)(a)(b).
Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (C. 97).
Migration for Employment Recommendation No. 86 (Revised), 1949: 4(1).
Migrant Workers Recommendation No. 151 (1975): I(2)(a)(b)(c)(d)(e)(f)(g)(h)(i).
Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1975 (C. 143)
Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration (Principle 15).
Overseas Filipinos’ Remittances, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines), http://www.bsp.gov.ph/statistics/keystat/ofw.htm, accessed on April 12, 2012.
Remo, Michelle V., OFW remittances grew by 7.2% to $20.1-B in 2011 – BSP, February 15, 2012, http://business.inquirer.net/44695/ofw-remittances-grew-by-7-2-to-20-1-b-in-2011-bsp, accessed on April 12, 2012.
Republic Act No. 8042, Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995.
Republic Act No. 10022, An Act Amending Republic Act No. 8042 Otherwise Known As The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, As Amended, Further Improving the Standard of Protection and Promotion of the Welfare of Migrant Workers, Their families and Overseas Filipinos in Distress, and for other purposes.
Stock Estimates of Overseas Filipinos, as of December 2010, Commission on Filipino Overseas, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), http://www.poea.gov.ph/stats/Stock%20Estmate%202010.pdf, accessed on April 12, 2012.
World Migration Report 2010, International Organization for Migration, Geneva, 2010, p. 167.
 Pinoy is the short term of Pilipino, the Filipino language word for the English term Filipino, who is a national of the Philippines.
 Overseas Filipinos’ Remittances, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines), http://www.bsp.gov.ph/statistics/keystat/ofw.htm, accessed on April 12, 2012. The Philippines is the 4th top remittance-receiving country in 2010 in terms of actual amount of money remittances, after India, China and Mexico, according to the Global Migration, Facts and Figures 2010, Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM).
 Global Migration, Facts and Figures 2010, Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), Hong Kong SAR, China, 2010, p. 5.
 World Migration Report 2010, International Organization for Migration, Geneva, 2010, p. 167.
 This includes the following countries and subregions: Australia, New Zealand, Melanesia, (Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu), Micronesia (Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau), and Polynesia (American Samoa, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue, Pitcairn, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Wallis and Futuna Islands.)
 Global Migration, Facts and Figures 2010, p. 95.
 World Migration Report 2010, p. 167.
 Global Migration, Facts and Figures 2010, p. 9.
 Battistella, Graziano, Philippine Labor Migration: Impact and Policy, Quezon City, 1992.
 RA 8042 was enacted by Philippine Congress on June 7, 1995.
 Just before Contemplacion’s execution, two Filipino witnesses claimed that the child’s father framed Contemplacion for the murders. They said that the father killed Maga in rage after finding his son to have accidentally drowned, as the son was an epileptic who allegedly had an epilepsy attack while in the bath tub and Maga was not aware thereof. The Singaporean court, however, rejected their testimony.
 RA 8042, preliminary clause.
 RA 8042, Section 2(a), Declaration of Policies.
 RA 8042, Section 2(b), Declaration of Policies.
 RA 8042, Section 2(c), Declaration of Policies.
 RA 8042, Section 2(d), Declaration of Policies.
 RA 8042, Section 2(e), Declaration of Policies.
 RA 8042, Section 2(f), Declaration of Policies.
 RA 8042, Section 2(h), Declaration of Policies.
 RA 8042, Section 2(i), Declaration of Policies.
 RA 8042, Section 2(c), Declaration of Policies.
 Stock Estimates of Overseas Filipinos by the Commission on Filipino Overseas, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA): 1997 (6.97 million), 1998 (7.20 million), 1999 (7.29 million), 2000 (7.38 million), 2001 (7.41 million), 2002 (7.58 million), 2003 (7.76 million), 2004 (8.08 million), 2005 (7.92 million), 2006 (8.23 million), 2007 (8.72 million), 2008 (8.18 million), 2009 (8.57 million), 2010 (9.45 million).
 The percentages have been obtained by dividing the stock estimates of OFWs by the number of population of the Philippines in a particular year taken from the data gathered by the Philippine National Statistics Office (NSO): 2000 [(7,383,122 OFWs / 76,504,077 country population (CP)], 2007 (8,726,520 OFWs / 88,574,614 CP), and 2010 (9,452,984 OFWs / 92,337,852 CP).
 RA 8042, Section 6(m)(2): Illegal recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one another.
 RA 8042, Section 6(m)(2): Illegal recruitment is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group.
 RA 8042, Section 7(b): The penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of not less than P500,000.00 nor more than P1,000,000.00 shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes economic sabotage. As such, posting of a bail bond by the accused is not allowed as a general rule.
 RA 8042, Section 4: The Philippine government recognizes any of the following as guarantee on the part of the destination country for the protection of the rights of OFWs: (a) It has existing labour and social laws that protect migrant workers’ rights; (b) It is a signatory to multilateral conventions, declarations or resolutions relating to the protection of migrant workers; (c) It has concluded a bilateral agreement or arrangement with the Philippines protecting the rights of OFWs; and (d) It is taking positive, concrete measures to protect the rights of migrant workers.
