The POEA has an organizational structure with the POEA Governing Board at the top. The Secretary
of Labor and Employment heads the Governing Board, and the POEA Administrator as vice-chairman
and representatives from the private, women, sea-based and land-based sectors as members.
The POEA Administrator oversees the daily operations of the agency and is supported by three deputy
The Deputy Administrator for Employment and Welfare oversees the Pre-Employment Services Office
and the Welfare and Employment Office.
Under the Deputy Administrator for Adjudication and Employment Regulation are the Licensing and Regulation
Office and the Adjudication Office
The Deputy Administrator for Management handles the general administrative and support services of
An average of 3,000 clients and as much as 5,000 clients s are served by POEA main office daily.
Our clients include Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) Licensed Recruitment and Manning Agencies Foreign
Employers/Principals Applicants – Workers/ Would be Applicants, NGOs, media, and the general public.
The POEA has three (3) Regional Centers which are located in La Union for Luzon, Cebu for the Visayas
region and Davao for the Mindanao area.
Regional Extension Units are in Baguio-Cordillera Administrative Region, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and
Zamboanga while satellite offices are located in Pampanga, Calamba, Laguna, Legaspi, Bacolod and
· Issues license to engage in overseas recruitment and manning to private recruitment agencies and
ship manning companies
· Hears and arbitrates complaints and cases filed against recruitment and manning agencies, foreign
principals and employers, and overseas workers for reported violation of POEA rules and regulations,
except for money claims
· Implements a system of incentives and penalty for private sector participants
· Sets minimum labor standards
· Monitors overseas job advertisements on print, broadcast and television
· Supervises the government’s program on anti-illegal recruitment
· Imposes disciplinary actions on erring employers and workers and seafarers
· Accredits/ registers foreign principals and employers hiring Filipino workers
· Approves manpower requests of foreign principals and employers
· Evaluates and processes employment contracts
· Assists departing workers at the ports of exit
· Develops and monitors markets and conducts market research
· Conducts marketing missions
· Enters into memorandum of understanding on the hiring of Filipino workers with labor–receiving
· Facilitates the deployment of workers hired through government-to-government arrangement
· Provides a system of worker’s registry
· Intensifies public education and information campaign
· Conducts pre-employment orientation and anti-illegal recruitment seminars nationwide
· Conducts Pre-Deployment Orientation Seminars (PDOS) to workers hired through thegovernment-to-government arrangement and name hires
· Provides technical assistance in the drafting of bilateral and multilateral agreements
· Provides legal assistance to victims of illegal recruitment
· Prepares OFW global mapping and profiling
· Implements gender-sensitive programs
· Networks with non-government organizations, workers’ organizations, etc.
· Provides repatriation assistance
General Administration and Support Services
· Human Resources Development
· Property and Supplies Management
· Financial Management
· Information and Communication Technology
· Plans and Policy Development
· Quality Management System
- Pre-application orientation seminar
- Labor market fora
- Seminar on best recruitment practices
- Monitoring of appeals
- Enforcement of decisions
Facilitation of 1 million OFW deployment
- Dispatch of technical marketing missions
- Intensify marketing intelligence work
- Pursue bilateral/multi-lateral agreements
- Encourage visit of foreign gov’ts and employers
- Strengthen linkages with education and training sector
- Enhance coordination with host governments
- Enforce policy on skills competencies
Global OFW mapping and profiling
- Fast track information on OFWs worldwide, their work sites, skills, and gender. The
target countries for 2008 are: KSA, JAPAN, TAIWAN, UAE, KUWAIT, QATAR, HONG KONG,
LEBANON, SOUTH KOREA, BAHRAIN, SINGAPORE, JORDAN, ISRAEL, OMAN, UK, USA, MALAYSIA,
BRUNEI, CYPRUS, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, RUSSIA, AFGHANISTAN, ALGERIA, ANGOLA, IRAN, IRAQ,
Intensification of AIR campaign
- Pre-employment orientation seminars
- Illegal recruitment free-LGUs
- Multi-media information and education program
- Legal assistance to IR victims
- Surveillance/Entrapment operations
- Closure of establishments
Implementation of incentive program for victims and witnesses of illegal recruitment
- Payment of docket fees and other court or legal fees
- Employment without placement fees
Provision of on-site remedies to OFWs to file complaints against employer or agency
OFWs may file complaints for violations of POEA rules against principal, employer, and/or Philippine recruitment
agency at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office s (POLOs)
All About Illegal Recruitment
Any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers and includes referring, contract services, promising or advertising for employment abroad, whether for profit or not, when undertaken by a non-license or non-holder of authority contemplated under Art 13 (F) of Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines: Provided, That any such non-licensee or non-holder who, in any manner, offers or promises for a fee employment abroad to two or more persons shall be deemed so engaged. (sec. 6, RA 8042).
It shall likewise include the following acts, whether committed by any persons, whether a non-licensee, non-holder, licensee or holder of authority.
