The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) is the government agency of the Philippines responsible for providing assistance to Filipino citizens and overseeing the activities of Filipinos who are living abroad.
It was established on June 16, 1980, with the purpose of helping emigrants prepare for their departure and providing them with resources to help them in their new communities. Emigrants are registered and given pre-departure orientation sessions by the CFO.
In this post, we share details of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) in the Philippines for Filipino citizens, workers, and everyone who wants to know details about CFO in the Philippines.
Table of Contents
What is CFO?
CFO or also known as Commission on Filipinos Overseas is a Philippine government agency responsible for promoting and upholding the interests of Filipinos abroad as well as their ties to the Philippine Motherland being preserved and strengthened.
The CFO also supports initiatives to improve underserved communities in the Philippines and helps younger generations of Filipinos living abroad learn about their heritage.
For development initiatives in underserved communities across the Philippines, CFO also supports the transfer of technology as well as material and financial contributions from elsewhere. It also provides opportunities for newer generations of Filipinos living abroad to learn about Philippine history and culture.
Who is CFO Department for?
CFO is for:
- Immigrants or permanent residents from the Philippines
- Filipinos living in other countries who have become citizens
- Foreign nationals’ spouses and other partners who are leaving the country
- Descendants of Filipinos living abroad.
- Overseas Filipino youth
- Participants in the Exchange Visitor Program
Benefits of CFO for Filipinos
As a member of several inter-agency agreements, the CFO is responsible for policy and program issues involving migrants, whether permanent, temporary, and/or irregular.
These policies and programs are Shared Government Information System (Migration), Crisis Management Security Committee, and Inter-Agency Committees(Philippine Schools Overseas and Exchange Visitor Program).
- The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) provides pre-departure orientation to Filipino citizens who are emigrating.
- The CFO provides resources for immigrants in their new communities.
- The CFO registers all Filipino citizens living abroad.
- Check out this video from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) which provides an overview of this government agency, its purpose, and the services it offers.The CFO helps prepare emigrants for their departure.
Goals of CFO
The goal of the CFO is to commit to effectively and efficiently delivering gender-responsive policies, programs, and services for the well-being and empowerment of the community of Filipinos overseas.
According to CFO, for them to fulfill this commitment, they will:
Capacitate our people through continuous professional development anchored on social responsibility;
Formulate policies and facilitate quality and citizen-centric programs and services that exceed expectations of the public we serve; and
Optimize the benefits of migration with overseas Filipinos as development partners of the Philippines and their host countries while addressing the social costs.
List of CFO Programs
This is the list of programs from the CFO’s framework of activities.
1. Social and Economic Integration of Migrants
All Filipinos relocating to other nations must be appropriately prepared for the practical and psychological hurdles that come with international migration.
Programs include the following:
- Seminars for pre-departure orientation
- Assistance and post-arrival services for Filipino nationals in need
- Community education and public information
- Referrals for international enquiries
2. Education and Heritage of Filipinos
Inspiring future generations of Filipinos abroad to learn about Philippine history, culture, instruction, and language through promoting Filipino education programs abroad.
The following are examples of programs:
- Overseas Philippine schools
- Programs Lakbayan sa Pilipinas and Lakbayan sa Pilipinas
- Teaching the Filipino language to Filipino migrants’ children
- Filipiniana libraries and resources centers
- Increasing the international visibility of Filipino culture
- Filipino language courses on the internet
3. National Development and Filipino Unity
The promotion of the many overseas Filipino groups’ individual interests and well-being within a larger all-Filipino community requires more coherence and unity of purpose.
The following are examples of programs:
- Link for Philippine Development (LINKAPIL) or Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (LINKAPIL)
- Filipino Ties and other information items are published and distributed.
- For abroad Filipinos, there are awards and honors.
- Program for Exchange Visitors
4. Data Banking and Policy Development
A continual study and evaluation of the economic, social, legal, and administrative environment that affects Filipinos’ status in other countries.
The following are examples of programs:
- Advocacy and lobby initiatives for:
- Filipino veterans have full equality rights.
- United States portability Benefits of Medicare
- Development of NCLEX testing centers in the Philippines
- The Balangiga Bells are returning.
- Review and design of policies
- Investigations and studies into:
- Voting absentee
- Citizenship retention
- Anti-personnel trafficking
- Abilities and professional competencies are recognized.
