Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO): What You Need to Know

A variety of government entities are responsible for keeping an eye on and preserving the welfare of Filipinos who are now residing in other countries. The purpose of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) office, along with its responsibilities, functions, and goals, are outlined in the following article guide. Additionally, the article explains why the CFO office was established.

Also Read: DOLE: What You Need to Know about Department of Labor and Employment

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) is responsible for the creation of policies, programs, and projects with the following objectives:

(1) to promote and protect the interests, rights, and welfare of overseas Filipinos;
(2) to encourage and facilitate overseas Filipinos’ meaningful participation in the economic, social, cultural, and political development of the Philippines;
(3) to strengthen overseas Filipinos’ ties to the Philippines through information and education programs; and
(4) to assist overseas Filipinos in their reintegration into Philippine society.

CFO: What You Need to Know about the Commission of Filipinos Overseas

What is the Meaning of CFO?

CFO stands for Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) in the Philippines.

What is the Purpose of CFO?

The CFO is an organization that supports the transfer of technology as well as material and monetary gifts from outside the Philippines with the purpose of aiding in the development of disadvantaged communities in the Philippines. It also makes it possible for younger generations of Filipinos living abroad to learn about the country’s history and culture.

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas was founded by Act No. 79 of the Philippine Senate on June 16, 1980. It is a government agency of the Philippines charged with promoting and defending the interests of Filipino immigrants and permanent residents abroad, as well as maintaining and deepening ties with Filipino communities around the world. In addition, it is tasked with maintaining and strengthening ties with Filipino communities in the Philippines.

The Office of Emigrant Affairs within the Department of Labor and Employment was succeeded by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas when Batas Pambansa 79 was passed. However, the Office of Emigrant Affairs retained and increased its power.

It was Presidential Decree No. 442 (Labor Code of the Philippines), which was enacted in 1974, that authorized the establishment of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. This decree also created the Office of Emigrant Affairs and other offices, such as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). Both of these decrees were responsible for the creation of the Office of Emigrant Affairs.

Functions and Responsibilities of the CFO

The CFO encourages the transfer of technology as well as the gift of material and financial resources from sources outside the Philippines for the purpose of supporting development initiatives in underprivileged areas within the Philippines. It also makes it possible for younger generations of Filipinos living abroad to learn about the country’s history and culture.

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas, sometimes known as CFO, is an agency within the Philippine government that is tasked with ensuring the health and safety of Filipinos who are employed overseas (OFWs). In addition to this, the CFO encourages the growth of programs and services designed specifically for overseas Filipinos and works to strengthen the bonds that exist between Filipinos who make their homes outside of the Philippines and their families back home.

In addition, the Chief Financial Officer of the Philippines (CFO) is working to strengthen links between the Philippines and other countries that have sizable Filipino immigrant communities.

The Central Finance Office’s objective for the coming years is to establish itself as the leading institution in the Philippines when it comes to advocating for policies, initiatives, and projects that use Migration and Development as a framework for bolstering and empowering the Filipino community that resides outside of the country. In order to achieve this objective, the CFO will continue to work closely with other government agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector to develop and implement policies and initiatives that will improve the lives of Filipinos who are currently residing in other countries.

In addition to this, the CFO intends to enhance its contact with Filipinos living abroad and to encourage their participation in the development of the Philippines. In the end, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) hopes for a future in which all Filipinos, irrespective of where they live or work, would have the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential.

List of Programs and Services of the CFO

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas, sometimes known as CFO, is an institution of the Philippine government that is charged with promoting the interests and welfare of Filipinos who are living outside of the country. The CFO is assigned with the responsibility of giving aid and support to Filipinos who are working outside of the country and was established in 1980.

The CFO makes available to Filipinos working abroad a diverse selection of programs and services. The following are some examples of these:

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

BaLinkBayan is a program that is sponsored by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). Its goal is to connect overseas Filipinos to social and economic development projects in the Philippines and its many localities 24 hours a day, seven days a week, no matter where in the world those overseas Filipinos may be. BaLinkBayan is available to overseas Filipinos 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

CFO’s BaLinkBayan, a one-stop online portal for diaspora engagement, gives expatriate Filipinos a variety of possibilities to work with national and local governments in founding a business, giving, and volunteering, and accessing online government services.

