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Microsoft Word crm-ptmt el Salvador 2009[final]. doc

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Workshop on Temporary Migrant Workers Programs

 

 

60

experiences. Through rigid medical examinations conducted by accredited medical facilities, the 

health and physical capacity to work is also ascertained among would-be overseas workers. 

After going through the selection process, prospective OFWs are required to undergo a Pre-

Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) which are designed to educate them on laws, customs and 

practices of their country of destination, their rights and obligations under their employment contracts 

and other vital information that can help them cope with the changes that an overseas job entails. The 

candidates are also provided with travel tips; guidance on remitting their savings; information for 

health, occupational safety; the risks and rewards of working abroad; and reminders about their 

obligations to themselves, their families, community and the country. Such awareness activities can 

translate into protection of migrant workers as they become empowered with information before they 

embark on their migration for work. 

Supplementing the PDOS are pre-employment orientation seminars (PEOS) which are 

provided in provinces and in smaller cities all over the country. The PEOS is an initiative that 

provides valuable orientation to overseas employment applicants while making them aware of illegal-

recruitment racketeers. The contents of the PEOS and PDOS and the way by which their access can be 

improved are currently being studied.  

Documentation of Workers and Employers 

Keeping track of workers and their employers is the heart of an orderly flow for labor 

migration. The POEA as an agency maintains a continuous improvement process of its systems to 

ensure that documented workers are easily located and have access to the protective services that the 

Philippine government can provide them at their worksites.  

The hiring process for overseas employment starts with the registration/ accreditation. 

Employers register by submitting recruitment documents that are verified by Philippine Overseas 

Labor Offices (POLOs) and authenticated by embassy/consulate officials. Agencies can only recruit 

once the employer has been registered, under terms spelled out in a recruitment agreement between 

employer and agencies.  

After submission of employment clearances, appropriate credentials, skill certificates, 

certificate on attendance to the pre-departure orientation seminar, and duly executed and verified 

employment contracts, workers get documented through the issuance of an overseas employment 

certificate. This serves as an exit clearance at the airport, which entitles an OFW to an exemption from 

paying travel tax and terminal fee. The dependents of OFWs are entitled to reduced tax. Workers pay 

membership fees to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for health and medical 

insurance coverage.  

OWWA is the government agency under the Department of Labor and Employment that 

provides benefit programs to overseas workers and their families. Membership is compulsory for all 

departing workers through a token contribution of $25 by foreign employers. Membership is renewed 

every two years. 

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the regulatory agency for the 

Philippine migration program, maintains an electonic database for documented OFWs and their 

employers where the millions of OFWs can be accounted at anytime. OFW data is disaggregated by 

gender, countries and skills categories. Immediate tracking of OFWs is critical during time of 

emergencies requiring relocation or repatriation or when families want to communicate with them. As 

the documentation of workers require completion of processes with several government agencies, 

entailing costs and time on the worker, a one stop processing center has been established so that 

workers can get all the documents in one place at the least cost and at the shortest time possible. This 

was an initial step towards the electronic linking of the data bases of all the agencies involved in OFW 

transactions. Presently, OFWs are issued e- receipts and an OWWA membership e-card that they can 

also use as a remittance card anywhere in the world. The e-contract submission system allows 



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