Are you leaving the country to work as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) for the first time?
We researched on important information that OFWs need to be aware of before they sign a contract with an employer or an agency. We are sharing this list from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to help all aspiring Pinoys be on the safe side when scouting for job opportunities abroad.
In 2015, the POEA reported that there are more than 1.8 million OFWs around the world, 1.4 million of which are land-based and most of the OFW population is composed of women workers. These statistics dictate the urgent need to keep Pinoys well-informed of their rights and privileges in as far as labor (whether domestic or international) is concerned.
We hope the following list lifted from the POEA can help our kababayans prepare themselves for the 2-year haul of working in foreign soil.
OFWs are entitled to:
- A minimum monthly salary of $400 (USD or its equivalent in the country where the OFW will be deployed).
- At least one day off per week.
- Free transportation from the Philippines to the host country and back.
- Free accommodation and food.
- Free medical and dental services.
- Vacation leave with pay of up to 15 days a year.
- Personal life accident, medical and repatriation insurance from a reputable insurance company.
- Remittance of money to the Philippines, and assistance from the employer in setting up a bank account.
- Just and humane treatment from the employer.
OFWs are reminded as well to take care of their passports and work / residence permits. Keep photocopies of these important documents in their possession at all times. They are also encouraged to leave photocopies with their families in the Philippines as reference.
The minimum age requirement for OFWs is 23 years old. Do not even attempt to fake your age when applying for a job as this will definitely result in serious problems later on, more so when discovered by (sometimes unforgiving ) foreign employers.
If you are applying as a household service worker, your employment contract must be approved by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office for your protection. There should be no placement fees to work abroad as well.
If you have questions about OFW rights and privileges, send us a message and we will do our best to search for the answers for you.