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Hiring Filipino Workers

THE PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION, or the POEA, is the government’s arm that manages the migration of Filipino workers overseas.  An agency attached to the Department of Labor and Employment, the POEA has four operating offices and a support group that systematically deliver services for the recruitment and deployment of Filipino workers.  These offices and support group are the following:

Pre-Employment Services Office (PSO)
The PSO handles the registration or accreditation of foreign employers as principals.  It approves job orders, documents new hires or selected workers and retuning workers through the issuance of the E-receipt or Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) that it issues to all legally recruited Filipino workers.

Licensing and Regulation Office (LRO)
The LRO regulates the operations of private employment and manning agencies; conducts pre-employment orientation seminars spearheads the government’s program against illegal recruitment; and provides airport assistance to departing Filipino workers.

Adjudication Office (AO)
The AO hears and decides cases filed against licensed private employment and manning agencies, foreign employers, and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) violating POEA rules and regulations.  It carries out legal research in aid of policy direction and case dispositions.  It maintains a rosters of OFWs serving penalties for violation of the Code of Conduct for Overseas Workers and a list of suspended, cancelled, banned, or de-listed licensed employment agencies.

Management Services Group (MSG)
The MSG provides support to the four offices through market research and development, employment standard formulation, policy research, and public information and education activities.  It maintains the POEA’s management information system (MIS) and provides fiscal and administrative services.

Over the years, the Philippines has deployed more than three million Filipino workers in 190 destinations in  various fields-professional, medical, technical, operations and maintenance, construction, hotel and seafaring sectors.

The recruitment of Filipino workers is done through a systematic recruitment network where foreign principals must course their manpower requirements through POEA-licensed private employment and manning agencies. 

The Philippine - licensed agency may advertise the job vacancies in local dailies, create a manpower pool, and conduct preliminary screening and interviews of applicants as part of its services for its foreign principal. If the foreign employer is a government entity or a government- owned or controlled company, the latter may opt to course its hiring through the POEA’s Government Placement Branch (GPB).

Private employment agencies are either:
Land-based agencies, which could be any person (natural or juridical) licensed by the POEA to recruit workers for all land-based jobs for and in behalf of its foreign principal; or Manning agencies, which could be any person (natural or juridical) licensed by the POEA to recruit seafarers to man/board vessels plying international sea lanes and other related maritime activities.These licensed employment agencies ensure that only Filipino workers are qualified and medically-fit are deployed. 

Hence, Filipino workers are medically examined by government-accredited medical clinics or hospitals and trade-tested or trained by training centers authorized by the government.


A prospective employer interested to hire Filipino workers may choose from the official list of licensed private employment agencies (land-based and sea-based) available at the nearest Philippine Embassies and Consulates  in their country, or at the POEA website, www.poea.gov.ph. This list includes POEA agencies that are Excellence and Top Performer awardeesThese agencies have been conferred these awards in recognition of their outstanding and exemplary performance in the field of overseas employment and for their vital role in uplifting the quality of life of millions of Filipinos by providing them gainful overseas employment.

2.  An employer who has identified a Philippine agent which will source his/her manpower requirement must submit the recruitment documents to the nearest Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) at the Philippine Embassy/Consulate for verification.  This process ascertains the a) existence of the company or project;  and b) the need for Filipino manpower.For land-based principals, they should submit the following:
         Special Power of Attorney or Service/Recruitment Agreement
         Master Employment Contract with the minimum contract provision
         Manpower Request.If there is no POLO at the jobsite the employer shall undergo the POEA accreditation process where the local agent submits to the POEA item a, b, and c above as well as the visa or equivalent documents.

For manning principals, they should submit the following:
         Manning agreement containing, among others, the responsibilities of both principal and manning agency with respect to the employment of seafarers;
         Special Power of Attorney;
         List of ships and their particulars including IMO number;
         Crew complement;
         Valid business license registration certificate, or equivalent document, or proof of existence of business validated or certified by the issuing authority in the host country; and
         Other documents which the POEA find necessary A foreign principal who acts as a direct employer of a land-based worker may be registered to more than one (1)  Philippine agency while a foreign principal who is licensed to operate as a foreign placement agency may be registered/ accredited a maximum of two (2) Philippine agencies subject to the conditions prescribed by the POEA.

Private land-based recruitment agencies change service fees from the employers/principals as payment for services rendered in the recruitment and placement of workers.  The employers also pay the cost of:
  • POEA processing, PhP200.00
  • Worker membership with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), US$25.00
  • Visa Fee
Private land-based recruitment agencies are allowed to collect from its selected/hired workers a placement fee equivalent to one (1) month salary, except in countries where laws prohibit collection of fees from workers.

The exit clearance come in the form of an E-Receipt (electronic receipt) or an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) certifying to the regularity of a workers recruitment and documentation and ensures exemption from travel tax and airport terminal fee.  It is presented at the POEA Labor Assistance Center (LAC) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) counter at the airports, prior to departure.The E-Receipt or OEC serves as the worker’s guarantee that he/she is covered by government protection and benefits.
For inquiries or additional information:

The Administrator            
Philippine Overseas Employment  Administration            
3/F Blas F. Ople Building            
EDSA cor. Ortigas Avenue            
Mandaluyong City,  Philippines

Call:       (632) 722-1162; (632) 726-8965

E-mail:   marketing@poea.gov.ph


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POEA Hotlines 722-1144, 722-1155      
 Copyright © 2000-2010 POEA  All Rights Reserved. Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City, Philippines

632 722 1144 - 632 722 1155

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Last Update : August 18, 2011