Department of Migrant Workers: Understanding the Role of the DMW

In a world where cross-border movement significantly influences both individual lives and global economies, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) in the Philippines emerges as a critical entity. It’s dedicated to uplifting and safeguarding the interests of overseas Filipino workers, who are the pillars of the country’s international labor force. These workers encounter distinct sets of challenges and prospects. The DMW is instrumental in advocating for their rights, providing welfare assistance, and nurturing their professional advancement.

Let’s delve deeper into the DMW’s objectives, operations, and the influential services it offers. The department not only champions the rights of migrant workers but also creates an environment conducive to their all-around growth. By unpacking the contributions of the DMW, we gain a deeper understanding of the essential support network it establishes for one of the most vibrant and crucial segments of the Filipino populace – the migrant Filipino workers.

department of migrant workers logo
DMW Logo

Mission and Vision of the DMW

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) in the Philippines is involved in various initiatives, one of which includes a collaboration with the Housing Secretary to assist overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with housing or accommodation facilities. Furthermore, DMW extends its support to OFWs who are returning home, providing necessary aid, especially to those who have faced challenges overseas.

The DMW has established Migrant Workers Offices in regions with large Filipino populations. These offices serve as the primary contact point for OFWs seeking assistance. Recently, DMW inaugurated a full-service branch of the Philippine National Bank, potentially offering banking and financial services tailored to the needs of OFWs. As of July 2023, DMW has assumed responsibility for the protection of overseas Filipinos function from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), centralizing all assistance involving OFWs under DMW.

Core Mission: Empowering Filipino Migrant Workers

The heart of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) lies in its unwavering commitment to empowering Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

Established through the transformative Republic Act No. 11641, signed into law on December 30, 2021, the DMW represents a significant milestone in the Philippine government’s dedication to its global workforce.

By consolidating the functions and powers of seven key agencies, including the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA) of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the DMW is uniquely positioned to address the diverse and complex needs of OFWs.

This consolidation enables the DMW to offer a more cohesive and streamlined approach to managing the myriad aspects of overseas employment, from deployment to reintegration. The department’s core mission focuses on facilitating overseas employment in alignment with national development programs, underscored by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)‘s strategies.

This mission is not just about providing job opportunities; it is about ensuring that these opportunities lead to genuine empowerment, enabling OFWs to grow professionally while safeguarding their rights and well-being.

Vision for the Future: Safeguarding Rights and Welfare

Looking forward, the DMW envisions a future where the rights and welfare of OFWs are not just protected but actively championed. This vision is deeply rooted in the belief that Filipino migrant workers are more than just contributors to the economy; they are valuable members of the global community, deserving of respect, dignity, and equitable treatment.

To this end, the DMW is dedicated to promoting empowerment and protection through continuous training and knowledge development. This includes initiatives that go beyond basic skills enhancement, encompassing comprehensive programs for personal and professional growth. The integration of agencies such as the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB), the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP), and the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRC) under one umbrella facilitates a more holistic approach to migrant worker welfare.

Moreover, the DMW’s vision extends to the effective reintegration of OFWs into Philippine society, ensuring that their transition is smooth, dignified, and enriching.

By fostering an environment that values and nurtures the contributions of OFWs, the DMW not only supports these workers and their families but also reinforces the Philippines’ position as a nation that truly cares for its people, wherever they may be in the world.

Key Functions and Services of DMW

The DMW is instrumental in safeguarding the rights and advancing the welfare of Filipino migrant workers. Its diverse range of functions and services caters to the multifaceted needs of this vital sector of our society.

Advocacy and Legal Support for Migrant Workers

At the forefront of DMW’s mission is the provision of robust advocacy and legal support. The department diligently works to ensure that the rights of Filipino workers abroad are respected and upheld. This includes offering legal assistance in cases of employment disputes, human rights violations, and other legal challenges that migrant workers may face. By equipping them with necessary legal resources and support, DMW stands as a staunch defender of their rights and dignity in foreign lands.

Training and Skill Development Programs

Recognizing the importance of continuous learning and skill enhancement, the DMW offers various training and skill development programs. These initiatives are designed to empower migrant workers with new competencies and advanced skills, enhancing their employability and career prospects. These programs not only prepare workers for the global job market but also ensure they are well-equipped to handle the challenges of their respective fields.

