Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA): Things to Know

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) serves as a pivotal institution in the landscape of Filipino labor migration. Established to oversee and regulate the country’s overseas employment program, POEA empowers overseas Filipino workers. By ensuring the protection of their rights and welfare, facilitating their deployment, and providing support services, the POEA significantly contributes to the advancement of these workers’ lives and careers.

UPDATE: In 2023, The POEA has been merged into the new Department of Migrant Workers (DMW). All functions and responsibilities of POEA are now part of DMW. The term POEA has been officially retired.

Moreover, the organization is instrumental in shaping the Philippine economy, as the remittances and skills brought back by OFWs helps in the nation’s development. Through its comprehensive and responsive programs, POEA stands as a cornerstone in the support system for the millions of Filipinos who seek opportunities abroad, bolstering both individual livelihoods and the national labor force.

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA): Things to Know
Credits: DMW website

History and Establishment of POEA

Since its inception on May 1, 1982, through Executive Order No. 797, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has evolved significantly, marking key milestones in its development.

It was formed to integrate the functions of the (a) Overseas Employment Development Board, (b) National Seamen Board, and (c) overseas employment functions of the Bureau of Employment Services.

This unification was a response to the fragmented and uncoordinated nature of the government’s overseas employment efforts, which had led to issues like exploitation of workers, inadequate protection, and limited access to information and services.

POEA’s establishment centralized these functions, focusing on formulating policies for worker welfare, regulating recruitment and deployment, and providing essential services to workers, including skill development and post-arrival assistance.

Over the years, POEA has implemented impactful programs like the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar, the Balik-Manggagawa Program, the Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch, and the Welfare Assistance Program, significantly improving the lives of Filipino workers abroad.

Key legislative milestones, such as the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 and its amendments, have further strengthened POEA’s regulatory powers and its part in negotiating bilateral labor agreements.

The creation of the Department of Migrant Workers in 2022 marks another pivotal point, indicating POEA’s continued relevance in advocating for Filipino workers in the global labor market.

POEA Status after the Creation of DMW: Key Points

Here are several key points regarding the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in the context of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) as established by Republic Act (RA) 11641.

  1. Merger into DMW: The POEA, along with several other agencies, has been consolidated and merged into the newly formed DMW. This means that the functions, responsibilities, and services previously under the purview of the POEA are now part of the DMW.
  2. Continued Services: Despite the merger, the services traditionally offered by the POEA, such as processing of overseas employment certificates, worker protection, and regulation of recruitment agencies, will continue under the DMW. The transition aims to integrate these services more efficiently and effectively.
  3. Transition Period: There had been a transition period in place to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities from the POEA to the DMW. During this period, some operations may be under adjustment, but the goal is to enhance service delivery without disrupting essential services to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
  4. Role of the Secretary of DMW: The Secretary of the DMW has been granted the authority to oversee the transition and ensure that the department becomes fully operational. This includes the implementation of policies and the execution of powers and functions previously held by the POEA.
  5. Impact on OFWs: For OFWs, the formation of the DMW, which includes the integration of POEA functions, is intended to streamline processes and improve the overall efficiency of services. It’s aimed at providing better protection, assistance, and support for OFWs.
  6. Regulatory and Advisory Role: The regulatory and advisory responsibilities of the POEA, especially in terms of employment practices and worker rights, are expected to be maintained and potentially strengthened under the DMW.

Objectives and Mission of POEA

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) stands as a vital arm of the government, dedicated to the welfare and advocacy of Filipino migrant workers globally. Its objectives and mission are deeply intertwined with the national labor policies, focusing on ensuring the welfare, protection, and efficient management of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Core Objectives

POEA’s objectives are comprehensive and multifaceted, reflecting its commitment to the diverse needs of OFWs. These include:

  1. Formulation and Implementation of Policies: Developing policies, programs, and projects that prioritize the protection and promotion of OFWs’ welfare.
  2. Regulation of Recruitment and Deployment: Ensuring the ethical and lawful recruitment and deployment of OFWs, safeguarding their rights and interests.
  3. Pre-Departure and Post-Arrival Services: Providing essential services to OFWs before their departure and upon their return, facilitating a smooth transition in both phases.
  4. Skills and Knowledge Development: Promoting the enhancement of OFWs’ skills and knowledge, which is crucial for their professional growth and adaptability in foreign work environments.
  5. Research and Studies: Conducting research to stay informed and responsive to the evolving trends and challenges in overseas employment.
  6. International Representation: Representing the Philippines in global forums related to overseas employment, advocating for the rights and welfare of OFWs.
  7. Simplifying Processing Systems: Streamlining processes like the online issuance of Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs) through initiatives like the BM Online System.
  8. Interconnectivity with Other Agencies: Collaborating with agencies like the Bureau of Immigration for efficient monitoring and management of worker deployment.


