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PIA Press Release

CFO notes increase of migrants from Maasin and Macrohon

By Bong Pedalino

MAASIN CITY (1 October) -- There has been a steady, ascending pattern in the number of residents from this city and the neighboring town of Macrohon who are going out of the country in the past several years.

Records taken from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) showed that from the years 1988 up to 2006, a cumulative sum of 402 migrants from this city left the country, while in Macrohon, some 116 individuals did the same.

In the same 18-year period, a total of 1,425 persons left Southern Leyte province, and for the whole Region 8, Eastern Visayas, 13,501 Pinoys went abroad in the classification as migrants.

This much information -- and a whole lot more -- was revealed by Allan Paul Ducusin and Manny Tibe, both from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), during their visit to the province over the weekend to conduct a community education program (CEP) covering a wide array of sectors in society.

In a press briefing with local media Friday, September 28, at the Maasin Country Lodge Hotel and Restaurant, the two qualified that their presence in the city did not mean that the situation on local migration has reached an alarming trend.

They said they were just trying to focus on preventive measures to raise awareness on critical issues, like potential Filipinas going out as wives of foreign nationals, so that they will not fall victims on fraudulent marriages, human trafficking, and welfare of foreign workers so they will not fall prey to illegal recruitment.

Among the services provided by CFO is guidance counseling for Pinoy women married with foreigners, the two stressed.

CFO is an agency under the office of the President, serving migrant Filipinos, while a presidential task force under the same office focused its work on trafficking in persons, including human smuggling in close coordination with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), it was learned.

In an interview over radio station DYDM live yesterday, September 30, Tibe and Ducusin observed that in this city and elsewhere many foreign nationals married to local women settled here for good, and they considered this an unusual situation.

The two had discussions earlier with Vice-Mayor Effie Abiera Sabandal during their courtesy call to the Mayor's Office, and also with Gov. Damian Mercado and Board Member Jason Calva in a courtesy call to that office.

They also held a symposium at the College of Maasin, talked to parishioners after Mass at the Maasin Cathedral, and had an interview at the the DYSL-Sogod.

Today, October 1, they are expected to be in Macrohon gym for a discussion and lecture on a similar topic. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

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