Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO)

The Philippines has long been a source of global talent, with millions of its citizens working as OFWs. Recognizing the need to support and engage this vast diaspora, the Philippine government established the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) in 1980. This move marked a commitment to safeguarding the welfare and interests of Filipinos overseas.

The CFO was created not just as a regulatory body, but as a guiding light and support for millions of Filipinos who have ventured abroad in pursuit of better opportunities. Its primary mission is multifaceted, focusing on empowering and advocating for the rights and welfare of Filipino emigrants, permanent residents in other countries, and those with dual citizenship. The Commission ensures that the Filipino diaspora remains connected to their homeland, facilitating cultural, economic, and social ties that transcend geographical boundaries. Let’s get to know more about its functions, services, and benefits offered to Filipinos overseas.

Credits: CFO / Facebook

Brief History

Established on June 16, 1980, through Batas Pambansa Blg. 79, the CFO emerged as a government agency under the Office of the President.

Its creation marked a significant step in the Philippine government’s commitment to promoting and upholding the interests, rights, and welfare of overseas Filipinos, while also strengthening their ties with their motherland.

The roots of the CFO can be traced back to the enactment of Presidential Decree No. 442, known as the Labor Code of the Philippines, in 1974.

This decree led to the creation of the Office of Emigrant Affairs (OEA), alongside the Overseas Employment Development Board (now known as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or POEA). The OEA was an initial response to the increasing trend of Filipino migration, addressing the need for a dedicated unit to support Filipino emigrants.

As migration continued to grow in the following years, it became evident that a more robust and independent entity was necessary to address the expanding scope of migrant needs and concerns.

This realization culminated in the enactment of Batas Pambansa Blg. 79 in June 1980.


The CFO envisions a community of Filipinos overseas who are not only well-respected and competitive but also significantly contribute to the productivity and well-being of the countries where they live and work.

This vision encompasses a dual focus: on one hand, ensuring that Filipinos abroad excel in their respective fields and are valued members of their host countries; on the other hand, it emphasizes maintaining robust political, economic, and cultural ties with the Philippines. The CFO aspires to foster a global Filipino community that is deeply connected to its roots and heritage, while simultaneously making meaningful contributions on the international stage.


The CFO’s mission is to serve as the Philippines’ premier institution in promoting and implementing policies, programs, and projects that integrate Migration and Development as a core framework. This mission focuses on the strengthening and empowerment of the Filipino community overseas.

The CFO is dedicated to formulating and advocating policies that ensure the welfare and rights of Filipinos abroad, facilitating their successful integration into their host countries, and encouraging their active involvement in the development of the Philippines. The Commission seeks to empower these global Filipinos, providing them with the tools, knowledge, and support to thrive both abroad and as part of the larger Filipino nation.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) shapes the experience and welfare of Filipinos abroad. Mandated by Batas Pambansa Blg. 79, the CFO’s functions are multifaceted and crucial for the Filipino diaspora.

A. Policy Advocacy

  1. Formulation of Migration Policies: The CFO assists the President and Congress in creating policies affecting Filipinos overseas, advocating for strategies that make migration a choice rather than a necessity, focusing on sustainable national development.
  2. Promotion of Rights and Welfare: It creates rights-based policy environment to protect the welfare and status of overseas Filipinos, contributing to policy formulation and implementation.

B. Socio-economic Development

  1. Resource Mobilization: The CFO coordinates with other government agencies to streamline processes for diaspora resources, knowledge, and technology, optimizing their impact on the country’s development.
  1. Investment and Remittance Utilization: It facilitates partnerships and leverages diaspora funds for economic growth, focusing on financial literacy, microfinance, and social enterprises.

C. Integration and Reintegration

  1. Support for Migrants Abroad: The Commission provides education and services to help Filipinos integrate into their host countries, addressing the social costs of migration.
  1. Assistance for Returning Filipinos: It aids in the reintegration of returning Filipinos, recommending policies for brain gain and enhancing their earning capabilities.

D. Culture and Education

  1. Cultural Connection: The CFO ensures that Filipinos overseas remain connected to their culture, promoting awareness and appreciation of the Filipino language, culture, and heritage.

E. Institutional Development and Organizational Strengthening

  1. Leadership in Policy Formulation: The CFO seeks to reinforce its leading responsibility in policy development concerning migration and development.
  1. Enhancing Institutional Capabilities: It focuses on improving capabilities for lobbying, advocacy, coordination, and stakeholder mobilization in migration-related sectors.
  2. Data and Research: Providing accurate and comprehensive data on Filipino international migration is key for policy formulation and protecting overseas Filipinos.

