EDITORIAL - Modern Slave Labor


The Philippine Star
April 17, 2015


It can be an indication of an improving economy, but the growing presence of undocumented foreign workers in the country is worrying local labor groups. The workers reportedly accept jobs for wages below the minimum or below industry standards and do not demand benefits mandated by law. The foreigners, mostly from neighboring countries, find willing employers who want to cut labor costs.

Local workers’ groups are worried that the trend is growing and may pose a serious threat to employment opportunities for Filipinos, especially in less developed communities where jobs are badly needed. Workers’ groups said the trend has been reported in Metro Manila, Bataan, Batangas, Central Visayas, the Davao region and Zamboanga peninsula.

The influx is difficult to regulate particularly when the illegal workers enter through poorly patrolled coastal areas. The migrant workers reportedly find jobs in construction projects, manufacturing, electronics and service industries.

Foreigners are not prohibited from working in the Philippines. As in other countries, however, they need to get an alien employment permit from the government and submit several requirements. Undermining wage laws can aggravate the country’s unemployment and underemployment situation, according to labor department officials.

Undocumented migrant workers are also vulnerable to labor exploitation and other forms of abuse. There have been reports even of Filipino workers being locked up by abusive employers in office buildings after office hours. Undocumented foreign workers are even more vulnerable to such types of abuse.

As overseas Filipino workers know, people become migrant workers out of necessity, for lack of opportunities in their own land. Exploiting these needy workers is a form of human trafficking and a modern version of slave labor that must be stopped. With local labor groups sounding the alarm, the government must confront this growing problem. Immigration, labor, local government and security agencies must carry out a coordinated effort to stop the trend. Labor and immigration laws must be enforced. Anyone found to be engaged in human trafficking and labor exploitation must face the full force of the law.


The Philippine Star
April 17, 2015


CFO Advertorial - 3rd Global Summit 2015 (Manila Bulletin)

ManilaBulletinFeb25 smaller
(click on image to enlarge)


Manila Bulletin
Feb. 25, 2015


Filipino Expats From 30 Countries Meet in Manila



INQUIRER.net US Bureau


300x225xphoto2 300x225.jpg.pagespeed.ic.rgXqa3q3 nGVVfWjFz4l 300x225xphoto 2 300x225.jpg.pagespeed.ic.kEkazywqZQ2EZ4l0yvRv
Filipinos based in more than 30 countries gathered at the Manila Hotel for their 3rd global summit. INQUIRER.net PHOTO Rosalyn Dawila Venning, seen here with Dr. Roel Palo Anicas of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, helps educate thousands of stateless kids in Malaysia. INQUIRER.net PHOTO

MANILA – “We like coming because we love meeting other overseas kababayan and getting ideas from everyone,” exulted Roger Castaneda, who along with his wife, Remy, is a hotel musician in Sanya, Hainan, China.

300x400xphoto 11 300x400.jpg.pagespeed.ic.3JDYnTuEKUAv8lL48Ewk
Roger and Remy Castaneda, hotel musicians in Hainan, China, are among the nearly 600 delegates at the summit.
Roger plays keyboard (“Oido lang”) and Remy sings, providing a repertoire of English, Filipino, Chinese, Japanese and Russian songs.

The Castanedas are among the 600 or so Filipino expatriates from 30 countries who convened at the Manila Hotel February 25 to 27 for the Third Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora.

The summit is held every two years with assistance from the Commission of Filipinos Overseas. CFO Chair Sec. Imelda Nicolas welcomed the delegates, while budget secretary Butch Abad gave an update on the reform programs of the Aquino administration.

There are 10.5 million overseas Filipinos consisting of 4.9 million permanent immigrants or naturalized citizens of other countries, 4.2 million temporary immigrants or OFWs and 1.36 million irregular immigrants or undocumented, according to CFO data.

Loida Nicolas Lewis, president of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council, exhorted delegates to “work together, use our skills and knowledge and give back to the Motherland.”

Gene Alcantara, chair of the European Network of Filipinos in the Diaspora and Fidel Escurel , chair of the Middle East Network of Filipinos in the Diaspora gave updates on their efforts to coordinate activities and promote the interests of the expatriates in their regions.

Meanwhile, lawyer and INQUIRER.net columnist Rodel Rodis of the US Pinoys for Good Governance asked overseas Filipinos to continue participating in the political life of the country and contribute their voices in international issues confronting it, such as the West Philippine Sea conflict with China.

Other messages and presentations covered interests such as medical tourism, retirement in the Philippines, overseas voting, prospects for the return and integration of overseas Filipinos, remittances, action plans for “2015 and beyond” and entrepreneurial initiatives by expatriates.

Participants represented a wide range of interests and concerns. Copenhagen-based Rosalyn Dawila Venning, originally from Tawi-Tawi, is now working in Sabah, Malaysia as founder and director of PKPKM Education Projects for stateless children, many of whom are Badjau Laut. She has helped educate 1,900 stateless kids with the help of the Finnish Embassy and firms like Sime Darby.

