Mayor John Dalipe was delighted to forge a partnership with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) through Undersecretary Valery Joy Abarro-Brion in the conduct of its Community Education Program and Mobile Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (Mobile PDOS) on Friday at KCC Mall Atrium Lounge.
Mayor Dalipe thanked Usec. Brion and her team for including Zamboanga City in their Mobile PDOS and other services that Zamboangueños, especially those planning to migrate, will benefit from, and they need not go to Manila anymore.
The upcoming CFO activity is intended for Filipinos, who will be migrating permanently to foreign countries, permanent migrants and marriage migrants as they need a CFO certificate before departure.
Usec. Brion and her CEP Team paid their courtesy visit Tuesday morning to Mayor John Dalipe in City Hall, during which she explained the importance of conducting the Mobile PDOS in Zamboanga City on Friday, considering that prospective migrants from this part of the country no longer have to travel to Manila to undergo the seminar, a requirement for the issuance of CFO certificate before departure.
Likewise, Usec. Brion, daughter of former Zamboanga City councilor Lynette Marcos-Abarro, briefed the local chief executive and other city officials on CFO programs and services, basically on addressing the Filipinos’ concerns overseas.
The CFO is an agency of government under the Office of the President of the Philippines and was established through the enactment Batas Pambansa Blg. 79 in June 1980.
Brion said the agency is primarily tasked to promote and uphold the interests of Filipino emigrants and permanent residents abroad, and to preserve and strengthen ties with Filipino communities overseas.
She said the Mobile PDOS will prepare the emigrants and permanent migrants for their eventual settlement abroad.
“We will orient them on the country where they will be migrating to, practices and customs in that particular country, some settlement concerns, and information on where they can access help if they’re already there, so that when they depart they are smart,” Usec. Brion said, with reference to CFO’s campaign slogan “Be Smart Before Depart.”
For marriage migrants, the CFO provides guidance and counselling program (GCP). Unlike PDOS, which is country-specific, the GCP is one-on-one to prepare the Filipina or Filipino for marrying in an inter-cultural setup.
“This is where our support for anti-human trafficking come in, knowing that with the advent of technology comes modern-day slavery or trafficking in the guise of marriage,” Brion stressed. “This is where we try to assist Filipinos so that they won’t fall victims to human trafficking or other modern-day’s slavery mechanism.”
“That’s why we are here in Zamboanga to conduct community education program, where we inform prospective migrants of settlement concerns and we want them to be smart before they depart, at the same time we also want to involve the community and inform them about migration issues,” she explained.
Finally, Usec. Brion also sought partnership with the city government through the mayor in the promotion of CFO’s anti-human trafficking Hotline -1343 being supported by the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), and the “Balikbayan Portal” partnership.
Through the “Balikbayan Portal,” Filipino migrants and communities overseas will be able to access the services of partner LGUs.-[Vic Larato]