Commission on Filipino Overseas


Established on 16 June 1980 through Batas Pambansa 79, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas is an agency of the Philippine Government tasked to promote and uphold the interests of Filipino emigrants and permanent residents abroad, and preserve and strengthen ties with Filipino communities overseas.

The evolvement of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas can be traced over a series of policies. The Presidential Decree No. 442 (Labor Code of the Philippines) passed in 1974, created the Overseas Employment Development Board to set up a systematic program for overseas employment of Filipino workers, as well as to register and monitor emigrants leaving for various countries abroad. The following years was characterized by steady increase in migration, making it necessary to establish an independent unit which shall comprise the local support network solely for Filipino emigrants. Thus, in June 1978, Presidential Decree No. 1412 was passed, creating the Office of Emigrant Affairs (OEA). The decree specifically identified as recipients of its services, Filipinos who will be leaving the country as emigrants.

In June 1980, Batas Pambansa Blg. 79 was enacted to strengthen the government's policy on promotion of migrant welfare and interest. It created the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, replacing OEA and simultaneously retaining the latter's mandate, and expanding its functions.

The CFO primarily registers and provides pre-departure orientation seminars to emigrants. It also promotes, among others the transfer of technology, and material and financial contributions from overseas to development activities in underserved communities all over the Philippines. It also provides younger generations of Filipinos overseas with opportunities to learn Philippine history, culture, institutions and the Filipino language.


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
  • Provide liaison services to Filipinos overseas with appropriate government and private agencies in the transaction of business and similar ventures in the Philippines.