The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or POEA is the government agency, under the Department of Labor, which is responsible for optimizing the benefits of the country’s overseas employment program.
POEA was created in 1982 through Executive Order 797 to promote and to monitor the overseas employment of Filipino workers. In 1987, through Executive Order 247, POEA was reorganized to include the following expanded functions:
1. To respond to changing markets and economic conditions
2. To strengthen workers protection & regulatory components of the overseas employment program.
POEA is also the lead government agency tasked to monitor and supervise all recruitment agencies in the Philippines.
Got questions or concerns regarding a particular recruitment agency in the Philippines?
Email POEA at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Visit POEA at:
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
EDSA corner Ortigas Ave.,
Mandaluyong City, Philippines
POEA 24-hour hotlines : 722-1144 or at 722-1155
Filipino workers can work abroad through direct hiring by foreign employers or by applying to a POEA licensed Philippine recruitment agencies. Our guide below outlines the important information you need to know.
A. Working Abroad thru Philippine Recruitment Agencies
Foreign Placement Agency refers to a foreign principal indirectly engaging the services of Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs.
Private Employment Agency refers to any person, partnership or corporation engaged in the recruitment and placement of workers for a fee, which is charged, directly or indirectly, from the workers or employers or both.
If the job you are applying for was posted by a recruitment agency (either a foreign placement agency or a local employment agency); verify, first, to make sure the agent you are dealing with is authorized or licensed by POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) and has the proper job order and the person transacting business with you is legitimately connected with the licensed agency. You should apply only at the registered office of the recruitment agency. If the recruitment is conducted outside the registered office address, verify if it has a provincial recruitment authority issued by POEA or has been allowed to conduct recruitment activity outside their office. Ask for a copy of employment contract and study the terms and conditions. Do not pay the any fee unless you have been hired and signed the employment contract. Always ask for a receipt corresponding to any payment.
Agencies shall charge from their principals a service fee to cover services rendered in the recruitment, documentation and placement of workers.
Documentation costs to be paid by the worker shall include, but not limited to, the following:
b. NBI/Police/Barangay Clearance
d. Birth Certificate
f. Trade Test, if necessary
g. Inoculation, when required by host country
h. Medical Examination fees
In the event that the recruitment agency agrees to perform documentation services, the worker shall pay only the actual cost of the document which shall be covered by official receipts.
These are the only authorized payments that may be collected from a hired worker. No other charges in whatever form, manner or purpose, shall be imposed on and be paid by the worker without prior approval of the POEA.
B. Direct Hire
Direct or Name hires are Filipino workers who are able to secure an overseas employment opportunity with an employer without the assistance or participation of any agency. They may have been directly contacted by a foreign employer by referral or have directly applied to their company.
Although your future employer would take care of your requirements (plane ticket, work visa, etc.), you must still have certain documents processed at POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration).
The requirements are the following: passport, work visa or work permit, employment contract verified or authenticated by the Philippine embassy or Philippine consulate in the country of your destination. You are also required to undergo a medical examination by a DOH-accredited clinic or hospital and a pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS).
Fees and Costs
POEA Processing Fee – US$100 or its peso equivalent
OWWA membership fee – US$25 or its peso equivalent
OWWA Medicare – Php900.00
You shall be issued an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), which serves as the OFW travel exit clearance at the airport and immigration counters. The OEC is also an exemption for OFWs from payment of travel tax and airport terminal fees. You shall likewise get a free OFW electron ID card or e-Card, which is your permanent identification card to facilitate your departure and access to services as OFW.