 RA 8042, Section 14: Information dissemination on labour and employment conditions, migration realities and other facts to prevent illegal recruitment, fraud, and exploitation or abuse of OFWs.
 RA 8042, Section 15: Free repatriation of OFWs in cases of termination of employment, death, war, epidemic, disasters or calamities, natural or man-made, and other similar events.
 RA 8042, Section 22: The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs is mandated to undertake initiatives such as promotions, acceptance or adherence of destination countries to multilateral convention, declaration or resolutions pertaining to the protection of migrant workers’ rights. It is also mandated to make an assessment of rights and avenues of redress under international and regional human rights systems that are available to OFWs who are victims of abuse and violation and, as far as practicable, pursue the same on behalf of the victim it is legally impossible to file individual complaints.
 RA 8042, Section 23: Role of Government Agencies. – The following government agencies shall perform the following to promote the welfare and protect the rights of migrant workers and, as far as applicable, all overseas Filipinos: (a) Department of Foreign Affairs – The Department, through its home office or foreign posts, shall take priority action or make representation with the foreign authority concerned to protect the rights of migrant workers and other overseas Filipinos and extend immediate assistance including the repatriation of distressed or beleaguered migrant workers and other overseas Filipinos; (b) Department of Labor and Employment – The Department of Labor and Employment shall see to it that labor and social welfare laws in the foreign countries are fairly applied to migrant workers and whenever applicable, to other overseas Filipinos including the grant of legal assistance and the referral to proper medical centers or hospitals: (b.1) Philippine Overseas Employment Administration – Subject to deregulation and phase-out as provided under Secs. 29 and 30 herein, the Administration shall regulate private sector participation in the recruitment and overseas placement of workers by setting up a licensing and registration system. It shall also formulate and implement, in coordination with appropriate entities concerned, when necessary, a system for promoting and monitoring the overseas employment of Filipino workers taking into consideration their welfare and the domestic manpower requirements. (b.2) Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – The Welfare officer or in his absence, the coordinating officer shall provide the Filipino migrant worker and his family all the assistance they may need in the enforcement of contractual obligations by agencies or entities and/or by their principals. In the performance of this function, he shall make representation and may call on the agencies or entities concerned to conferences or conciliation meetings for the purpose of settling the complaints or problems brought to his attention.
 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, Article 1(2).
 RA 8042, VII. DEREGULATION AND PHASE-OUT, Section 29. Comprehensive Deregulation Plan on Recruitment Activities. – Pursuant to a progressive policy of deregulation whereby the migration of workers becomes strictly a matter between the worker and his foreign employer, the DOLE, within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act, is hereby mandated to formulate a five-year comprehensive deregulation plan on recruitment activities taking into account labor market trends, economic conditions of the country and emerging circumstances which may affect the welfare of migrant workers. Section 30. Gradual Phase-out of Regulatory Functions. – Within a period of five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act, the DOLE shall phase-out the regulatory functions of the POEA pursuant to the objectives of deregulation.
 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, Article 25(1). Migrant workers shall enjoy treatment not less favourable than that which applies to nationals of the State of employment in respect of remuneration and: (a) Other conditions of work, that is to say, overtime, hours of work, weekly rest, holidays with pay, safety, health, termination of the employment relationship and any other conditions of work which, according to national law and practice, are covered by these terms; (b) Other terms of employment, that is to say, minimum age of employment, restriction on work and any other matters which, according to national law and practice, are considered a term of employment.
 Migrant Workers Recommendation No. 151 (1975), I. Equality of Opportunity and Treatment. (2) Migrant workers and members of their families lawfully within the territory of a Member should enjoy effective equality of opportunity and treatment with nationals of the Member concerned in respect of –
(a) access to vocational guidance and placement services;
(b) access to vocational training and employment of their own choice on the basis of individual suitability for such training or employment, account being taken of qualifications acquired outside the territory of and in the country of employment;
(c) advancement in accordance with their individual character, experience, ability and diligence;
(d) security of employment, the provision of alternative employment, relief work and retraining;
(e) remuneration for work of equal value;
(f) conditions of work, including hours of work, rest periods, annual holidays with pay, occupational safety and occupational health measures, as well as social security measures and welfare facilities and benefits provided in connection with employment;
(g) membership of trade unions, exercise of trade union rights and eligibility for office in trade unions and in labour-management relations bodies, including bodies representing workers in undertakings;
(h) rights of full membership in any form of co-operative;
(i) conditions of life, including housing and the benefits of social services and educational and health facilities.
 Go, Stella, Remittances and International Labour Migration: Impact on the Philippines, Philippine Migration Network, De La Salle University, Manila, 2002.
 Migration for Employment Recommendation No. 86 (Revised), 1949, 4(1) It should be the general policy of Members to develop and utilise all possibilities of employment and for this purpose to facilitate the international distribution of manpower and in particular the movement of manpower from countries which have a surplus of manpower to those countries that have a deficiency.
 This refers to the overseas Filipino workers.