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CFO notes growing Ilonggo emigrants to other countries

ILOILO CITY, Feb 23 – Ilonggas from Iloilo and Capiz formed the bulk of Filipino inter-marriages with foreign nationals and the most preferred destination countries are the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

This was announced recently by Kimberly Joy Dizon, senior emigrant services officer based at the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) in Cebu City.

Dizon is currently on an information caravan in different areas in Western Visayas conducting its annual Community Education Program (CEP) entitled “Pangingibang bansa: Handa ka na ba?” in Iloilo and Capiz on February 21-27, 2010.

The CFO CEP was held in Iloilo City on February 21-22 and on February 23 in Pototan, Iloilo; February 24 in Passi City; February 25-27 in Roxas City, Capiz and February 26 in Pontevedra, Capiz.

Dizon said the CEP seeks to raise public awareness on issues concerning migration, inter-marriages and existing government policies and programs directed against illegal recruitment, documentation fraud and human trafficking, among others.

However, Dizon stressed that her office is mainly concern on emigration of people and not on labor recruitment for contract workers in other countries.

The emigrants are required to attend a two-hour briefing orientation at the CFO office in either Cebu or Manila before they are allowed to board their plane or boat to other countries.

Based on CFO records, there are abut 40,138 Filipino emigrants and permanent residents overseas from Region 6. This number accounts for 3.16 percent of the total Filipino emigrant population.

There are 17,588 emigrants from Iloilo and 2,763 from Capiz recorded as of this year and most of them are going to the United States, Canada, Australia and select European states.

On the other hand, the CFO report showed 5,258 are victims of illegal human trafficking in 2006-2007 in Hongkong, Singapore and Malaysia while domestic violence on inter-marriages are mostly reported in Japan and the United States. (PNA) LOR/CPendon/vlo

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