If you are setting your sights on working abroad as an OFW, there are a few things that you need to know first. One of which is how to ensure your safety and protection from illegal recruiters and to avoid the perils of being abused and taken advantage of by your employers or other people should you finally decide to work overseas.
So, in order to have a fulfilling and rewarding experience as a first-time OFW, it is important to ensure that your employment overseas is legally accounted for by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA). Here are some of the basic information that you need to know about the POEA:
What Every OFW Should Know About the POEA
What is the POEA?
The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) is the primary government agency in the Philippines which ensures that all aspiring OFWs receive the best employment conditions from the moment they sign up with a recruiter in the Philippines until they are set for deployment to their respective employers overseas. The POEA works closely with its sister agency, the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) to see to it that the welfare of all Filipino migrant workers are valued, upheld, and respected wherever they are in the world.
The POEA offers services which basically assist OFWs in securing legal work status by means of providing proper certification and documentation for all OFWs who are about to leave the country whereas the OWWA monitors and attends to the cases and concerns of OFWs who are already based abroad.
What Does the POEA Do?
- Issue licences and permits to recruitment, placement, and manning agencies for land- and sea-based workers.
- Oversee and regulate the operations of such institutions and agencies.
- Oversee the government’s anti-illegal recruitment program and hold anti-illegal recruitment seminars all over the country.
- Channel information and disseminate facts regarding illegal recruitment and recruiters, job scams, and relevant laws which affect migrant workers and OFW-related matters in other countries.
- Identify and allow deployment to countries which recognize OFW rights in accordance with the requirements and terms of the Amended Migrant Workers Act, and are authorized by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
- Extend assistance and support to the OFWs who have been victims of job scams and illegal recruitment.
- Organize and assist in repatriation services for displaced OFWs.
In regard to overseas employment, the POEA:
- Manages the accreditation of foreign employment agencies that recruit OFWs.
- Handles the approval of job orders and requests for workforce supply from other countries.
- Holds the required pre-employment training and orientation seminars to OFW job applicants.
- Verifies and approves employment contracts.
Through the services offered by the POEA, OFWs can escape the traps and ploys of illegal recruiters and scammers. And as an aspiring OFW, you need to know the requirements as well as the processes that you need to go through in order to be fully equipped inyour new venture in life as an OFW.
As the government’s primary goal is to ensure the safety and welfare of all our “kababayan” through agencies such as the POEA and OWWA, it is every OFW’s responsibility to cooperate and undergo through all the required steps and processes set by the government to realize its goal for all of its “modern-day heroes”.