By Michael Ha
Local non-profit organizations are turning their attention to help a growing number of Korean-Filipino children.
The Korea-based non-profit group, Daejeon Migrant Workers Support Center, opened a new branch office in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, this month, according to local reports Sunday. The group announced it would offer various social services and outreach programs for local Korean-Filipino children as well as for their unwed mothers. The Center said it would work together with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in offering education for the children.
It will also provide job training programs and other assistance including healthcare for the children's mothers. In Manila alone, there are estimated to be hundreds of Korean- Filipino children, who are sometimes referred to as ``Kophinos.''
One of the reasons for the growing number of Korean-Filipino children in the region is that more Koreans are visiting and living in the Southeast Asian nation. Some choose to go to the Philippines to study English, while others go there for business. Many Korean office workers also live and work in the Philippines in various branch offices set up by Korean corporations. Additionally, the number of Korean tourists visiting local red-light districts in the Philippines has been steadily increasing in recent years, adding to the problem.
Filipino society discourages women from taking contraceptives or having abortions even with unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. Overall, some 650,000 Koreans visited the Philippines last year, according to data from the government there.
In addition to these new outreach programs, local Korean communities are also offering childcare and health services to the unwed mothers. Reports estimate that five years ago, there were about 1,000 Korean-Filipino children born in the Philippines. That number has likely gone up in the past few years and there may now be as many as 10,000 Korean-Filipino children in the country.