The Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) was created through the US Surplus Property Act of 1944, as amended by Public Law No. 79-584. Said Act authorized the US Secretary of State to enter into agreement with any foreign government for the financing of certain educational activities using currencies acquired by the US government from the sale of US surplus properties outside of its territory.

The EVP is an international exchange program which aims to promote mutual understanding between the people of the US and people of other countries through cultural and educational exchanges. Through the EVP, designated sponsoring organizations duly recognized by the US Department of State facilitate the entry into the US of foreign nationals to temporarily teach, lecture, study, observe, conduct research, consult, train or demonstrate special skills.

27 January 1948: The US Congress passed the Smith-Mundt Act or the Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 which gave full recognition to the importance of educational and cultural exchanges sponsored by the government and called for the establishment of bi-national centers to coordinate the exchanges between the countries.

23 March 1948: The Philippines and the US entered into an agreement for the financing of educational exchange program between the two countries.

April 1956: President Ramon Magsaysay issued Administrative Order 191 creating the EVP Committee to coordinate Philippine participation in the program. The Committee was composed of the following:

    Secretary of Heath (chair);

    Secretary of the Education (co-chair);

    Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs; and

    Undersecretary of National Defense.

21 September 1961: the Fulbright-Hays Act or the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 was enacted, which expanded, strengthened and further defined the exchange programs. It also established the J visa, a non-immigrant visa exclusively issued to EVP participants.

21 March 1970: President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Administrative Order 210 reconstituting the EVP Committee:

    Secretary of Foreign Affairs (chair);
    Secretary of Health (chair);
    Undersecretary of Education;
    Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs;
    Undersecretary of Labor;
    Undersecretary of National Defense; and
    Assistant Executive Secretary.

04 May 1994: Secretary of Foreign Affairs Roberto Romulo issued DFA Office Order No. 406-94 transferring the coordination of the Philippine participation in the Program from the Office of American Affairs of the DFA to one of its attached agencies, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). In an effort to institutionalize the necessary mechanism for the effective implementation of EVP, the CFO conducted a series of consultation meetings with various government agencies with the end-view of instituting relevant changes in the structures and mechanisms for the EVP implementation. An interim EVP Committee was consequently formed out of these efforts.

Resolution No. 01-95: Tasked the CFO to be the Secretariat of the EVP Committee.

17 January 1996: President Fidel V. Ramos issued the Administrative Order 242 further reconstituting the EVP Committee. The EVP Committee under AO 242 is composed of the heads of the following Philippine Government agencies or their duly designated representatives with at least the rank of a Director:

    Department of Foreign Affairs as Chairman;
    Department of Health; Department of Education;
    Department of Labor and Employment;
    Department of Science and Technology;
    National Economic and Development Authority;
    Professional Regulation Commission;
    Commission on Higher Education;
    Technical Education and Skills Development Authority;
    Office of the President; and
    Commission on Filipinos Overseas as Committee Secretariat.

1998: Pursuant to the Section 2(f) of AO 242, the CFO, as the Secretariat of the EVP Committee, started to conduct Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) for EVP participants.

Commission on Filipinos Overseas
Citigold Center, 1345 Quirino Avenue cor.
Osmeña Highway, Manila 1007
Tel. No.:(+632) 552-4700
Fax No.: (+632) 561-8332

EVP Secretariat
CFO, Project Management Division
Tel. No.: (+632) 552-4700 local 726,728,729, 731
Telefax No.: (+632) 561-8327


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