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-based and mobile-based advising and counselling service that offers consultation, coaching, and counselling with the support of partner counselling specialists from a number of professions. The service may be used both on a computer and on a mobile device.

Through the use of the internet and other messaging programs for mobile devices, overseas Filipinos have access to licensed counsellors and life coaches (Viber, Facebook, and WhatsApp). It can be accessed at any time of the day or night, seven days a week. Every piece of information is held in the strictest confidence.

Community Education Program (CEP)

The Community Education Program (CEP) of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a communication initiative that is coordinated by numerous government ministries, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and local government entities (LGUs).

The goal of the program is to reach out to people who may be interested in migrating to another country and provide assistance to them so that they may make well-informed decisions about working or settling permanently in another country.

The purpose of the Community Engagement Project (CEP) is to raise public awareness of various aspects of migration, including illegal recruitment, human trafficking, the mail-order spouse scheme, and cross-cultural relationships and inter-marriages, as well as existing government policies, programs, and services that address these issues. Specifically, the CEP aims to increase community involvement in migration issues and raise public awareness of cross-cultural relationships and inter-marriages.

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

The engagement and mobilization of various stakeholders and target groups is one of the IACAT-strategies that ADVOCOM employs. These stakeholders include national and local government agencies, civil society organizations, media institutions, international organizations, foreign government agencies, migrant associations, and other non-government organizations. The following is what the IACAT-ADVOCOM hopes to accomplish:

  • Develop an all-encompassing advocacy and communication strategy to aid in the eradication of human trafficking and the promotion of government services to those who have survived being trafficked as a result of their experiences.
  • Develop a multi-platform campaign and disseminate materials with the goal of increasing people’s awareness of the issues and concerns related to human trafficking and encouraging victim services.
  • Conduct training sessions geared at specific audiences in order to encourage participation in anti-trafficking activities;
  • Carry out initiatives in order to increase the prominence of anti-trafficking advocacy, as well as IACAT and ADVOCOM.

Itanong Mo Kay Ato!

An online legal counselling service was developed by the CFO in collaboration with the Arellano Law Foundation to address a variety of issues, including but not limited to human trafficking, illegal recruiting, and marriages arranged through mail-order catalogues.

It is the mission of Itanong Mo Kay Ato! to make it easier and easier for Filipinos to obtain legal guidance, particularly for those who are employed outside of the country and have queries regarding issues relating to human trafficking and other similar topics. It is an initiative to provide direct online legal guidance, a way to reach out to Filipinos who are unable to afford legal advice, and a tool to strengthen the battle against human trafficking. The programme is also a way to reach out to people in other countries.

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

LINKAPIL, which stands for Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (Link for Philippine Development), is a program that was conceived up and implemented by the CFO. As a consequence of its implementation, larger and more substantive cross-national links have been developed between Filipinos.

  1. LINKAPIL is a mechanism that enables overseas Filipinos to transfer a range of resources to assist small-scale, high-impact projects that fulfil the country’s social and economic development criteria. These requirements include the need for the country to grow economically and socially. LINKAPIL places an emphasis on the contributions made by members of the diaspora to four key areas of development assistance:
  2. Contribute to the education of Filipino children through the provision of scholarships, the purchase of educational supplies, and the construction of classrooms; Creation of livelihood opportunities through the funding of income-generating activities of marginalized groups or victims of natural disasters; Promotion of growth through the construction of minor infrastructure projects such as water wells, latrines, and dwellings; and Contribute to the health and well-being of the Filipino people through the provision of medical care and basic necessities.
  3. Providing assistance in the formation of healthy communities by means of feeding programs, medical missions, and the provision of medicines, medical supplies, and equipment to those in need.

Migration Advocacy and Media (MAM) Awards

The MAM Awards recognise the positive and noteworthy contributions of government and private media outlets, institutions, and practitioners in the fields of print, radio, film and television, advertising, and the internet in the process of raising public awareness on issues related to Filipino migration (such as human trafficking, illegal recruitment, brain drain and brain circulation, remittance flows, political crisis, and families left behind) both in the Philippines and in other countries.