- For abroad Filipinos, there are commercial and investment prospects.
- Estimated annual supply of Filipinos living abroad
- Conferences and symposia on migration are held.
- Computerization and data banking programs
Other CFO Programs and Projects
There are plenty of CFO projects that have been launched. Here are some additional programs and campaigns from this PH government agency.
1. Ugnayan Series
The availability of social networks, support groups, and creating contacts within their reach is critical to properly address the challenges faced by newly arrived migrants and provide assistance for their settling abroad.
CFO maintains strong relationships with post-arrival service providers, host country counterpart officials, Filipino communities, migrant serving institutions, and Philippine embassies and consulates.
2. Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas
To recognize distinguished Filipino individuals and organizations in recognition of their outstanding contributions to national development efforts, or outstanding achievements in their field of profession, the Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas are given twice a year.
CFO administers and manages the awards, which are also given to foreign persons and organizations that help the country or advance the cause of Filipino communities abroad.
3. YouLead (Youth Leaders in the Diaspora)
YouLeaD is a platform for Filipino youth living in other countries to rediscover their Filipino roots and heritage. YouLeaD combines learning through lectures on Philippine history and language, guided tours to scenic and historical landmarks, interaction with Filipino students, public officials, and indigenous community members, and participation in local festivities.
Participants from France, Spain, Switzerland, the Middle East, China, and the United States have participated in the enhanced YouLeaD, which has developed new modules such as Tracing the Philippine Roots, Eco-Tourism, Arts and Culture, and Rest and Recreation for Wellness.
4. Philippine Schools Overseas (PSO)
PSOs (Philippine Schools Overseas) are properly registered educational institutions that operate outside of the Philippines and implement the Department of Education’s basic education curriculum (DepEd).
PSOs are developed to meet the educational needs of Filipino children living abroad and, in the end, to help them reintegrate into the Philippine educational system. The schools also serve as a hub for Filipino community activities and serve as a venue for the teaching and dissemination of Filipino culture and history among Filipino kids overseas.
5. Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (LINKAPIL) or Link for Philippine Development
The LINKAPIL is a platform enabling Filipinos in other countries to transfer various types of resources to support small-scale, high-impact projects that address the country’s social and economic development requirements. The LINKAPIL program focuses on four major areas of development assistance:
- supporting Filipino youth’s education through scholarship grants, educational materials purchases, and classroom construction.
- providing livelihood opportunities by financing income-generating activities of marginalized sectors or victims of natural disasters.
- fueling growth through small infrastructure projects such as water wells, latrines, and house construction.
6. BaLinkBayan: Overseas Filipinos’ One Stop Online Portal for Diaspora Engagement
Wherever they may be in the globe, BaLinkBayan is a program offered by the Commission on Filipinos Expatriate (CFO) that strives to connect overseas Filipinos to social and economic development projects in the Philippines and its many locations.
In addition to providing an array of options for overseas Filipinos to partner with national and local governments in starting businesses, opportunities for donation and volunteer service, and accessing online government services, CFO’s BaLinkBayan serves as a one-stop online portal for diaspora engagement.
7. Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking – Advocacy and Communications Committee (IACAT-ADVOCOM)
The CFO was appointed to lead the Advocacy and Communications Committee of the IACAT in December 2010 and became an ex-officio member in December 2010. (ADVOCOM). Its creation is in line with one of the IACAT’s functions, as stated in Section 21 (e) of RA 9208, which is to coordinate the conduct of massive information dissemination and campaigning through local government units, concerned agencies, and NGOs on the legality of trafficking, as well as the various issues and problems associated with trafficking.
The ADVOCOM shall be principally responsible for the planning and implementation of the IACAT’s communication program, according to Rule VIII, Article II, Section 132 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the RA9208, as amended by RA10364.
8. Community Education Program (CEP)
The goal of the initiative is to reach out to potential migrants and help them make educated decisions about foreign work or permanent residence. In addition to raising public awareness of various aspects of the transition, such as cross-cultural relationships and inter-marriages, illegal recruitment, human trafficking, and the mail-order spouse scheme, the CEP goal to generate community involvement on migration concerns, as well as existing government policies, programs, and services that address these concerns.
9. PESO Sense or the Philippine Financial Freedom campaign
The main goal of PESO Sense Campaign is to assist abroad Filipinos and their families in developing or improving personal financial strategies, skills, and knowledge.
