THE Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Actions Inc. (MMCEAI) is pushing for a comprehensive profiling and sustainable database for local migrants in the country that would help in planning development strategies in Northern Mindanao.
MMCEAI executive director Inorisa Elento said that according to the figure provided by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) regional office, Northern Mindanao has a population growth rate of 1.92 percent, a bit higher than the country's growth rate of 1.84 percent.
Local migration, Elento said, plays a part in the increasing number of population in the region.
"If there are more people coming in to Northern Mindanao, it affects the host region. Kung pag-usapan natin yung (if we talked about) in-migration, people outside the region coming to Northern Mindanao. So meaning daghan na kaayo ang tao dinhi sa (there are many people in) Northern Mindanao. So what are they doing here?" Elento said.
"It's also a competition now of resources, job opportunities, facilities and services of the government," she said, adding that in a congested area, criminality rate will also be a consideration.
Another concern are the Indigenous Peoples (IP) or the Lumads.
Elento said the IP communities in the region are starting to dwindle.
At present, there are no available data for local migrants coming in and going out of each regions.
"Data is very powerful. If you really would like to deliver good services, effective services, create mechanisms to be more effective in terms of governance," Elento said.
"We have to look at migration not just a problem but it's also a solution of the problem. What is a challenge now is how do we make migration safe. How do we make migration as issue of development, not just a problem," she added.
The MMCEAI executive director said it is now a challenge how to make migration a safe option to people who would like to be developed or survive in other areas.
She said if people are so keen to ensure the safety of the migrants translating the movement of people into development, the government should have numbers, figures or data.
"It's not just an issue of peace and order. It's an issue of the whole development context. To come up with a data on how many people are coming in and migrating out of the city or region is to look into safe migration," Elento said.