Month of Overseas Filipinos

Currently, we are in the midst of the Celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos, which is being led by the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW) and is being co-chaired by the CFO. As an umbrella organisation for migrant civil society organisations, PMRW is known as “PMRW.”

People of Filipino Descent Living Abroad as Culture Bearers: Tunay na Malikhain, Matatag at Masipag was the theme of the 2016 Migration Outreach Forum (MOF), which featured significant 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 the National Forum in Quezon City.

Other important events included the Regional Forum on Migration in Davao, the International Forum on Migration in Kual “Enhancing Reintegration: Leaving No Migrants and Their Families Behind” is the theme for the MOF’s annual conference in 2017.

Overseas Filipino Centenarian Awards and Incentives

Republic Act 10868, which is also known as the Centenarians Act of 2016, is a law that recognizes centenarians in the Philippines and provides them with additional rights and privileges.

Gifts worth one hundred thousand pesos will be given to all Filipino centenarians, regardless of where they currently live—in the Philippines or elsewhere in the world—and they will also get a letter of felicitation from the President of the Philippines thanking them for their longevity.

Additionally, as part of the annual Elderly Filipino Week, which takes place from October 1st to the 7th, there is a celebration called National Respect for Centenarians Day that takes place on the first Sunday of October.

PESO Sense or the Philippine Financial Freedom campaign

PESO Sense makes use of cutting-edge technologies in order to get in touch with every single Filipino, regardless of whether they are remittance senders or receivers. The six target profiles for the online financial literacy course that is offered by PESO Sense are who are students, young adults, business owners, employed individuals, housewives, and retirees.

The provision of cost-free online training courses through the PESO Sense website is the driving force behind the advertising. Every single training module is adapted specifically to meet the requirements of the user.

Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas

Established in December 1991 by Executive Order No. 498, the Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas is a biennial award given to eminent Filipino individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to national development efforts or professional achievements. The award was named after President Ferdinand Marcos, who was the first recipient of the award.

The CFO is responsible for the administration and supervision of the awards, which are presented to persons and organizations located outside of the Philippines that provide assistance to the country or advance the cause of Filipino populations there. The CFO is the one who is in charge of the program.

Ugnayan Series

In order to continue reaching out to Filipinos all over the world, the CFO runs the Ugnayan Series in conjunction with other government and non-government agency partners. This is done in order to monitor the wellbeing of migrants and debate ways of working for diaspora involvement.

In addition to this, it seeks to fortify Filipino communities by encouraging an increase in individuals’ participation in activities relating to entrepreneurship, investments, and remittances.

YouLead (Youth Leaders in the Diaspora)

YouLeaD is a service that gives young people living outside of the Philippines the opportunity to learn more about their culture and history. YouLeaD, which was formerly known as Lakbay-Aral, is a program that was first introduced in 1983 and has been updated and made relevant to the children of today in order to instill in them an appreciation for what it means to be Filipino.

YouLeaD mixes study with interaction with Filipino students, government officials, and indigenous community members, escorted excursions to attractive and historic monuments, and participation in local celebrations. You will also receive lectures on Philippine history and language.

Tracing the Philippine Roots, Eco-Tourism, Arts and Culture, and Rest and Recreation for Wellness are some of the additional modules that were added to the updated version of YouLeaD, which was participated in by people from the United States of America, France, Spain, and Switzerland, as well as participants from the Middle East and China.

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

Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP)

(GCP) stands for guidance and counselling, and it is provided to first-time registrants who are Filipino spouses or fiancés or partners of foreign nationals or former Filipinos or dual citizens.

The OF-CORS is a web-based registration system that provides applicants for Filipino visas with direction and assistance in accordance with the GCP. Additionally, the OF-CORS will offer direction concerning the requirements for submitting a visa application.

Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)

Those who are in possession of an immigrant visa (with the exception of Filipino spouses/fiancés/partners of foreign nationals/former Filipinos/dual citizens who have not received tele-counseling).

During this presentation, you will learn about the varied cultures, legal system, and travel norms of the countries that you will be visiting. In addition, the PDOS will offer direction on how to adequately prepare for travel at the appropriate times.


Registration for those holding a J1 Visa who are participants in the United States Exchange Visitor Program (EVP).

