How to Avail of DMW Legal Assistance

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Legal Assistance offers a lifeline for repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) by providing essential legal support tailored to address the unique challenges they face upon returning home. Targeted primarily at these OFWs, this program encompasses a range of services from judicial advice, where workers learn about their rights and possible actions against grievances, to conciliation efforts aimed at amicable settlements with recruitment agencies.

The service extends further to help in filing complaints against illegal recruitment and supporting OFWs during the critical stages of criminal investigations related to such offenses. With the department’s comprehensive support, OFWs can expect not just guidance but real, actionable assistance in fighting for justice and upholding their rights, ensuring they are not left to navigate these challenges alone.

legal assistance
Credits: DMW / Facebook

What is DMW Legal Assistance?

DMW Legal Assistance is designed to aid repatriated OFWs by providing them with necessary legal support to address issues related to their employment abroad. This support includes:

  • Legal Advice: Counseling services that inform workers of their rights and potential actions to address grievances.
  • Conciliation: A platform for amicable settlement discussions between repatriated workers and their recruitment agencies.
  • Complaint Filing: Assistance in preparing and filing complaints against illegal recruitment and other recruitment violations.
  • Counseling During Investigations: Support during the preliminary investigations and hearings of criminal cases concerning illegal recruitment.

Significance of this Service

This service is significant due to the undeniable vulnerability of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and the mandate of the Department of Migrant Workers. Research shows a significant number of cases involving contract violations, unfair labor practices, and wage theft. The Philippine government, recognizing these vulnerabilities, established the department through Republic Act 11222. This law empowers the department to provide legal assistance to OFWs. By offering guidance on how to access this assistance, the department equips Filipinos working abroad with the tools to fight for their rights, ensuring fair treatment and upholding the judicial protections they deserve. This not only empowers individual workers but also deters future abuses and safeguards the well-being of the entire OFW community.

Legal Basis

The department’s legal framework for this type of assistance derives from various Philippine labor laws and international agreements aiming to protect the rights of migrant workers. This aligns with the Philippine government’s commitment to uphold the welfare of its overseas workforce.

Benefits of DMW Legal Assistance

Repatriated OFWs can benefit from a range of services under the department’s Legal Assistance:

  • Free legal counseling and guidance on employment-related issues.
  • Support in mediation and conciliation processes.
  • Legal aid in filing and pursuing complaints about recruitment violations.
  • Representation and advice during legal proceedings.

Eligibility / Qualifications

To qualify for DMW Legal Assistance, applicants must:

  • Be a repatriated OFW.
  • Have a valid complaint concerning employment or recruitment violations.
  • Provide necessary documentation related to their employment abroad.


The following are typically required to avail of the legal assistance:

  • Valid identification (e.g., passport, OFW ID)
  • Employment contract or offer letter
  • Any relevant correspondence with the employer or recruitment agency
  • Official receipts of payments made to the recruitment agency, if applicable

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Benefit from DMW Legal Assistance

  1. Visit the Legal Assistance Division: Located at the 4th Floor of the POEA Central Office or any POEA Regional Center.
  2. Initial Interview: Undergo an interview by a Legal Officer to assess the type of assistance required.
  3. Evaluation of the Complaint: Your case will be reviewed and forwarded to the appropriate unit, such as the Conciliation Unit or Adjudication Office.
  4. Legal Support for Residents at OWWA Hostel: OFWs residing at the OWWA Hostel can receive visits from a POEA lawyer for direct assistance.

Contact Information for Additional Support

  • Central Office
    • Telephone: 721-0619 / 722-1189
    • Email:
  • Regional Centers:
    • Luzon: 
    • Visayas: 
      • Telephone: (032) 4120040 to 42, 
      • Email:
    • Mindanao: 
      • Telephone: (082) 297-7428 / (082) 297-7650, 
      • Email:

Recent Updates

DMW Partners with Polaris Project to Combat Human Trafficking

The Department of Migrant Workers has joined forces with the Polaris Project to intensify efforts in combating human trafficking and providing support to Filipino victims. Through a Memorandum of Collaborative Agreement, the partnership aims to offer comprehensive services, including recovery, legal advocacy, repatriation, and community reintegration, in order to combat human trafficking and support survivors. This collaboration reflects the DMW’s commitment to eradicating human trafficking and fostering cooperation with governmental and non-governmental organizations.

DMW Provides Financial and Medical Assistance to Distressed OFWs

The Department of Migrant Workers is extending financial and medical assistance to distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) through the Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay (BPBH) Program. As part of the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair (BPSF), the department, together with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), distributed financial aid and medical assistance to OFWs in need, aiming to provide crucial support and resources to help them reintegrate into society.

DMW Warns OFWs Against Investment Scams

The Department of Migrant Workers has issued a warning to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families regarding investment scams, particularly focusing on the allegedly legitimate investment platform “Trade 13.0 Serax.” The DMW emphasized the need for caution and highlighted deceptive tactics employed by the platform to entice investors. (Sun Star)

DMW Works with UAE Authorities to Repatriate Remains of OFWs

The Department of Migrant Workers is actively collaborating with UAE authorities to repatriate the remains of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who lost their lives in the recent flooding caused by heavy rains. The department’s efforts aim to provide support and assistance to the affected OFWs and their families during this difficult time. The severe weather conditions have also caused disruptions to flight operations and infrastructure in the UAE. (Philstar)

Tulfo Works with DFA and DMW for Swift Return of 4 Pinoy Seafarers

Senator Raffy Tulfo is actively collaborating with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Migrant Workers to ensure the prompt repatriation of four Filipino seafarers who are currently aboard the Portuguese vessel MSC Aries. The DFA and DMW are maintaining close communication with the seafarers’ families and the manning agency, while efforts are underway to classify the Strait of Hormuz as a “high-risk area” for enhanced monitoring of passing ships. (Manila Bulletin)

DMW Ensures Safety of OFWs in Japan Following Earthquake

The Department of Migrant Workers in the Philippines has taken immediate action by contacting employers of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Japan’s Ehime and Kochi prefectures after a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck. Fortunately, there have been no reports of injuries or deaths among the OFWs, and the DMW will continue to monitor the situation closely, working in collaboration with relevant authorities for updates and assistance. (PNA)

3 Filipinos Die in UAE Floods, DMW Offers Support to Families

Tragic news emerged as the Department of Migrant Workers confirmed the deaths of three Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates due to severe flooding. Two individuals tragically suffocated in a vehicle, while another lost their life in a vehicular accident. The DMW expressed condolences and pledged support to the bereaved families, while also preparing relief operations for affected overseas Filipino worker communities. (GMA News Online)


DMW Legal Assistance is a significant support system for OFWs returning to the Philippines, ensuring their rights are protected and their grievances properly addressed. Whether it’s seeking justice for illegal recruitment practices or receiving guidance on employment disputes, the department is ready to help. Remember, protecting your rights starts with knowing what help is available to you and how to access it effectively.

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