Thursday, May 31, 2007

More Filipinos Marrying Foreigners

More Filipinos Marrying Foreigners
By Veronica Uy
Last updated 11:28pm (Mla time) 05/31/2007

PASAY CITY, Philippines -- Over the last three years, more Filipinos have married foreigners, data obtained by from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas shows.

Last year, 24,904 Filipinos married foreigners, up 18 percent from the previous year's 21,100. The 2005 figure is an 11.4 percent increase from the 2004 figure of 18,933.

Minda Valencia, director of CFO's Migrant Integration and Education Office, attributed the steady increase in inter-marriages to globalization and technology.

"With more Filipinos leaving for abroad, they get more opportunities to meet foreigners. Some meet through relatives who introduce them through letters and make them into pen pals," she said.

"We've also had more cases who meet over the Internet," she added.

Citing CFO records, Valencia said most of the Filipinos marrying foreigners are female. From 1989 to 2006, Filipinas accounted for some 89.2 percent of these unions.

The same set of data shows that Americans comprise the biggest foreign spouses of Filipinos at 126,638 or 40.24 percent of the 309,745 foreigners who have married Filipinos from 1989 to 2006.

This is followed by Japanese at 94,792 or 30.60 percent. Australians are a far third at 25,073 or 8.09 percent.

The rest of the nationality groupings are: Canadians at 12,401 or four percent; Germans at 11,307 or 3.65 percent; Taiwanese at 6,950 or 2.24 percent; British at 5,780 or 1.87 percent; South Koreans at 4,582 or 1.48 percent; and New Zealanders at 2,233 or 0.7 percent.

Valencia said the figures include former Filipinos who married their childhood sweethearts.

"Many of these are from the United States and Australia," she said.

Valencia said the figures are taken from those who are applying for fiancé and spouse passports.

Citing the Passport Act and Department of Foreign Affairs' Department Orders 28-94 and 11-97, she said all these applicants are required to go through counseling which the CFO oversees.

Valencia said the figures do not include all Filipinos who marry foreigners outside the Philippines and who apply for fiancé or spouse passports in the Philippine embassies outside the country.

She said that while the Philippine embassies are required to monitor the number of inter-marriages by Filipinos in their jurisdiction, some of them have not submitted the data to the CFO.

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