10. Migration Advocacy and Media (MAM) Awards
The Migration Advocacy and Media (MAM) Awards were conceived in 2011 by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas for the celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos and International Migrants Day in the Philippines every December, in recognition of the significant role of media in information dissemination and advocacy of migration and development.
11. Month of Overseas Filipinos
Proclamation No. 276, dated June 21, 1988, declares December to be the Month of Overseas Filipinos (MOF), and United Nations Resolution No. 55/93, dated February 28, 2001, declares December 18 to be International Migrants Day every year (IMD).
12. Legal Assistance and Counseling Program
To obtain the Guidance and Counseling Certificate (GCC) and the CFO sticker, all Filipinos traveling overseas as fiancées, spouses, or family members of foreign nationals must attend a guidance and counseling session at the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO).
13. Overseas Filipino Centenarian Awards and Incentives
Republic Act 10868, also known as the Centenarians Act of 2016, honors and grants additional benefits and privileges to Filipino centenarians, among other things. It is also known as the Centenarians Act of 2016. On July 15, 2016, this law went into force.
List of CFO Services
These are the list of services provided by CFO to Filipinos that can also be availed online.
1. Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP)
This half-day session is held by the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO) in four locations: Manila, Clark, Cebu, and Davao, and lasts for half an hour. Its purpose is to inform immigrants on what to expect when they move out of the Philippines and start a family with a foreigner.
Prior to that, the seminar aims to raise awareness about violence against women and children, human trafficking, and the mail-order spouse scheme in.
It can be accessed online through this link: https://cfo.ph/Online_PDOS_Account_Creation-GCP/.
2. Pre Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)
The PDOS is issued by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) to Filipinos emigrating to other nations (including Canada).
Here is the link for PDOS: https://cfo.ph/Online_PDOS_Account_Creation/CutOffTime.aspx.
3. J1 / EVP PDOS
Participants in the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) must register with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas and attend the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar before leaving the country (PDOS). Conditions and requirements of the EVP, participants’ roles and responsibilities as J-1 visa holders and settlement problems are among the topics discussed.
Click this link to redirect you to the site: http://evpcommittee.ph/programs-and-services/j-1-registration-pre-departure-orientation-seminar-pdos
4. Re-Issuance, Revalidation and Amendment with GCP
Registered clients may register online via Overseas Filipinos – CFO Online Registration System or OF-CORS (https://cfo.ph/Certificate_ReIssuance_And_Sticker_Request) for revalidation, amendment of CFO documents, replacement of lost Guidance and Counseling Certificate, and registration of valid spouse or partner visa who were issued CFO Guidance and Counseling certificate prior to visa issuance.
Video: Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) Guide
Check out this video from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) which provides an overview of this government agency, its purpose, and the services it offers.
The information given above is all you need to know about the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, the services it offers, and the programs of this agency. These services include guidance and counseling, pre-departure orientation seminars, and the re-issuance, revalidation, and amendment of CFO documents.
These programs provide benefits and privileges to Filipino citizens living abroad. We hope you have now gotten a better idea of what the CFO is and the services it could offer to Filipinos.
For more inquiries, just contact these hotlines or send a message to their email address.
CFO Manila Office
Address: Citigold Center, 1345 Pres. Quirino Avenue corner Osmeña Highway, Manila, Philippines 1007
Telephone Number: (+63 2) 8552-4700
Mobile Numbers: (+63) 9175630773 (Globe) / (+63) 9175630782 (Globe)
Fax Number: (+63 2) 8561-8332
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CFOGovPH
To reach them according to their offices, these are the contact details:
CFO Clark Office
Address: Clark Polytechnic Compound, Jose Abad Santos Ave., Clark Freeport Zone
Telephone Number: (+632) 8879-5685
Email Address: email@example.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CFO-clark/363725530756706
CFO Cebu Office
Address: 4th floor, K&J Building, #4 Don Julio Llorente St., Capitol Site, Cebu City 6000
Telephone Number: (+6332) 255-5253
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CFO-Cebu/278871352230589
CFO Davao Office
Address: 5th floor, AMQ Building, Lakandula St. corner, Dacudao Ave., Agdao, Davao City
Telephone Number: (+6382) 228-2432
Email Address: email@example.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CFO-Davao/156732958122549