CFO – Commission on Filipinos Overseas – Purpose, Functions and Responsibilities

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) is a Philippine government agency under the Office of the President responsible for promoting and protecting the interests, rights, and welfare of Filipinos living overseas while also strengthening their ties to their homeland.

Also Read: What is OWWA Philippines? Meaning of POLO-OWWA?

The CFO formulates policies, programs and projects to: (1) Promote and protect the interests, rights and welfare of Filipinos overseas; (2) Encourage and facilitate their meaningful participation in the economic, social, cultural and political development of the Philippines; (3) Foster their links to the Philippines through information and education programs; and (4) Assist them in their reintegration into the Philippine society.

If you are wondering what the CFO does, please be guided on the purpose, responsibilities, functions, and goals of the CFO office and why it was established in this article guide below.

what is cfo commission on filipinos overseas

Overview

Batas Pambansa 79 established the Commission on Filipinos Overseas on June 16, 1980. It is a Philippine government body entrusted with promoting and protecting the interests of Filipino immigrants and permanent residents abroad, as well as maintaining and strengthening ties with Filipino communities around the world.

Batas Pambansa 79 established the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, which superseded the Department of Labor and Employment’s Office of Emigrant Affairs but retained and enlarged its authority.

The establishment of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, which was authorized by Presidential Decree No. 442 (Labor Code of the Philippines), enacted in 1974, and which created the Office of Emigrant Affairs, as well as other offices such as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

What is CFO?

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) is a Philippine government agency under the Office of the President responsible for promoting and protecting the interests, rights, and welfare of Filipinos living overseas while also strengthening their ties to their homeland.

What are the Benefits of CFO?

CFO supports technology transfer, as well as material and financial contributions from outside the Philippines, for development initiatives in underserved communities throughout the Philippines. It also allows newer generations of Filipinos living overseas to learn about Philippine history and culture.

Clientele

Under Batas Pambansa Blg. 79, the primary clientele of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas are:

  • Descendants of Filipinos overseas, as defined in Batas Pambansa Blg. 79
  • Exchange Visitor Program participants
  • Filipino Au Pair participants
  • Filipinos overseas who have become naturalized citizens of other countries or dual citizens
  • Filipino permanent migrants or permanent residents abroad
  • Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals leaving the country
  • Filipino youth overseas

Vision

CFO’s vision is to contribute significantly to the productivity and well-being of the countries where they reside or work while maintaining strong political, economic and cultural ties with the Philippines.

“The Commission on Filipinos Overseas envisions a community of well-respected and proudly competitive Filipinos overseas who contribute significantly to the productivity and well-being of the countries where they reside or work while maintaining strong political, economic, and cultural ties with the Philippines.”

Mission

CFO’s mission for the coming years is to be the Philippines’ premier institution in promoting policies, programs, and projects with Migration and Development as a framework for the strengthening and empowerment of the community of Filipinos overseas.

“To be the Philippines’ premier institution in promoting policies, programs, and projects with Migration and Development as a framework for the strengthening and empowerment of the community of Filipinos overseas.”

commission on filipinos overseas cfo logo Logo of CFO – Commission on Filipinos Overseas[/caption]

CFO Quality Policy Statement

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), a government agency responsible for upholding the interests, rights, and welfare of overseas Filipinos and strengthening their ties with the Philippines, committed to effectively and efficiently delivering gender-responsive policies, programs, and services for the well-being and empowerment of the community of Filipinos overseas.

In pursuit of this commitment, CFO shall:

  • 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.

With the commitment to uphold the principles of good governance and highest standards of excellence, CFO adhere to comply and continuously improve their quality management system and other legal requirements.

“Kalidad na serbisyo para sa mamamayan, abot sa labas ng bayan.”

Functions

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas’ primary functions are to register Filipino emigrants and provide pre-departure orientation seminars; to promote the transfer of technology, material contributions, and financial contributions of Filipino emigrants from overseas to underserved communities in the Philippines; and to provide opportunities for the younger generation of Filipinos overseas to learn about Philippine history, culture, and institutions.

According to Batas Pambansa Blg. 79, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas is charged with the following functions:

  • Develop and implement programs to promote the interests and well-being of Filipinos living in other countries.
  • To help the Philippines’ President and Congress in adopting policies and measures addressing or affecting Filipinos living overseas.
  • To provide a forum for the preservation and enhancement of Filipinos’ social, economic, and cultural ties to the Philippines.
  • To serve as a liaison between appropriate government and private agencies and Filipinos living outside the Philippines in the transaction of commercial and similar projects in the Philippines.

Programs and Services

The main function of CFO is to promote and protect the interests, rights, and welfare of Filipinos living overseas.

BaLinkBayan: Overseas Filipinos’ One Stop Online Portal for Diaspora Engagement

BaLinkBayan is a program offered by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) that aims to connect overseas Filipinos to social and economic development projects in the Philippines and its many locales, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, wherever they may be in the world.

CFO’s BaLinkBayan, which serves as a one-stop online gateway for diaspora involvement, offers a variety of opportunities for overseas Filipinos to partner with national and local governments in launching a business, donating and volunteering, and accessing online government services.

