Government Agencies every OFW should know

Here’s the list of Philippine government agencies every Overseas Filipino Workers should be aware of:

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)

This agency provides consular services such as passport application or renewal and “red ribbon” authentication.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) 

Mainly responsible for handling OFW employment affairs. Its core functions include industry regulation, employment facilitation, OFW’s protection.

This agency verifies recruitment and manning agencies to ensure that overseas opportunities are legal and ethical. 

It also assists in OFW deployment and conducts necessary seminars to prepare workers for their overseas endeavours.

For returning OFWs, you have to secure your Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). OEC is your exit pass and is a proof of your registration with POEA. This document is presented to the immigration officer at the departure gate.

POEA also provides legal assistance that caters to illegal recruitment, recruitment violations, disciplinary action against employer or worker and legal counselling.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)

This agency focuses on the welfare of the OFWs and their families. It works hand and hand with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). 

If you are an active member of OWAA, you will be entitled to benefits and programs including death benefit, disability and dismemberment benefit, burial benefit, educational programs for the OFW and duly designated beneficiary, repatriation program and reintegration program.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 

DOLE protects the rights and welfare of OFWs through its Philippine Overseas Labor & Offices (POLOs). 

Its on-site welfare services includes workers’ training to prepare OFWs for their reintegration when they return to the country, legal assistance to address employment related complaints, custodial services to OFWs who ran away from their employers, repatriation assistance and other welfare assistance including hospital, jail or workplace visits, medical referrals or assistance, counselling, and rescue from unsafe working environment.

Department of Health (DOH)

As part of OFW requirements, you have to get a medial certificate from a medical facility accredited by DOH.

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)

NBI clearance is required for employment purposes or resident visa application. 

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

DSWD’s Reintegration program for deportees and returning undocumented OFWs aims to provide support, trainings and opportunities as well as guidance and counsel to deportees and undocumented OFWs.

It also has International Social Welfare services for Filipinos (ISWSF) which aims to provide social services to Overseas Filipinos by providing psychosocial intervention and timely and appropriate response to OFW concerns, particularly human rights abuses including human trafficking. 

Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth)

Overseas Filipino Workers must ensure to settle PhilHealth contribution. Paying premium contribution is mandated by law.

Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko, Industriya at Gobyerno (Pag-IBIG)

Pag-IBIG contribution is required during recruitment stage. It is also required for OEC issuance. 



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