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``When you think about it deeply, it constitutes a mail-order bride scheme because there was matchmaking involved and a fee was paid by either party,'' she said.

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The counseling program proved to be an effective tool in identifying Filipino women who are mail-order brides.In some cases, they admit that a third party introduced them to their husbands.= “Galias said Filipina women who are identified as mail-order brides are subjected to in-depth counseling.Under Philippine law, Filipino women who are going overseas as fiancees and spouses of foreign nationals are required to attend the CFO's guidance and counseling program to help them make informed decisions regarding their marriage to foreign nationals and to prepare them for their adjustments in cross-cultural marriages.Attending the program is a pre-requisite for the issuance of a passport.In most cases, we learned that they agreed to enter the scheme to help their families for economic reasons. Hicap wrote in the Korea Times, “Today, the global mail-order bride industry has evolved.

For some, mail order was the only choice they had to marry a foreigner and live or work in another country, Galias said. On many Web sites, you will see Filipina and other Asian women being advertised as prospective brides.

The scheme was outlawed in the Philippines with the passing of Republic Act 6955, or the Anti-Mail-Order-Bride Law in 1990, which banned the practice of matching Filipino women for marriage to foreign nationals on a mail order basis and other similar practices, including the advertisement, publication, printing or distribution of brochures, fliers and other propaganda materials.

However, illegal marriage brokers continue to operate underground in the Philippines and victimize innocent Filipino women. Hicap, Korea Times, 2009 = ] “The Philippine government regulates the marriage between Filipinos and foreigners by requiring Filipinos to attend counseling.

Poverty and the lack of employment in the Philippines have forced millions of Filipinos to find work abroad and some to seek marriage with foreigners, most with hopes of a better life and being able to support their families back home. Hicap wrote in the Korea Times, In May 2009, “Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin found himself the target of criticism in the Philippines when he quipped on the Late Night Show with David Letterman about letting a Filipina mail order bride in order to expand his family and have more kids.

His comments sparked outrage, with one Filipino senator threatening to beat him up if he sets foot in the country.

Yearly, thousands of Filipino women who seek a better life are getting into brokered marriages arranged through matchmaking but many end up as victims of domestic violence and abuse. Hicap, Korea Times, 2009] Maria Regina Angela Galias, head of the Migrant Integration and Education Division of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), told the Korea Times that lately, South Korea and Japan have become the top destinations of Filipina mail-order brides.