The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines took part as one of the resource persons and stakeholders in the recently concluded "Global Forum on Remittances and Development" conducted last July 16-22 in Milan, Italy.
The Global Forum aims to raise international awareness, promote dialogue, stimulate partnerships, and create long-lasting synergies among public and private sectors, and civil society actors involved in Migration and Development issues. The organizers, headed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), intended the forum to serve as a platform wherein participants can share lessons learned and best practices, and have the opportunity to discuss global remittance-related issues, as well as, find solutions to maximize the development impact of global remittances.
A special series of panel discussions tackling the theme “Engaging Overseas Filipinos in Rural Development" had been conducted on the fourth day of the forum, July 19. ULAP Executive Director Czarina Medina-Guce, led the first panel discussion as a moderator on the topic "Linking Remittances with Local Economic Development." She was joined by distinguished group of panelists which include Sen. Ralph Recto (Representative to Philippine Senate), Cong. Rico Geron (AGAP Partylist) and Dr. Luis Banua Regional (Director, National Economic Development Authority, Region 4A). Other guest panelists at the forum include Hon. Vilma Santos-Recto (Governor, Province of Batangas), Ms. Aileen C. Peñas (Deputy Director, Atikha), Ms. Rosalie Bajade Cuballes (Chairperson, ACFIL Torino Italy, Coordinator Pinoy WISE- Italy), Ms. Vivien Napenas (Chairperson Pinoy WISE– UAE), Ms. Leila Rispens Noel (Founder and Board Member, Wimler Foundation, Hong Kong), and Mr. Juan Villena Jr. (Chairperson Pinoy WISE Qatar).
The panelists shared current initiatives on Migration and Development in the Philippines, and how these initiatives gradually improve the lives of Filipino migrants, their families, and local communities.