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Participants from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam and International Organization for Migration (IOM) missions
n the Greater Mekong sub-region.

Manila, Philippines – Government officials from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam visited the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) on 20 September 2017 to learn of the CFO’s various services and programs for overseas Filipinos and their families. The delegates were from the ministries of foreign affairs, labor, interior, social welfare and disaster management of the said countries in the Greater Mekong area. They were accompanied by representatives from the various missions of International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the sub-region.

The delegates were welcomed by Ms. Marita Apattad, Director of the Project Management Division and Ms. Ivy Miravalles, Officer-in-Charge of the Migrant Integration and Education Division.

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Ms. Marita Apattad welcomes to the participants during the study visit.        Ms. Ivy Miravalles presents the pre-departure services for migrants of the CFO.

Ms. Miravalles discussed the various migrant- and country-specific services of the CFO, such as the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and Peer Counselling Session for immigrant visa holders; Guidance and Counselling Program (GCP) for spouses and partners of foreign nationals; and Country Familiarization Seminar (CFS) for au pair participants. These services prepare Filipinos for settlement and integration in their host countries, reduce their vulnerabilities and advance resilience in situations that they may encounter in the host country.

Ms. Apattad presented CFO’s programs to strengthen diaspora engagement. Among these programs include the Philippine Schools Overseas (PSOs), the Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (LINKAPIL), BaLinkBayan, Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) and the Lakbay Aral sa Pilipinas program. She likewise discussed the government efforts to mainstream migration in the national and local development plans.

Following the orientation, the delegates toured the CFO premises to witness first-hand CFO’s frontline services.

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(L-R) Participants learn about the reservation and registration processes of the CFO frontline service while observing the on-going pre-departure orientation, guidance and counseling, and peer counseling sessions.

 The study visit was the concluding activity of the Regional Roundtable on Reducing Migrant Vulnerabilities in Times of Crisis in Southeast Asia1 convened on 18-19 September 2017 at the New World Hotel, Makati City, Philippines. The roundtable organized under the Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) Initiative2 framework was primarily aimed at introducing the Guidelines to Protect Migrants in Countries Experiencing Conflict and Natural Disaster (known as the MICIC Guidelines)3. It also served as a platform to exchange practical information and strengthen collaboration among participants in protecting and addressing the various vulnerabilities and needs of migrants at the pre-, during and post-crisis phases.

The three-day activity was organized by the IOM Manila and Regional Office in Bangkok, in partnership with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas with the support of the US State Department – Bureau of Populations and Refugees.


For more information regarding this press release, please contact:

Commission on Filipinos Overseas
Contact Person: Ms. Patricia Marie Salvador

                           Email addresse:
                           Telephone Number: (632) 552-4760
                           Facsimile Number: (632) 561-8327