Welfare and Protection Services

The welfare and protection of migrant workers are at the heart of DMW’s services. This encompasses a range of support services, including health and insurance benefits, financial literacy programs, and assistance during crises or emergencies. The department’s proactive approach to providing these services ensures that Filipino migrant workers are supported not just in their professional lives but also in their well-being.

Collaboration with International Bodies for Migrant Worker Rights

DMW extends its impact through active collaboration with various international bodies and organizations. By partnering with global entities, the department aims to strengthen the protection of migrant workers on an international scale. These collaborations involve dialogues, treaties, and agreements that advocate for better employment practices, safer working conditions, and respect for the rights of Filipino workers globally.

The Department of Migrant Workers is steadfast in its dedication to uplifting and safeguarding Filipino migrant workers. Serving as a pillar of hope and assistance, it ensures their contributions are acknowledged and their rights consistently protected, highlighting its unyielding commitment to their empowerment.

DMW’s Role in Policy Making

The Department of Migrant Workers is not just a provider of services; it is a significant influencer in the realm of policymaking, especially concerning the welfare of Filipino migrant workers. This role is twofold: shaping national policies and collaborating with other government agencies.

Influence on National Policies for Migrant Worker Welfare

The DMW actively participates in the development and refinement of national policies that directly impact the lives of OFWs. By conducting research, gathering data, and utilizing insights from real-life experiences of migrant workers, the DMW ensures that the voices and needs of this community are represented at the highest policy-making levels.

This influence extends to various aspects, including labor laws, deployment policies, and bilateral agreements with host countries, all aimed at safeguarding the rights and improving the working conditions of OFWs. For instance, the DMW’s advocacy has led to the implementation of more stringent regulations against illegal recruitment and human trafficking, ensuring a safer and more transparent migration process for Filipino workers.

Collaboration with Other Government Agencies

The DMW’s effectiveness is significantly enhanced through its collaboration with other government agencies, both at the national and local levels. This collaborative approach facilitates a more comprehensive and cohesive strategy in addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by migrant workers. For example, the DMW works closely with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to align domestic labor policies with international labor standards. Similarly, partnerships with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) are crucial in dealing with diplomatic aspects and international labor issues. These collaborations ensure that the welfare of OFWs is a shared responsibility across various facets of the government, leading to more robust support systems and advocacy efforts.

Step-by-Step Guide to Accessing DMW Services

Step 1: Visit the DMW Online Services

  • Go to the Department of Migrant Workers – Online Services at DMW Online Services and locate the DMW Helpdesk section.

Step 2: Create a Helpdesk Ticket

  • Click on “Create Ticket.”
  • Select the appropriate service and concern to ensure a clear and prompt solution.

Step 3:Keep Your Ticket Number

  • Remember the Ticket Number provided by the system. This number is crucial for tracking and following up on your concern.

Step 4: Follow-Up on Your Ticket

Department of Migrant Workers: Understanding the Role of the DMW

For other queries or immediate assistance, contact the appropriate office for your specific concern:

  • For e-Registration Concerns:
    • Contact the Manpower Registry Division at (02) 8722-11-72 or (02) 8722-11-81.
    • Email:
  • For OEC Concerns:
    • Contact the Balik-Manggagawa Processing Division at (02) 8721-07-85.
    • Email:

Video: Cacdac appointed OIC of Dept. of Migrant Workers | ANC

In the wake of the passing of the esteemed Secretary Susan Ople, Hans Leo Cacdac, the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Philippine Migrant Workers Department, emphasizes his commitment to uphold and advance the initiatives started by Secretary Ople. His dedication is focused on ensuring the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in collaboration with Administrator Arnell Ignacio and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). This approach highlights a continued and coordinated effort to support the OFW community, honoring the legacy of Secretary Ople’s compassionate and groundbreaking work. Cacdac’s leadership signifies a steadfast promise to sustain and enhance programs designed to protect and empower Filipino migrants globally.

Contact Information of the DMW

Department of Migrant Workers (DWM)
Address: Brgy, Blas F. Ople Building, EDSA, corner Ortigas Ave, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
Telephone number(s): 0287221144
Office hours: Open weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
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