BaLinkBayan Website: http://www.balinkbayan.gov.ph/

CFO-SIS (Sa Iyong Sulok): Itanong mo kay SIS!

Itanong Mo Kay SIS is the CFO’s Sa Iyong Sulok (CFO-SIS)! is a free web- and mobile-based advice and counseling service that provides consulting, coaching, and counseling with the help of partner counseling specialists from many fields.

Filipinos living overseas can obtain counseling from licensed counselors and life coaches via the internet and mobile messaging services (Viber, Facebook, and WhatsApp). It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All information is kept private and confidential.

CFO-SIS (Sa Iyong Sulok): Itanong mo kay SIS! Website: https://sis.cfo.gov.ph/

Community Education Program (CEP)

The CFO’s Community Education Program (CEP) is a communication campaign co-ordinated by different government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local government units (LGUs), and academic institutions.

The program aims to reach out to potential migrants and support them in making well-informed decisions about working or permanently residing in another country.

The CEP’s goal is to increase community involvement in migration issues and raise public awareness about various aspects of migration, such as cross-cultural relationships and inter-marriages, illegal recruitment, human trafficking, and the mail-order spouse scheme, as well as existing government policies, programs, and services that address these issues.

Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking – Advocacy and Communications Committee (IACAT-ADVOCOM)

Engaging and mobilizing various stakeholders and target groups, such as national and local government agencies, civil society organizations, media institutions, international organizations, foreign government agencies, migrant associations, and other non-government organizations, is one of IACAT-ADVOCOM’s strategies.

The IACAT-ADVOCOM aims to do the following:

  • Implement a comprehensive advocacy and communication strategy to aid in the abolition of human trafficking and the promotion of government services to trafficking survivors;
  • Develop multimedia campaign and published materials to raise awareness about human trafficking issues and concerns, as well as to promote services for victims;
  • Conduct training for specific audiences in order to encourage participation in anti-trafficking campaigns; and
  • Implement initiatives to increase anti-trafficking advocacy and the visibility of the IACAT and the ADVOCOM.

Itanong Mo Kay Ato!

The CFO launched an online legal consulting service in collaboration with the Arellano Law Foundation to address issues of human trafficking, illegal recruiting, and mail-order spouse schemes, among other things.

Itanong Mo Kay Ato!, aims to make legal advice more accessible and convenient for Filipinos especially those who are working overseas and have questions about human trafficking and other related issues. It’s an initiative to provide direct online legal advice and a way to reach out to Filipinos who can’t afford legal advice, as well as a way to strengthen the battle against human trafficking.

Itanong Mo Kay Ato! Website: https://onlinelegalcounseling.1343actionline.ph/

Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (LINKAPIL) or Link for Philippine Development

LINKAPIL, or Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (Link for Philippine Development), is a CFO-designed and-established program that has resulted in the formation of broader and deeper ties among Filipinos across national borders.

The LINKAPIL is a system that allows Filipinos living overseas to transfer various types of resources to support small-scale, high-impact projects that meet the country’s social and economic development requirements. LINKAPIL directs generosity from the diaspora to four important areas of development assistance:

  1. Contribute to the education of Filipino kids by providing scholarships, purchasing educational supplies, and building classrooms;
  2. Creation of livelihood chances by funding income-generating activities of marginalized groups or natural disaster victims;
  3. Promoting growth by constructing minor infrastructure projects such as water wells, latrines, and dwellings; and
  4. Assisting in the development of healthy communities through feeding programs, medical missions, and the distribution of medicines, medical supplies, and equipment.

LINKAPIL Website: http://www.cfo-linkapil.org.ph/new/

Migration Advocacy and Media (MAM) Awards

The MAM Awards honor the positive and significant contributions of government and private media outlets, institutions, and practitioners in the fields of print, radio, movie and television, advertising, and the internet in raising public awareness on Filipino migration issues (such as human trafficking, illegal recruitment, brain drain and brain circulation, remittance flows, political crisis, and families left behind) in the Philippines and overseas.

Month of Overseas Filipinos

It is the Month of Overseas Filipinos Celebration, which is chaired by the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW, an umbrella organization of migrant civil society organizations) and co-chaired by the CFO.

Overseas Filipinos as Culture Bearers: Tunay na Malikhain, Matatag at Masipag was the theme of the 2016 MOF, which featured major events such as the Regional Forum on Migration in Davao, the International Forum on Migration in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Seoul, South Korea, a Migrants’ Health Fair in Batangas, and a National Forum in Quezon City. “Enhancing Reintegration: Leaving No Migrants and Their Families Behind” is the MOF’s theme for 2017.

Month of Overseas Filipinos Website: http://mof.cfo.gov.ph/

Overseas Filipino Centenarian Awards and Incentives

It is also known as the Centenarians Act of 2016, Republic Act 10868 “An Act Honoring and Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Filipino Centenarians, and For Other Purposes,” honors and grants additional benefits and privileges to Filipino centenarians.

