OWWA Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and Education Program

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) is an invaluable program designed to prepare Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) for the realities of working abroad. Targeted primarily at first-time OFWs, the seminar encompasses a comprehensive curriculum covering critical topics that range from cultural adaptation and legal rights to financial management and safety protocols. The goal is to ensure that Filipino workers are not only aware of the opportunities that await them but also of the challenges they may face in a foreign land. These mandatory sessions arm participants with the knowledge and confidence needed for a secure and successful tenure overseas.

Attendees of the PDOS can expect to receive in-depth briefings on their destination country, including insights into local customs, language norms, climate, and work culture. The program includes interactive components such as group discussions, role-playing activities, and expert guest speakers who offer real-world advice and testimonies. As the PDOS is tailored to the specificity of each host country and the unique needs of different job sectors, attendees are fully briefed on what life will be like in their new home away from home. By the end of the program, participants are not just equipped with practical information and skills; they also gain access to a network of peers and professionals, which can serve as a support system throughout their journey as OFWs.

OWWA Pre-Departure Orientation and Education Program
Credits: OWWA / Facebook

What is the PDOEP?

The PDOEP is a comprehensive initiative designed to prepare OFWs for the realities of working abroad. It focuses on providing essential information and resources that cover a wide range of topics, from country-specific standards and cultural norms to financial management and health safety. 

Significance of the Program

The significance of PDOEP lies in its commitment to safeguard the welfare and well-being of OFWs. By offering a thorough orientation, this initiative aims to minimize the risks and maximize the success of Filipino migrant workers abroad. It equips them with the necessary tools to navigate the complexities of working in a foreign land, ensuring they are not just surviving but thriving in their new environments.

Legal Basis

The PDOEP is anchored on various Philippine laws and regulations that advocate for the protection and welfare of OFWs. These legal bases underscore the government’s recognition of the vital role OFWs play in the national economy and the importance of providing them with adequate preparation and protection for their overseas employment.


Participants of the PDOEP gain invaluable insights and knowledge that significantly benefit their overseas employment journey. 

These benefits include understanding their legal rights and responsibilities, being aware of the work standards and conditions in their destination country, and learning effective strategies for personal development, conflict resolution, and managing stress and culture shock

Moreover, the initiative provides guidance on practical matters such as travel procedures, documentation, and financial management.

Eligibility / Qualifications

This is specifically designed for Filipino migrant workers who are about to embark on their overseas employment journey. 

  • Eligibility often requires that the OFW has secured employment abroad and is in the process of completing their pre-departure requirements. 
  • It’s essential for OFWs to check the specific eligibility criteria as outlined by OWWA to ensure they can participate in the initiative.


  • Be a registered Filipino migrant worker (OFW) with OWWA.
  • Have a confirmed job offer or contract with an overseas employer.
  • Secure a medical certificate from an OWWA-accredited medical clinic.
  • Possess a valid passport.
  • Pay the required fee (amount may vary depending on the program and provider).

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for the PDOEP

  1. Verify Eligibility: Ensure you meet the qualifications for the PDOEP.
  2. Gather Required Documents: Collect all necessary documents, such as your employment contract and travel documents.
  3. Register with OWWA: Complete your membership, if you haven’t already.
  4. Enroll in the PDOEP: Sign up through the OWWA office or its official website.
  5. Attend the Orientation: Participate in the scheduled orientation sessions, which may be conducted in-person or online.
  6. Utilize the Resources: Make the most of the information and resources provided during the workshop.
  7. Prepare for Departure: Apply the knowledge and skills acquired as you finalize your preparations for leaving.

PDOS Components

Here’s what you can expect during a Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS):

  1. Introductions and Overview:
  • The seminar will typically start with introductions from the organizers and facilitators, followed by an overview of the program’s agenda and objectives.
  1. Destination Country Briefing:
  • A dedicated session will delve into the specific country you’re moving to, covering its:
    • Culture and customs
    • Geography and climate
    • Political and economic landscape
    • Cost of living and financial management
    • Legal system and your rights
    • Healthcare system and access to medical care
    • Transportation options and communication infrastructure
  1. Pre-Departure Logistics:
  • This section will cover practical matters related to your departure, including:
    • Travel documents and visa requirements
    • Airport procedures and regulations
    • Packing tips and baggage allowances
    • Currency exchange and budgeting advice
    • Health and safety precautions
  1. Cultural Adjustment and Integration:
  • An important part of the PDOS focuses on preparing you for cultural differences and navigating the new social environment. You’ll learn about:
    • Communication styles and etiquette
    • Social norms and expectations
    • Building relationships and making friends
    • Dealing with culture shock and homesickness
  1. Employment and Work Culture:
  • If you’re moving for work, the PDOS will provide insights into the:
    • Job market and potential challenges
    • Workplace culture and expectations
    • Labor laws and your rights as an employee
    • Tips for effective communication and teamwork
  1. Q&A and Networking:
  • The seminar will usually leave ample time for questions and discussions, allowing you to clarify any doubts and address specific concerns.
  • You’ll also have the opportunity to network with other participants and build connections that might be helpful in your new life abroad.

Additional things to keep in mind:

  • The specific content and structure of the PDOS may vary depending on the organizing agency, destination country, and target audience.
  • Some seminars might involve interactive activities, group discussions, and presentations from guest speakers.
  • It’s recommended to come prepared with an open mind, a willingness to learn, and a list of questions you may have.

By attending the PDOS, you’ll gain valuable knowledge, practical skills, and confidence to embark on your new adventure abroad with a smoother transition and better preparedness.

Success Stories / Recent Updates

The Benefits of PDOS: Ensuring Preparedness for First-time OFWs

The Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) is an essential process that all first-time Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) must undergo. Apart from ensuring readiness for their journey abroad, PDOS offers additional benefits. Discover more about the advantages of PDOS below!

OWWA-Regional Welfare Office XI Equips Singapore and Hong Kong-bound Workers for Success

On January 25, 2024, twenty-eight workers bound for Singapore and Hongkong completed the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) conducted by OWWA-Regional Welfare Office XI. The one-day PDOS and three-day CPDEP covered topics such as financial literacy, self-defense tips, disease outbreaks, workplace safety, and cultural insights on the host country. With a total of 1,208 departing workers availing of this training in OWWA Davao Region from January to December 2023, the workshop aims to equip workers with the necessary knowledge and skills for a smooth transition to their destination country.

Takamol Company Officials Visit OWWA’s Pre-Departure Program Facilities

In a courtesy visit, Takamol Company Officials were given a glimpse of OWWA’s Pre-Departure Program Facilities in Bocobo, Manila. The facilities provide actual training for departing OFWs through the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS), equipping them with language skills and other essential preparations for their overseas journey. Deputy Administrator Atty. Mary Melanie H. Quino, ROCS Director Benny Reyes, and OWWA NCR Director Ma. Teresa Capa accompanied the officials during the site visitation.


Video: OWWA Pre-Departure Orientation for Filipinos Travelling to Middle East

This informative video guide, created by the OWWA Official, offers valuable insights and guidance for Filipinos who are planning to work in the Middle East. The seminar provides essential information on pre-departure preparations, cultural norms, employment regulations, and safety tips, ensuring a smooth transition and successful employment experience in the Middle East.



The OWWA Pre-Departure Orientation and Education Program is a cornerstone for the successful overseas employment of Filipino workers. It embodies the government’s commitment to the welfare and well-being of its citizens abroad. By participating in the PDOEP, OFWs are not just preparing for a job in another country; they are preparing for a new chapter in their lives with confidence and competence. Let this training be your first step towards a rewarding and successful overseas career.

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