Major Programs and Initiatives by CFO

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) has developed several key programs and initiatives that reflect its commitment to the welfare and development of Filipinos worldwide. These programs address a range of needs, from cultural education to legal assistance, ensuring that the Filipino diaspora is supported, engaged, and recognized in various aspects.

  1. Ugnayan Series: This initiative fosters communication and interaction among Filipino communities abroad, promoting unity and collaboration.
  2. Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas: These prestigious awards recognize the outstanding contributions of Filipinos and organizations based abroad, highlighting their efforts in fostering goodwill and understanding.
  3. Philippine Schools Overseas (PSO): These schools are established to provide Filipino children abroad with education aligned with the Philippine curriculum, ensuring that they remain connected to their cultural roots.
  4. YouLead (Youth Leaders in the Diaspora): This program is designed to engage and empower young Filipino leaders overseas, encouraging them to contribute to their communities and the Philippines.
  5. Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (LINKAPIL) or Link for Philippine Development: LINKAPIL facilitates various forms of assistance from Filipinos abroad to support development projects in the Philippines, ranging from infrastructure to healthcare and education.
  6. BaLinkBayan: Overseas Filipinos’ One-Stop Online Portal for Diaspora Engagement: This online portal provides a platform for Filipinos overseas to access government services, find investment opportunities, and engage in development initiatives in the Philippines.
  7. Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking – Advocacy and Communications Committee (IACAT-ADVOCOM): The CFO is actively involved in efforts to combat human trafficking, promoting awareness and advocacy through this committee.
  8. Community Education Program (CEP): This program aims to educate Filipino communities abroad on various topics, including legal rights, financial literacy, and health and wellness.
  9. PESO Sense or the Philippine Financial Freedom Campaign: Focused on financial literacy, this campaign educates overseas Filipinos on effective money management, savings, and investment.
  10. Migration Advocacy and Media (MAM) Awards: These awards acknowledge the significant part of media in shaping public perception and policies related to migration and development.
  11. Month of Overseas Filipinos: Celebrated in December, this month-long event honors the contributions of overseas Filipinos and raises awareness about their experiences and challenges.
  12. Legal Assistance and Counseling Program: This program provides legal assistance and counseling services to Filipinos abroad, addressing issues such as labor disputes and legal rights.
  13. Overseas Filipino Centenarian Awards and Incentives: Recognizing the longevity and contributions of Filipino centenarians around the world, this program awards and honors them for their remarkable life journeys.

How to Access CFO Services

The CFO provides a wide array of services designed to support and empower overseas Filipino workers and their families. Whether you’re in the Philippines or abroad, there are several ways to access these services, tailored to suit your location and specific needs.

Online Services

    • CFO Website: Begin by visiting the official CFO website at This platform offers comprehensive information on the services available, program guidelines, and contact details for further assistance.
    • Overseas Filipinos – CFO Online Registration System (OF-CORS): Utilize the OF-CORS to register and reserve your slot for various online services. These include guidance and counseling sessions, pre-departure orientation seminars (PDOS), and assistance with passport applications.

In-Person Services

    • CFO Regional Welfare Offices (RWOs): For a more direct approach, visit the nearest RWO. They offer a range of services including pre-departure orientation, legal assistance, and financial counseling. These offices are strategically located to cater to Filipinos across various regions.
    • Migrant Workers Offices (MWO): For Filipinos working overseas, the MWOs are your go-to resource. They provide services such as legal assistance, emergency repatriation support, and registration for the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) membership.

Other Channels for Assistance

    • CFO Hotline: For quick inquiries and assistance, the CFO has a toll-free hotline, 1343, which you can call.
    • CFO Social Media Platforms: Stay updated and informed by following the CFO on their official social media accounts. On Facebook, you can find them at @CFOMedia, and on Twitter, follow @CFOGovPH. These platforms are regularly updated with announcements, valuable information, and tips for overseas Filipinos.


Ever wondered how one can smoothly navigate the process of applying for their Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)? Here’s a resource that can help. This video is filled with practical tips and essential know-how to assist individuals in efficiently filling out the PDOS form and scheduling their appointments. This video also shares the personal experience of a family, highlighting their journey as they completed the final steps of their immigration requirements in the Philippines before embarking on a new life abroad as a US Nurse. It aims to ease the process for others and offers insights that can make the transition smoother and more informed.

Contact Information

Commission on Filipinos Overseas – Manila
Citigold Center, 1345 Quirino Ave, Paco, Manila, 1007 Metro Manila
Telephone number: 0285524700
Office Hours: Weekdays, 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Google Map Location

Commission on Filipinos Overseas – Cebu Satellite Office
K&J building, 4 J. Llorente St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu
Telephone number: 0322555253
Office Hours: Weekdays, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Google Map Location

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