As representatives of states meet on October 29-30 for the Second Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), we call on our fellow migrants, migrant advocates and supporters to join the genuine voice of migrants as we say “No to GFMD!”

The GFMD is a device created by First World countries and international financial institutions (IFIs) like the World Bank to corner the remittances, borne by the blood, sweat and tears of migrants, and use it in funding for the “development” of poor countries. It is being used to sell neoliberal anti-poverty financing strategy that relies on the remittances of migrant workers. 

The false notion of “migration for development” that the GFMD peddles further promotes the systematic exploitation of cheap labor. It is meant to capture the remittances of migrants to ensure super profits of bank monopolies and ensure that debt-ridden economies have enough reserves to pay off debts, especially amid the raging financial crisis. The GFMD thrives on the poverty of Third World countries and forces them to institutionalize migration policies. Clearly, the agenda and framework of the GFMD reveals that what is in store is greater commodification of migrant labor, and greater exploitation and miseries of migrant workers.

The GFMD holds more significance this year because it is being hosted by the Arroyo regime in the Philippines. The Arroyo regime is the nightmare ofoverseas Filipino workers (OFWs). No other regime has bled the OFWs dry with enormous exactions from fees to charges to taxes. It has duped OFWs to part with their earnings in collusion with big business, illegal recruiters, traffickers and racketeers, and in utter disregard of the abuses and violations of migrants’ rights. It is currently riding high on the phenomenal increase in dollar remittances even as OFWs continue to reel from the falling value of their dollars.

It is time to expose that the GFMD is a predatory scheme that does not address the root causes of underdevelopment and the massive migration of poor people, much less consider the harsh conditions and legitimate issues of migrant workers. The GFMD does not promote the development of poor countries but pushes them deeper into the quagmire of poverty. 

The GFMD is a sham assembly that talks about migrants but deliberately excludes the migrants themselves. It talks about the protection of migrants but in reality violates our rights. First World countries, IFIs, banks, businesses, and governments of poor countries– which have profited immensely and unscrupulously from our hard labor– are the same institutions that are behind the GFMD. After years of neglect, abuse and exploitation, it is time that the genuine voice of the migrants be heard: No to GFMD! No to labor export policy! No to forced migration! Create jobs at home! End poverty! Defend and advance our rights!



Australia relaxes rules for foreign-trained medical doctors

By Veronica Uy
Last updated 06:02pm (Mla time) 07/06/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Australia has relaxed its rules for foreign medical doctors — both general practitioners and specialists — who want to migrate and practice there, a registered migration agent told INQUIRER.net.

“The rules are becoming easier for doctors to be allowed to work and live in Australia…There are big changes in 2007,” Howard Neil Donkin, vice president of MAB International Services Inc., said, adding that changes to Australian migration rules to make this possible are being implemented in phases. .


Donkin was in the country for a conference.


The first phase is from July 1, when the English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement will no longer be required of overseas-trained medical doctors who want to start the examination process of the Australian Medical Council (AMC) under the multiple choice examination (MCQ).

Donkin said that although ELP is a formal requirement for the registration of foreign medical professionals in Australia, “any candidate who undertakes MCQ after July 1 is not required to fulfill ELP requirements for eligibility to sit in the examination.”


He said the AMC examinations consist of two sections: the MCQ and the clinical examinations.

Made up of 125 questions, the computer-administered MCQ is a test on the principles and practice of medicine in the field being tested for. Some questions on general practice are also included in the test, which is administered in two three-hour sessions, one in the morning and another in the afternoon.


The examination focuses on essential medical knowledge involving understanding of the disease process, clinical examination, diagnosis, investigation, therapy, and management, as well as on the candidate’s ability to exercise discrimination, judgment, and reasoning in distinguishing between the correct diagnosis and plausible alternatives, he explained.


On the other hand, the clinical examinations evaluate clinical competence in terms of medical knowledge, clinical skills, and professional attitudes for the safe and effective clinical practice of medicine in the Australian community. They consist of a multi-station structured clinical assessment of clinical skills.


Donkin added that the clinical examination also assesses the candidate’s capacity to communicate with patients, their families and other health workers.


According to Donkin, the examinations are designed as a comprehensive test of medical knowledge, clinical competency and performance. Both MCQ and clinical assessments are multidisciplinary and integrated.


By September 1, the Competence Authority Pathway is going to be introduced. Although the Australian government has not released the details of this new rule, Donkin said it is believed that his government will look at the universities around the world and choose from “competent authorities” among these.

He said graduates of these chosen universities will “get advanced standing” and may no longer need to take the multiple choice examination and the clinical examination. Instead, they will take a “workplace-based assessment.”

“Now, where this assessment will take place, here or in Australia, is not known yet,” he said.

Asked how many foreign medical doctors Australia is willing to take in, Donkin said: “The rules don’t work that way. We don’t have numbers. We just have a list of jobs that are in demand. For doctors, these include general practitioners and those with specialties in surgery, radiology, pathology, psychiatry pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology.”

Mabis is authorized by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to deploy registered nurses, medical practitioners, and hospital/retail pharmacists to Australia.