All Filipino centenarians, whether they live in the Philippines or overseas, will be honored with a Php100, 000 centenarian gifts and a Letter of Felicitation from the Philippine President complimenting them on their longevity. Furthermore, the first Sunday in October is designated as National Respect for Centenarians Day as part of the annual Elderly Filipino Week, which runs from October 1 to 7.

PESO Sense or the Philippine Financial Freedom campaign

PESO Sense makes use of new technology to reach out to all Filipinos, whether they are remittance senders or recipients. Students, young adults, business owners, employed, homemakers, and retirees are among the six target profiles for the online PESO Sense financial literacy lesson. The campaign’s heart is the free online training modules available on the PESO Sense website. Each training module is tailored to the specific needs of the remittance recipient.

PESO Sense Website: http://pesosense.com

Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas

The Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas, established in December 1991 by Executive Order No. 498, is a biennial award given to distinguished Filipino individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to national development efforts or outstanding achievements in their field of profession. CFO administers and manages the awards, which are given to foreign persons and organizations that help the country or advance the cause of Filipino communities abroad. The CFO is in charge of the program.

Presidential Awards website: http://presidentialawards.cfo.gov.ph/

Ugnayan Series

CFO runs the Ugnayan Series in collaboration with other government and non–government agency partners in order to continue reaching out to Filipinos in various parts of the world to monitor migrants’ welfare and discuss ways of cooperating for diaspora participation. It also seeks to strengthen Filipino communities by encouraging them to engage in entrepreneurial, investment, and social remittance activities.

YouLead (Youth Leaders in the Diaspora)

YouLeaD is a portal that allows Filipino youth living overseas to rediscover their roots and history. YouLeaD (formerly known as Lakbay-Aral) is a 1983 program that has been updated and maintained relevant with today’s youth to instill in them an understanding of the depth of what it means to be a Filipino.

YouLeaD blends learning with lectures on Philippine history and language, guided tours to beautiful and historical monuments, interaction with Filipino students, government 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 improved YouLeaD, which has produced new modules such as Tracing the Philippine Roots, Eco-Tourism, Arts and Culture, and Rest and Recreation for Wellness.

YouLead Website: https://youlead.cfo.gov.ph/

Overseas Filipinos – CFO Online Registration System (OF-CORS)

Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP)

First-time registrants for the Guidance and Counseling (GCP) for Filipino spouse/fiance/partner of foreign national/former Filipino/dual citizen.

Pre Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)

Immigrant visa holders (except the Filipino spouse/fiancé/partner of Foreign national/former Filipino/dual citizen who have not undergone the Tele-counseling).

J1 / EVP PDOS

Registration for J1 Visa holders participating in the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) of the US

AU Pair CFS

  • Registration for AU Pairs Visa Holders (CFS)

Re-Issuance, Revalidation and Amendment with GCP

  • Registration for previously attended counselees
  • Replacement of Lost Counseling Certificate
  • Amendment of CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate
  • Revalidation of CFO Emigrant Registration Sticker

Video: CFO Office Guide

If you want to learn more, go to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas YouTube channel and watch their videos.

Check out this Audio-Video Presentation of CFO which features the things you can expect from this government agency and what you can benefit from it:

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions and answers about this PH government agency – CFO Philippines:

1. What is CFO?

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) is a Philippine government agency under the Office of the President responsible with promoting and protecting the interests, rights, and welfare of Filipinos living overseas while also strengthening their ties to their homeland.

2. What are the benefits of CFO?

CFO supports technology transfer, as well as material and financial contributions from outside the Philippines, for development initiatives in underserved communities throughout the Philippines. It also allows newer generations of Filipinos living overseas to learn about Philippine history and culture.

3. Does CFO office assist OFWs?

Yes, CFO assists OFWs and Filipinos who are “permanent residents” or dual citizens in other countries.

4. How much is the CFO seminar?

The counseling will cost you at least PhP 400.00.

5. What is the purpose of the CFO registration sticker?

J1 Visa holders who successfully completed the registration procedures and attended the pre-departure orientation course for EVP participants will receive a CFO Registration Sticker. On the day of your departure, the Bureau of Immigration will check this.

6. Does the CFO certificate have an expiration date?

The CFO certificate has no expiration date. Once you obtain your K1 or immigrant visa package, you will need to return to CFO to have an emigrant sticker placed to one of your Philippines passport pages.

7. How long does it take to get CFO sticker?

Residents in the NCR can expect parcels to arrive in 3-5 days, while residents of the province can expect them to arrive in 3-7 days.

Summary

Batas Pambansa 79 established the CFO on June 16, 1980.The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) is a Philippine government agency under the Office of the President. It promotes and protects the interests of Filipino immigrants and permanent residents abroad, as well as maintains and strengthens ties with Filipino communities around the world.

Contact Information

CFO Main Office
Address: Citigold Center, 1345 Quirino Ave, Paco, Manila, 1007 Metro Manila
Telephone Number: (02) 8552 4700
E-mail address: info@cfo.gov.ph
Website: https://cfo.gov.ph/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CFOGovPH

Google Map Location

Please check out this map guide of the main headquaraters of CFO office:

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