Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in International Studies Major in European Studies


College of Liberal Arts


International Studies



Thesis Advisor

Dr. Evangeline O. Katigbak-Montoya

Defense Panel Chair

Dr. Evangeline O. Katigbak-Montoya

Defense Panel Member

Mr. Mark I. Tallara


By 2024, the Philippines will mark its 50th anniversary of the overseas employment program of the Marcos Sr. regime. As a labor-exporting country, the emigration of workers has always been part of the Philippines’ development narrative. Almost half a century, yet the story of our “modern-day heroes” has always been the same–pagsasakripisyo at pagtitiis. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made significant signals that it is about time to return the favor. The ongoing global COVID-19 crisis has posed growing challenges to the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), thus contributing to unprecedented returns. This has drawn attention to the Philippine government’s approach to assisting OFWs and facilitating their repatriation. Analyzing the in-depth interviews conducted with Filipino migrant domestic workers (FMDWs) and key personnel from different government agencies, this study was able to draw on the specific experiences of these FMDWs on the Philippines’ repatriation efforts amidst the pandemic, as well as the government’s knowledge and efforts on handling their repatriation. This research examined each phase–pre-departure, repatriation, and post-return–from both perspectives of the FMDWs and the key informants to delve into the Philippines’ repatriation efforts and how these affected the experiences of returned FMDWs from the Middle East amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Philippines seems to have a comprehensive labor migration system, the unprecedented surge of COVID-19 has further reinforced the need to strengthen its migration policies, framework, and governance to improve the overall return and reintegration strategies, thus leveraging the Philippines’ migration management infrastructure.

Keywords: Filipino migrant domestic workers, COVID-19, return, repatriation, reintegration

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