If you are planning on working abroad, one of the first things you need to take care of is your security. Be wary of illegal recruiters and fake job agencies that can only get you in serious trouble with abusive employers abroad. In order to avoid being in an OFW Horror Story, you need to account your employment with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or the POEA.
Who is the POEA?
The POEA is primarily responsible for securing the best employment terms of Pinoy migrant workers, from the moment they engage with a recruiter in the Philippines until they are deployed to their respective employers. POEA works alongside its sister agency, the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) to ensure that the Pinoy overseas workers’ welfare is respected and upheld, wherever he may be.
POEA provides services to help OFWs gain their legal status through the proper documents and certifications before leaving the country, while the OWWA is responsible for cases and concerns involving OFWs who are already deployed abroad.
What does the POEA do?
- They issue licenses to recruitment and placement and manning agencies for land-based and sea-based workers, respectively.
- They monitor and supervise the operations of these recruitment and manning agencies.
- They monitor the government’s anti-illegal recruitment program and conducts anti-illegal recruitment seminars nationwide.
- They cascade information and expose facts about illegal recruiters, job scams, laws in other countries concerning migrant workers, and other overseas employment-related matters.
- The POEA only allows deployment to countries that protect OFW rights with respect to the requirements of the Amended Migrant Workers Act. These countries are certified by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
- They provide legal assistance to Filipinos who fell victim to illegal recruitment and job scams.
- They help provide repatriation assistance to displaced OFWs.
- They handle the accreditation of foreign employers who hire OFWs.
- They process the approval of job orders or requests for workers received from other countries.
- They conduct the necessary pre-employment orientation seminars for job applicants.
- They evaluate and process employment contracts.
You can avoid becoming the next victim of job scammers and illegal recruiters if you acquaint yourself with the requirements and services of the POEA. The processes that you will be required to undergo (seminars, submission of documents) may look tedious at first but you will realize that it is so much better that taking the shortcut with a possible illegal recruiter.
The government’s primary concern is the safety and welfare of Pinoys who will be working on foreign soil. And the only way the government can be successful in this endeavor is if all aspiring OFWs (and even those who have already been deployed), would cooperate with the POEA’s processes and requirements.
Tomorrow we are going to feature the different key services offered by the POEA to prospective OFWs.