During this presentation, you will learn about the varied cultures, legal systems, and travel practices of the countries in which you will be staying. Additionally, the PDOS will assist you in making appropriate preparations for your trip.


  • Registration for AU Pairs Visa Holders (CFS): This program is intended to help you acquire the skills and information necessary for success in your host nation. The seminar will also provide you with an overview of life in the United States and practical information on immigration procedures and policies. You will also have the chance to meet other AU Pairs participants who are experiencing similar situations.

Re-Issuance, Revalidation and Amendment with GCP

  • Registration for previously attended counselees: You are going to be requested to provide information for the database as well as declare that you are still interested in GCP involvement.
  • Replacement of Lost Counseling Certificate: If you have misplaced or had your certificate stolen, you will need to fill out the form that can be found on the GCP website. It is necessary for you to provide proof of the amount of loss (e.g. a police report). As soon as we have it in hand, we will send you an email informing you of when and how to resubmit your request, should it be necessary.
  • Amendment of CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate: If you need to make changes to your CFO Guidance or Counseling Certificate, please fill out the online form on the GCP website. You will be required to present evidence of loss (e.g. a police report).
  • Revalidation of CFO Emigrant Registration Sticker: If you are verifying your CFO Emigrant Registration Sticker, the form may be found on the GCP website. Please fill it out. You will be expected to provide proof of the amount of loss (e.g. a police report).

Video: CFO – PDOS | Pre-departure Orientation Seminar for Immigrants

Those immigrants who are looking for information on the CFO – PDOS | Pre-departure Orientation Seminar should watch this video because it is a wonderful resource. The video presents an overview of the topics that will be covered at the seminar and explains why it is critical for immigrants to participate.

This pre-departure training is provided at no cost to immigrants who are making plans to travel outside of the country and is called the CFO Pre-departure Orientation Seminar for Immigrants. In addition to offering advice on how to stay safe when travelling, the program explains the processes and regulations of customs and immigration, as well as quarantine. In addition, participants will have the chance to ask questions on many aspects of air travel, including safety and security procedures. If you plan to travel outside of the Philippines, you are required to attend this lecture first, as a prerequisite for leaving the country. After returning from a trip abroad, it is quite necessary for you to be familiar with the entry requirements for Canada as well as the steps to take in the event that you encounter any difficulties on your route.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is CFO?

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) is a government agency in the Philippines that falls under the Office of the President and is tasked with the responsibility of promoting and defending the interests, rights, and welfare of Filipinos residing outside of the Philippines as well as strengthening their ties to the Philippines.

2. What are the benefits of CFO?

CFO encourages the contribution of technology, as well as other materials and monetary support, as well as the transfer of technology from outside the Philippines to underserved communities in the Philippines for the purposes of development. It also makes it possible for younger generations of Filipinos living abroad to learn about the country’s history and culture.

3. Does CFO office assist OFWs?

The answer is yes; the CFO offers aid to overseas Filipino workers as well as Filipinos who are “permanent residents” or hold dual citizenship in other countries.

4. How much is the CFO seminar?

The price of counselling will be at least Php 400.00 if you decide to go with it.

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

J1 Visa holders who have successfully registered for the pre-departure orientation training for EVP participants and have attended the workshop will be eligible to get CFO Registration Stickers. The Bureau of Immigration will conduct a check for this on the day that you are scheduled to travel.

6. Does the CFO certificate have an expiration date?

The CFO certificate does not have a time limit on its validity. After you have obtained your K1 or immigrant visa package, you will be required to go back to CFO in order to have an emigrant sticker affixed to one of the pages of your Philippine passport.

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

If you live in the province, you should expect your packages to arrive within three to seven days, however if you live in the NCR, you should expect your packages to arrive between three and five days.


The CFO was established on June 16th, 1980 by Batas Pambansa 79. A government institution in the Philippines known as the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) is answerable to the Office of the President. In addition to this, it continues to foster connections with Filipino communities located all over the world.

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Contact Information

CFO Main Office – Manila
Address: Citigold Center, 1345 Quirino Ave, Paco, Manila, 1007 Metro Manila
Telephone Number: (02) 8552 4700
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