A November 29, 2011 press release from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas The Philippines starting this December will

commence the month-long celebration of the annual Month of Overseas Filipinos (MOF) and International Migrants Day. For more than a century now, Filipino migration has laid a strong groundwork in shaping the Philippines’ image and standing in global affairs. It is on this note that the whole nation will give tribute to Filipino migrants in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide for their significant role and contribution in national and local development. The Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) for the Celebration of MOF and International Migrants Day has lined up various activities, programs, and services benefiting Filipino migrants and their families, in line with this year’s theme “Overseas Filipinos: Rising to Global Challenges.” The theme embodies overseas Filipinos’ indomitable spirit and sense of unity to overcome the problems they face as migrants, especially in the recent problems of political conflict in Middle East countries and the environmental tragedies in New Zealand and Japan. The highlights of this year’s celebration are five activities organized by the IAC – the cineforum on migration, December forum on Migration, conferment of Migration Advocacy and Media Awards, Cultural Show for overseas Filipinos and their families, and the Fun Run. Also included in the calendar of activities are agency activities of IAC members such as Model of the Family of the Year Awards, Bagong Bayani Awards, and the Pamaskong Handog sa OFWs, among others. Several international and local instruments have been passed to recognize migrants as agents of global development. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 18 each year as International Migrants Day on December 4, 2000. On the important date, all member-states, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, to observe the occasion and disseminate information regarding the fundamental rights and freedom of migrants. In the Philippines, former President Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation No. 276 in June 1988, institutionalizing the commemoration of the MOF every December. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also highlighted the role of overseas Filipino communities in achieving the nations development goals by creating the IAC for the Celebration of the MOF and International Migrants Day trough Administrative Order No. 202 issued in October 2007. The IAC is chaired by the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch, co-chaired by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas with members and partners from government, private sector, and civil society such as the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Tourism, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Film Development Council of the Philippines, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, Presidential Communications Operations Office, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG Fund, Social Security System, Migrant Forum in Asia, Philippine Migrants Research Network, SM Global Pinoy, and Land Bank of the Philippines. cfo.gov.ph

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