OFW Guide to the POEA and the Services the Agency Offers

Are you planning to work abroad? There are many things that you have to prepare for and to be aware of, to ensure that you make the most of your job outside the country.

And you also have to make sure that you are actually applying for a legitimate job offered by a government-accredited agency. A lot of aspiring OFWs spend a lot of money for job offered abroad that promised high salaries, yet they end up not being able to actually leave the country because the offer turned out to be a bogus one!

Photo credit: Money Max

There are also those who are able to work abroad, but end up as TNTs (tago ng tago) because they don’t actually have the proper documents to work there; again, this could be due to finding jobs through unscrupulous recruiters.

This is where the POEA comes in.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is an agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). This DOLE arm is tasked to secure the rights of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The POEA helps secure better employment terms, provides protection against unscrupulous recruiters and bad employers, and promotes the welfare of OFWs.

Key Services of the POEA

Protection Against Illegal Recruiters

The POEA regulates all recruitment agencies operating in the Philippines. To ensure that you are dealing with agencies that are accredited by the government, make sure to check with the POEA whether the agency is listed on the site.

Sometimes the site does not work. If that happens, just recheck the site. Better yet, you can go to the nearest POEA office if you are unsure whether the agency is accredited or not.

Photo credit: Money Max

Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar

To ensure that OFWs are protected against illegal recruitment, the government requires all OFWs to undergo the Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar which is offered by the POEA.

In the seminar, orientation is done for the following topics:

  • Government services that prospective and hired OFWs can avail of
  • Guidelines and legal procedures of overseas job applications
  • How to avoid being a victim of illegal recruitment
  • Required documents and fees for overseas job applications
  • The pros and cons of working abroad

Take note that the Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar is different from the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS), another requirement for OFWs but done by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

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Frontline Services

To ensure that all OFWs are properly documented, the POEA also offers frontline services that provide the following processes:

  • Documentation of land-based name hires or direct hires
  • Hiring and placement of government-hired workers
  • Registration of land-based applicants for overseas employment
  • Registration of Seafarer’s Registration Certificate applicants

Processing of Overseas Employment Certificate Processing

The Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), proof that the OFW is duly documented and permitted to leave the Philippines to work abroad. This document can be obtained through the POEA.

The OEC exempts OFWs from paying terminal taxes and provides other benefits.

For more information about POEA or further questions about POEA services and other OFWs matters, visit the POEA website or you can reach them via email (info@poea.gov.ph) or hotline numbers (722 1144 and 722 1155).