Fair recruitment

DOLE, ILO promote rights-based information through online learning for Overseas Filipino Workers

The Philippine government and the ILO have partnered for an online Post-Arrival Orientation Seminar to guide Overseas Filipino Workers upon arrival in destination countries.

Press release | Manila, Philippines | 19 July 2019
MANILA (ILO News) - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have joined forces to develop an online learning system for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in destination countries, starting in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.

Secretary Silvestre Bello III of DOLE and Director Khalid Hassan of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines signed the Memorandum of Agreement on 17 July 2019 in Manila. Under the partnership, DOLE and ILO have agreed to develop a Post-Arrival Orientation Seminar (PAOS) learning system, specific to the country of destination and complete with informative videos and assessment tools.

PAOS is mandatory for OFWs based on DOLE Administrative Order No. 532, series of 2018. It provides a framework to prepare OFWs towards better understanding cultural diversity and gaining information access on working and living conditions, rights and obligations, including the Philippine government’s programmes and services in the country of destination.

The DOLE Administrative Order No. 532 also requires Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) to conduct seminars for OFWs within one month from the date of their arrival. It directs Philippine labour officials to compel employers and private employment agencies to allow OFWs, especially domestic workers to attend the seminar.

“This agreement is vital to educate our OFWs on the work environment in destination countries. It is important to orient them on their work environment, including laws and cultures relevant to labour migration. They must also be informed on their rights and responsibilities as migrant workers to fully secure their welfare and maximize the benefits of working overseas for their families back home,” said DOLE Secretary Bello.

While the Philippine government has implemented both pre-employment and pre-departure orientation seminars (PEOS and PDOS) to enhance OFW awareness about migration and overseas employment, post-arrival orientation is now drawing much attention to its importance in designing country-specific information campaigns and dissemination strategies to protect OFWs.

“The Philippine government has taken important measures to protect the rights of Filipino migrant workers. It is crucial that information given to them is complete, starting with their rights, privileges and responsibilities up to available support and assistance in the country of destination,” said ILO Director Hassan.

Filipino migrant workers may not easily find time and resources to visit the POLO, particularly in countries or regions where the Philippine labour office and its services are limited. The online PAOS to be jointly developed by DOLE through the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) will complement initiatives done at the POLO by broadening its scope and relevance.

The MOA will pilot the online PAOS in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China where videos, cartoons and infographics will be produced covering topics such as employment ordinance, immigration policies, compensation ordinance, termination issues, policies and programmes of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Labour Department, and information on POLO in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. It will also cover recruitment agency obligations; financial literacy; reintegration; Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) programmes and services; access to law enforcement support services; Balik Manggagawa Online Processing System – Overseas employment certificate; and the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong, China.

The online PAOS will also provide guidance on renewing passport; managing relationship with the employer; watch-listing employers; and promoting freedom of association. An online PAOS certificate will be provided after the OFW has completed the course and has passed the online test or assessment tool.

For further information please contact:

Hussein Macarambon
National Project Coordinator
ILO Fair Project - Manila