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By: Minda Teves

Last March 17, 2013 Acfil‘s representatives made their way to Teatro Sales, Via Copernico 9 – Milan to participate the D2D Conference . ―Connect, Listen and Act was the theme of the conference. There were 144 participants including the 6 speakers, 4 were government officials and 8 coming from Business Sectors.

Leaders from different associations of North Italy from FILAMICI, OFSPES, BICOL-SARO, FAMI, ACFIL, UGNAYANG PINOY IN BRESCIA, ADF-PADOVA, MIGRANTE MILAN – made joint-efforts to materialized the said conference. Participants who attended came from 27 different Filipino Organizations.

The event started with the registration of the delegates and opened formally with hymn of Philippines and Italy. The Moderator of the event was Gina Marasigan and she made the presentation of the guest speakers from the different sectors. The convenor Ms. Cri Quintos welcomed warmly everyone present and she made her appeal for ―UNITY for the development of the Philippines and the host country. The Responsible of ―Servizio Adulti e Politiche per L‘integrazione Comune di Milano Sgra. Giancarla Boreatti admitted that 35,000 Filipinos in the Municipality of Milan have contributed greatly for the workforce and the development of the society and because of that the Municipality of Milan will put up an immigration center where every community can direct their concerns in the information window and it will serve as a forum window to all migrants that will be operational comes 2015. She mentioned also the numbers of Filipino scholastic enrolees from infancy to high schools.

From the Consulate of Milan our Consul General Lourdes Tabamo was greatful for the numerous attendees on that day. She reiterated the importance of European Network of Filipinos in Diaspora, a newly formed network, an offshoot after the D2D in Rome last September 27-29,2013. She also invited all to take part in the development of the country while being outside of the country. Then a message from Ms. Imelda Nicolas the secretary of CFO was read. She said that we have to keep the fire of Diaspora 2 Development burning in helping 7000 OF’s in Europe. In addition, before closing her message, she said ― WE MUST NOT BE A PASSIVE CHANGE SEEKERS BUT RATHER CHANGE MAKERS Another speaker was Dott.ssa Anna Vittoria Sarli ( Ricercatrice Fondazione ISMU). She also encouraged us to make our community visible and to speak out our real need in order to contribute to the effective development of migration. After her discourse an avp from Atty. Loida Lewis the chairman of GFDC ( Global Forum for Development Commission) was shown. She imparted to us the wisdom of the short story ― of the single stick that can be easily broken and the bundle of stick –that is unbreakable. She mean that ―Unity will be the answer to so many questions of development and she also encouraged everyone to be united to vote. Then we have the presentation of the status of Filipino Migration in Italy by Dr. Casimero Dulay Ph.d from the Università di Roma ―La Sapienza He emphasized 5 important pillars of Migration that needs a thorough reflection; 1. Parenting on Children 2. Employment-Youth 3. Social-Civic involvement 4. Financial Security (stop the debts kaya nga ang pag pronounce ay deaths dahil nakakamatay ang pangungutang) 5. Lack of knowledge on Rigths & duties as Migrants.

There was also Mirko Grandi from Filcams- CGIL. He mentioned that most people considers domestic work as simple work but in reality it is a very complex one and often times not considered as a job that needs recognition in all effects. Questions & answers were also entertained by different speakers to make clarification of anything that was not fully understood or still need to be elaborated. And finally, her excellency Ambassador GRACE RELUCIO PRINCESA, Philippine Ambassador to UEA, spoke about the Challenges and the Opportunities of Successful Migration and Balinkbayan project and PinoyWise Movement. So many were said and the only recommendation she said was never forget the traditional song ― MY TOES MY KNEES and never forget ― SINO AKO at AKO AY PILIPINO-TAYO AY PILIPINO . The AVP of PinoyWise movement was shown. Before ending her talk she reminds everybody to remember always that Philippines is not a poor country and the 3 m‘s of ABACA ―-Malakas-Matibay at Maganda na kakaiba. And to make everyone comprehend better the meaning of social costs of migration a Mother and a daughter were invited to give their testimony Miss Mya Guada Rose Oliveros ( G2) and her mother Mylene Oliveros. That was a very touching migration experience of a Parent and Child.

There was also a workshop about Parenting – the positive and negative impact of migration facilitated by Luzvilla Malinis & Renato Barotac, the participants were divided in five groups and the report of the workshop was presented by a leader of the group. And the conference was concluded by the recap delivered by Ms. Nerissa Antaran Tejada. Recommendation and Ways forward was tackled during the Q & A portion, then the closing remark by Lilia Cabaces and the awarding of Certificates of Attendance.

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