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PIA Press Release
2005/08/22

Commission on Filipinos Overseas informs Ilonggos of CFO programs

Iloilo City (22 August) -- The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) conducted a series of forums, dialogues and media conferences to inform the people in Iloilo about their programs and services.

Iloilo, together with Antique and Negros Occidental were chosen as sites of the CFO’s Community Education Program campaign because these are the places which have big number of overseas workers.

The CFO caters preferable to Filipino immigrants or permanent residents abroad, Filipino overseas who have become citizens of other countries, Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals leaving the country, descendants of Filipinos overseas as defined in B.P. 79, Filipino youth overseas, and Exchange Visitor program participants.

In its task of ensuring welfare and security of Filipinos and Filipino communities abroad, the CFO implements four program areas, (1) the Migrant Social and Economic Integration which seeks to ensure that all Filipinos migrating abroad are adequately prepared to meet the practical and psychological challenges they will encounter; (2) the Filipino Education and Heritage program that provides opportunities for younger generation of Filipinos overseas to learn Philippine history, culture, institutions, and the Filipino language. Filipino (3) Unity and National Development Program, which include Lingkod sa Kapwa Filipino, Publication and distribution of Filipino Ties and other information materials, awards and recognition for overseas Filipinos and the Exchange Visitor Program.

The fourth program is the Policy Development and Data Banking, which provides for a continuing study and review of the economic, social, legal and administrative environment which have bearing on the status of Filipinos overseas.

The programs under this include advocacy and lobby efforts for full equity rights for Filipino veterans, as well as studies and researches on absentee voting, retention of citizenship, anti-trafficking in persons, recognition of skills and professional competencies, and business and investment opportunities for overseas Filipinos.

CFO Emigrant Service Officer and Counsellor Ivy Miravalles said that the office has generated about 51.8 billions pesos worth of assistance, in the form of money and technology from overseas Filipinos. About 1.51 billion pesos of these went to health and medical missions in the country, while some are spent for relief and educational scholarships.

Ms. Miravalles said that CFO has been doing so much for the OFWs and the Filipinos overseas, particularly helping them adjust and do good in their jobs abroad.

Included in their educational campaigns in Iloilo is raising the consciousness of the people on various issues concerning migration, intermarriages and existing government policies directed against illegal recruitment, and human trafficking and smuggling. (PIA-6) [top]

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