“Philippine Ambassador Ed Malaya is also very helpful in introducing me to potential donors,” said Venning, a Muslim. Venning shared a table with Dr. Roel Palo Anicas, an arts and education academic manager in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, who is active in helping protect the rights of domestic helpers.

Louella Cabalong, an IT consultant with Sears Holdings in Chicago, along with her nurse-husband, Baron, is setting up “youth-led medical missions,” even while being active in the Sama-Sama musical project, which produces folk-modern fusions of Filipino music.

“I find gatherings like this very informative and I love meeting people from all over the world,” said travel consultant Azucena Lumagbas, based in Winnipeg, Canada, but now working in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The Castanedas of Sanya, Hainan, are active in the Sarap-Buhay Group, of which Roger is president. It is a mutual-help network of Filipinos working in China and elsewhere. “If anyone needs support for whatever reason, they can come to us and we will help them,” Roger enthused.

Supporters of the summit include Medical City, Vibal Group of Companies, Department of Tourism, The Filipino Channel, Philippine Retirement Authority and Manila Hotel.


INQUIRER.net US Bureau


ICMC Photo Competition: Win A Ticket To The Civil Society Days of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)!


Submit your photo, and win a ticket to the Civil Society Days of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in Istanbul, 12-15 October 2015


The International Catholic Migration Commission – ICMC Europe and the Migration and Development Civil Society network (MADE) are launching a photo competition on the theme “Untold stories: how migrants contribute to human and economic development”.

The objective of the competition is to showcase how migrants[1] contribute to the economic, social and human well-being of their communities and countries of origin, heritage and residence, bringing to light the too often untold and unheard stories of migrants’ contributions to development.

Today, there are more than 232 million migrants in the world. People are moving in search of new opportunities or a better life, to save, support, or improve their wellbeing and that of their families, to escape conflict or to adapt to environmental and economic shocks.

Migrants learn and bring with them new skills and energy, fill in labour market gaps and send more of their earnings back to family members and communities in their countries of origin than the entire budget for official aid worldwide. Yet, around the world, they face widespread abuse, exploitation, lack of opportunities and discrimination. Migrants’ capacity to contribute to development are often directly related to their enjoyment of human rights and opportunities for human development.

Human development expands the traditional definition of economic development and encompasses health, education, a decent standard of living and political rights as a starting point so that individuals and communities may flourish.

Participants are strongly encouraged to submit photographs showcasing both economic and human facets of development and photographs showcasing that link between the two are strongly encouraged.

Who can participate?

The competition is open to everyone (individuals and organisations) over the age of 18. There are no geographical restrictions. Participation of migrants themselves is strongly encouraged.


The first prize winner will be invited to attend the Civil Society Days of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in Istanbul from 12-15 October 2015, for which travel and accommodation will be covered.

The 10 best photographs will displayed at the venue of the European Development Days on 3-4 June 2015 as well as at the Civil Society Days of the GFMD in October 2015.

Pictures will also be posted in a photo gallery at www.madenetwork.org and published via MADE social media channels.


Participants can submit up to three digital black and white or colour photographs.  All photographs must be submitted together with the attached application form. Forms must be completed in English, French or Spanish. All applications must be submitted via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and accompanied by theapplication form.

Requirements of digital photographs

For them to be printed in the highest quality, photographs should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Please submit your photographs in high-resolution JPEG format.

The photograph must not contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content.

Deadline for submissions

Submissions are now accepted for this competition. All photographs must be submitted by April 30th, 6 pm Brussels time (GMT+1).


All participants are required to confirm that they own the copyright of the photographs submitted or that they have obtained the permission of the copyright holder. They are also required to expressly authorize ICMC-MADE to use the photographs submitted to the competition for the purpose of the exhibition at the European Development Days and GFMD, the MADE Network website and social media and for future MADE publications. Assurance must be given that the publication of such pictures does not infringe the rights of third party such as the persons portrayed or the photographer. The pictures submitted and used in communication-related publications (online or print) will be duly accredited to the photographer.

For any further information, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Download the ICMC Europe/MADE photo contest Call and the Application Form.

 We will apply here the definition provided by the United Nations: a migrant is an individual who has resided in a foreign country for more than one year irrespective of the causes, voluntary or involuntary, and the means, regular or irregular, used to migrate. For the purpose of this competition, we will also consider seasonal workers who travel for short periods to work abroad.

See all the information here: http://madenetwork.org/made-photo-competition/ and the attached application form to be filled in!


Location Map

CFO locationmap mini

Contact Us

Citigold Center, 1345 Pres. Quirino Ave.
corner Osmena Highway (South Superhighway)
Manila, Philippines 1007
Telephone: (+632) 552-4700
Email: info@cfo.gov.ph

4th Floor, K&J Building
#4 Don Julio Llorente St.,
Capitol Site, Cebu City 6000
Telephone: (032) 255-5253
Email: cfocebu@cfo.gov.ph

Connect With Us


     Sign up for the latest news and events

We're on Social Networks. Follow us and get in touch!

           facebook twitter2 youtube

Back to Top