The mission of POEA is both visionary and grounded, aiming to “connect to the world and in partnership with all stakeholders, facilitate the generation and preservation of decent jobs for Filipino migrant workers, promote their protection, and advocate their smooth reintegration into Philippine society.” This mission underscores the dual focus of POEA: ensuring the availability of decent job opportunities for OFWs and safeguarding their rights and well-being.


POEA’s vision of “Excellence in governance for world-class Filipino migrant workers” encapsulates its aspiration to be a world-class regulatory body that governs with integrity, professionalism, and commitment. This vision propels POEA towards achieving the highest standards in its services and operations, directly impacting the lives of countless Filipinos working overseas.

Services Offered by POEA

The POEA affects the lives of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), offering a broad spectrum of services that cater to their unique needs. These services are designed to ensure that OFWs are well-prepared, protected, and supported throughout their employment journey abroad.

Pre-Departure Services

Before embarking on their overseas journey, OFWs receive comprehensive support from the POEA. This includes:

  • Pre-Employment Orientation Seminars (PEOS): These seminars equip OFWs with essential information about their rights, responsibilities, and the realities of working abroad.
  • Issuance of Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs): OECs serve as a gateway for OFWs, ensuring that their overseas employment is legal and documented.
  • Travel Arrangements Assistance: POEA provides guidance on travel logistics to ensure a smooth journey for OFWs.
  • Language Training and Cultural Orientation: These programs are aimed at helping OFWs acclimate to their new environments, fostering better communication and cultural understanding.

Post-Arrival Services

Upon their arrival in the host country, OFWs can avail themselves of various support services:

  • Airport Assistance: Guidance and help are provided right from the moment OFWs land in the host country.
  • Job Placement Assistance: This includes help in finding employment and settling into their new countries.
  • Legal Assistance: Support for any legal concerns or challenges OFWs may face while abroad.
  • Social and Welfare Services: Ensuring the well-being of OFWs during their employment period.
  • Remittance Services: Assistance with financial transactions, making it easier for OFWs to send money home.
  • Reintegration Assistance: Support for OFWs returning to the Philippines, helping them reintegrate into the local community and workforce.

Through these comprehensive services, the POEA demonstrates its unwavering commitment to safeguarding the welfare and rights of OFWs, empowering them to thrive in their overseas endeavors while ensuring their protection and well-being.

Step-by-step guide on how to apply for overseas employment through POEA (now under the DMW)

Applying for overseas employment via the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) involves a structured process designed to ensure the security and readiness of Filipino workers for international job opportunities. Here’s a step-by-step guide, based on the comprehensive resource provided, to help you navigate through this journey:

Step 1. Register at the DMW Website

  • Initial Registration: Visit the DMW e-Registration portal and accept the Terms of Use.
  • Personal Details: Enter your full name, date of birth, and active email address.
  • Email Confirmation: Check your email for a confirmation link and activate your account.
  • Profile Completion: Fill in the required information accurately on the DMW website.
  • Job Hunting: Once your profile is saved, you can start looking for job opportunities.

Step 2. Begin Your Job Search on the DMW Website/Offices

  • Accessing Job Listings: Use the DMW job search portal to find available job orders by position, country, or agency.
  • Other Sources: You can also explore job vacancies at local POEA offices or the POEA Government Placement Branch.

Step 3. Application Submission

  • Applying for a Job: After selecting a job, apply through the POEA website or at a POEA branch/recruitment agency. Before proceeding with any job application online, make sure to confirm with the licensed recruitment agency if the job order is still ACTIVE.
  • Application Details: Provide the necessary details for the position and location you are applying for.
  • Follow-up: Await further instructions on how to proceed with your application.

Step 4. Acquire a PEOS Certificate

  • PEOS Online: Visit the PEOS website and choose the relevant module (Professional/Skilled Workers or Domestic Workers).
  • Module Completion: Engage with the content, including videos and slides, and pass the tests after each module.
  • Certification: Once all modules are completed, obtain and print your PEOS Certificate.

Video: Paano kumuha ng ereg certificate | POEA Online e-Registration Certificate – 2023

In this video, the vlogger will walk you through the steps to create an account on the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) e-Registration Online Services Portal. This tutorial is designed to be extremely user-friendly, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their familiarity with online processes, can effortlessly navigate the site. Moreover, the video will cover the important aspect of obtaining the e-Registration Certificate, a crucial document for overseas Filipino workers.


In conclusion, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is not just an administrative body; it is a beacon of hope and support for millions of Filipinos who venture overseas in search of better opportunities. By safeguarding the rights, welfare, and career advancement of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), POEA not only uplifts individual lives but also significantly contributes to the Philippine economy through the skills and remittances these workers bring back. Its comprehensive and responsive programs, now under the direction of the DMW, underscore itself as a key pillar in the national labor force, embodying the collective aspirations and resilience of the Filipino community. As such, POEA stands as a testament to the Philippines’ commitment to empowering its citizens, both at home and across the globe.

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