What this is For:

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is the governments arm in managing the migration of Filipino workers (OFW) overseas. It is an agency attached to the Department of Labor and Employment. Four operating offices and a support group provide the systematic delivery of services for the recruitment and deployment of Filipino workers, namely:

The Pre-Employment Services Office (PSO) handles the registration or accreditation of foreign employers as principals; approval of job orders; documentation of new hire selected workers and returning workers through the issuance of the E-receipt or Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) to all legally recruited Filipino workers.

The Welfare and Employment Office (WEO) provides welfare assistance services; conducts pre-employment and pre-departure orientation seminars; registers Filipino workers for manpower pooling and placement purposes; certifies Overseas Performing Artists (OPA) and provides government placement services.

The Licensing and Regulation Office (LRO) regulates the operations of private employment and manning agencies, spearheads the governments program against illegal recruitment; and provides airport assistance to departing Filipino workers.

The Adjudication Office (AO) hears and decides cases filed against licensed private employment and manning agencies, foreign employers, and OFWs violating rules and regulations set by the Administration; carries out legal research in aid of policy direction and case dispositions. It maintains a roster of OFWs serving penalties for violation of the Code of Conduct for Overseas Workers and list of suspended, cancelled, banned, delisted licensed employment agencies.

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

The POEA is an ISO certified organization. This certification is proof its quality management system that is at par with international standards.

It also symbolizes the POEAs commitment to improve its services for the satisfaction of its customers through continuous systems improvement and development of its human resources.

How to File:


Over the years, the Philippines has deployed more than 3 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. 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 POEAs Government Placement Branch (GPB.

Private employment agencies are either:

landbased agencies: any person (natural or juridical) licensed by the POEA to recruit workers for all landbased jobs for and in behalf of its foreign principal;

seabased agencies: 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 qualified and medically fit are deployed to their employers. Hence, Filipino workers are medically examined by government accredited medical clinics or hospitals and trade-tested or trained by training centers centers authorized by the government.


1. A prospective employer interested to hire the services of Filipino workers may choose from the official list of licensed private employment agencies (landbased and seabased) available at the nearest Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Philippine Embassy/Consulate in their country or the POEA website at www.poea.gov.ph. The employer may write the POEA directly for agency referral assistance (refer to section on Client Referral Assistance).

Other Documentary Requirements:

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:

1. existence of the company or project,

2.the need for Filipino manpower.

For landbased principals

a. Special Power of Attorney or Service/Recruitment Agreement

b. Master Employment Contract with the minimum contract provisions on:

c. Manpower request

If there is no POLO at the jobsite the employer will undergo the POEA accreditation process and the local agent submits to POEA the items mentioned in a, b, and c and visa documents.

for manning principals:

a. Manning agreement containing among others, the responsibilities of both principal and manning agency with respect to the employment of seafarers;

b. Special Power of Attorney;

c. List of ships and their particulars including IMO number;

d. Crew complement;

e. 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

f. Other documents which the Administration may find necessary.

A foreign principal that acts as a direct employer of landbased worker may be registered to more than one (1) Philippine agency. A foreign principal that is licensed to operate as a foreign placement agency may be registered/accredited to a maximum of two (2) Philippine agencies subject to the conditions prescribed by the POEA.


POCB registered projects shall also be registered with the Administration without undergoing the regular procedure, subject to prescribed conditions of the POEA.


Private employment entities charge service fees from the employers/principal as payment for services rendered in the recruitment and placement of workers. The fees among others cover cost of:

US$ 100.00 POEA processing fee

US$ 25.00 Worker membership with the Overseas Worker Welfare Administration (OWWA)


Private landbased recruitment agencies are allowed to collect from its workers placement fee equivalent to one (1) month salary except in countries where laws prohibit collection of fees from workers. The placement fee is exclusive of documentation and processing costs, and may only be collected upon signing of the employment contract.

Documentation and processing costs cover trade/skill testing, medical examination, passport, clearances, inoculation, authentications, Philhealth premium, and other costs related to documentation.

Manning agencies are not allowed to collect any fee from its hired workers.

For manning agencies, the fees paid by the employer cover:

Processing Fee: PhP200.00

OWWA: PhP1,275


1. Guaranteed wages for regular working hours and overtime pay, which shall not be lower than the prescribed minimum wage in the host country or not lower than the appropriate minimum wage standards set forth in a bilateral agreement or international convention, if applicable, or not lower than the minimum wage in the country, whichever is highest;

2. Free transportation to and from worksite, or offsetting benefit;

3. Free food and accommodation, or offsetting benefit;

4. Just/authorized causes for termination of contract or of the service of the worker taking into consideration the customs, traditions, mores, practices, company policies and the labor laws and social legislations of the host country.

The Administration may also consider the following as basis for other provisions of the contract:

1. existing labor and social laws of the country;

2. relevant agreements, conventions, legislations or resolutions;

3. relevant bilateral and multilateral agreements or arrangements with the host country, and

4. prevailing conditions/realities in the market.

POEA Exit Clearance For OFWs

The exit clearance comes in the form of an E-Receipt or an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) attesting/certifying to the regularity of a workers recruitment and documentation and ensures exemption from travel tax, airport terminal fee, and for clearance at the POEA Labor Assistance Counter (LAC) desk at the airport and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) counter, prior to departure.

The E-Receipt or OEC serves as the workers guarantee that he/she is covered by government protection and benefits.

Name Hiring

Individuals who have secured overseas employment opportunity with an employer without the assistance of an agency are documented as name hires upon submission of the following:

1. Employment contract which conforms to the POEA minimum standards, authenticated or verified by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate/Labor Office (in countries where authentication/verification is required) signed by the employer and worker. However, verification by POLO is only required for household workers and not necessary for professional workers

2. Valid passport

3. Work permit or employment visa or equivalent document

After the evaluation of their employment documents name-hires undergo pre-departure orientation seminar conducted by the POEA and medical examination conducted by medical clinics or hospitals accredited by the Department of Health to undertake medical examination for OFWs.


1.Worker processing fee covering evaluation and processing and issuance of the E-receipt (electronic receipt); cost of pre-departure orientation seminar for departing workers US$ 100.00 or its peso equivalent

2. Worker membership with the OWWA US$ 25.00 or its peso equivalent and PhP 900.00 Medicare

The Client Referral Assistance (CRA)

The POEA, through its Marketing Branch, can assist foreign employers find a licensed local agent to supply their manpower needs. Under this program, the POEA provides the foreign principal/employer a list of licensed and reputable agencies that can assist in the recruitment and hiring Filipino manpower. The agencies shall submit proposals for the employers consideration. If the employer and the local agent agree on the terms of recruitment the latter shall handle all recruitment activities, including advertisements on behalf of the employer.