Commission on Filipinos Overseas
Established on 16 June 1980 through Batas Pambansa 79, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) is an agency of the Philippine Government under the Office of the President tasked to promote and uphold the interests, rights and welfare of overseas Filipinos and strengthen their ties with the Motherland.
The evolution of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas can be traced over a series of policy pronouncements. Presidential Decree No. 442 (Labor Code of the Philippines), which was passed in 1974, created the Overseas Employment Development Board in order to set up a systematic program for the overseas employment of Filipino workers, as well as to register and monitor emigrants leaving for various countries. The following years were characterized by a steady increase in migration, thus making it necessary to establish an independent unit which would constitute a local support network solely for Filipino emigrants. In June 1978, Presidential Decree No. 1412 was passed the Office of Emigrant Affairs (OEA). The decree specifically identified Filipino emigrants as the recipients of its services.
In June 1980, Batas Pambansa Blg. 79 was enacted to strengthen the government’s policy on the promotion of migrant welfare and interest. It created the Commission on Filipinos Overseas which replaced OEA but retained and further expanded its mandate.
The CFO registers and provides pre-departure orientation seminars to emigrants. It also promotes the transfer of technology as well as material and financial contributions from overseas for development projects in underserved communities all over the Philippines. It also provides younger generations of Filipinos overseas with opportunities to learn Philippine history and culture.
Batas Pambansa Blg. 79, mandates the CFO to perform the following functions:
- Provide assistance to the President and the Congress of the Philippines in the formulation of policies and measures concerning or affecting Filipinos overseas;
- Develop and implement programmes to promote the interest and well-being of Filipinos overseas;
- Serve as a forum for preserving and enhancing the social, economic and cultural ties of Filipinos overseas with the motherland; and
- Liase on behalf of Filipinos overseas with appropriate government and private agencies in the transaction of business and similar ventures in the Philippines.
Under Batas Pambansa Blg. 79, the primary clientele of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas are:
Filipino permanent migrants or permanent residents abroad
Filipinos overseas who have become naturalized citizens of other countries or dual citizens
Filipino spouses and other partners of foreign nationals leaving the country
Descendants of Filipinos overseas, as defined in Batas Pambansa Blg. 79
Filipino youth overseas
Exchange Visitor Program participants
Filipino Au Pair participants
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.
To be the Philippines’ premier institution in promoting policies, programs, and projects with Migration and Development as a framework for the strengthening of and empowering the community of Filipinos overseas.
Commission on Filipinos Overseas
Quality Policy Statement
We in 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, commit to effectively and efficiently deliver gender-responsive policies, programs and services for the well-being and empowerment of the community of Filipinos overseas.
In pursuit of this commitment, we 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, we adhere to comply and continuously improve our quality management system and other legal requirements.