(a) To charge or accept directly or indirectly any amount greater than the specified in the schedule of allowable fees prescribed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, or to make a worker pay any amount greater than that actually received by him as a loan or advance;
(b) To furnish or publish any false notice or information or document in relation to recruitment or employment;
(c) To give any false notice, testimony, information or document or commit any act of misrepresentation for the purpose of securing a license or authority under the Labor Code;
(d) To induce or attempt to induce a worker already employed to quit his employment in order to offer him another unless the transfer is designed to liberate a worker from oppressive terms and conditions of employment;
(e) To influence or attempt to influence any persons or entity not to employ any worker who has not applied for employment through his agency;
(f) To engage in the recruitment of placement of workers in jobs harmful to public health or morality or to dignity of the Republic of the Philippines;
(g) To obstruct or attempt to obstruct inspection by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or by his duly authorized representative;
(h) To fail to submit reports on the status of employment, placement vacancies, remittances of foreign exchange earnings, separations from jobs, departures and such other matters or information as may be required by the Secretary of Labor and Employment;
(i) To substitute or alter to the prejudice of the worker, employment contracts approved and verified by the Department of Labor and Employment from the time of actual signing thereof by the parties up to and including the period of the expiration of the same without the approval of the Department of Labor and Employment;
(j) For an officer or agent of a recruitment or placement agency to become an officer or member of the Board of any corporation engaged in travel agency or to be engaged directly on indirectly in the management of a travel agency;
(k) To withhold or deny travel documents from applicant workers before departure for monetary or financial considerations other than those authorized under the Labor Code and its implementing rules and regulations;
(l) Failure to actually deploy without valid reasons as determined by the Department of Labor and Employment; and
(m) Failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the workers in connection with his documentation and processing for purposes of deployment, in cases where the deployment does not actually take place without the worker's fault. Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale shall be considered as offense involving economic sabotage.
Illegal recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one another. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group.
The persons criminally liable for the above offenses are the principals, accomplices and accessories. In case of juridical persons, the officers having control, management or direction of their business shall be liable.
What are the penalties for illegal recruitment?
(a) Any person found guilty of illegal recruitment shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) years and one (1) day but not more than twelve (12) years and a fine not less than two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00) nor more than five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00).
(b) The penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of not less than five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) nor more than one million pesos (P1,000,000.00) shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes economic sabotage as defined herein.
Provided, however, that the maximum penalty shall be imposed if the person illegally recruited is less than eighteen (18) years of age or committed by a non-licensee or non-holder of authority.
Identify an illegal recruiter
Kilalanin ang illegal recruiter!
Ang illegal recruiter ay:
How to Avoid Illegal Recruitment
Modus Operandi of Illegal Recruiters
Trainee Worker Scheme – Hired workers are deployed allegedly not for employment but for training purposes only and will return to sending company after training.
Backdoor Points Scheme – Workers are sent abroad not through regular exit channels like airports but are deployed usually through cargo ships.
Tie-Up System – Unlicensed recruiters with foreign principals who are usually in the blacklist use the name and offices of licensed recruiters in their illegal activity.
Visa Assistance/Consultancy Scheme – Firms that offer services including the pairing of workers with foreign employers and promising applicants immigrant visas but are in reality engaged in the recruitment business.
Blind Ads Scheme – Workers are enticed to apply and send cash payments addressed to a Postal Office Box without the worker having the opportunity to communicate personally with the recruiter.
Policy on Immigration Consultants
Immigration consultancy agencies and similar entities which are based locally, are required to obtain a license in accordance with the guidelines as provided for in Part II, Rule I, secs. 1 and 2 and Rule 2, secs. 1 to 5 of the 2002 POEA Rules and Regulations, before they may engage in recruitment and placement activities, regardless of the visa under which deployment shall be made eventually.
FEES shall be duly covered with OFFICIAL RECEIPTS and may be collected only AFTER a worker has been issued the necessary EB3 Visa.
Top 10 Internet Scams
1) The Nigerian scam, also known as 419
Most of you have received an email from a member of a Nigerian family with wealth. It is a desperate cry for help in getting a very large sum of money out of the country. A common
variation is a woman in Africa who claimed that her husband had died, and that she wanted
to leave millions of dollars of his estate to a good business.
In every variation, the scammer is promising obscenely large payments for small unskilled
tasks. This scam, like most scams, is too good to be true. Yet people still fall for this money transfer con game.
They will use your emotions and willingness to help against you. They will promise you a large cut of their business or family fortune.
All you are asked to do is cover the endless legal and other fees that must be paid to the
people that can release the scammer's money.
The more you are willing to pay, the more they will try to suck out of your wallet. You will
never see any of the promised money, because there isn't any. And the worst thing is, this
scam is not even new; its variant dates back to 1920s when it was known as 'The Spanish
2) Advanced fees paid for a guaranteed loan or credit card
If you are thinking about applying for a "pre-approved" loan or a credit card that charges an
up-front fee, ask yourself: "why would a bank do that?". These scams are obvious to people
who take time to scrutinize the offer.
Remember: reputable credit card companies do charge an annual fee but it is applied to the balance of the card, never at the sign-up. Furthermore, if you legitimately clear your credit
balance each month, a legitimate bank will often wave the annual fee.
As for these incredible, pre-approved loans for a half-a-million dollar homes: use your
common sense. These people do not know you or your credit situation, yet they are willing
to offer massive credit limits.
Sadly, a percentage of all the recipients of their "amazing" offer will take the bait and pay
the up-front fee.
If only one in every thousand people fall for this scam, the scammers still win several
hundred dollars. Alas, far too many victims, pressured by financial problems, willingly step
into this con man's trap.
3) Lottery scams
Most of us dream of hitting it big, quitting our jobs and retiring while still young enough to
enjoy the fine things in life. Chances are you will receive at least one intriguing email from someone saying that you did indeed win a huge amount of money. The visions of a dream
home, fabulous vacation, or other expensive goodies you could now afford with ease, could
make you forget that you have never ever entered this lottery in the first place.
This scam will usually come in the form of a conventional email message. It will inform you
that you won millions of dollars and congratulate you repeatedly. The catch: before you can
collect your "winnings", you must pay the "processing" fee of several thousands of dollars.
Stop! The moment the bad guys cash your money order, you lose.
Once you realize you have been suckered into paying $3000 to a con man, they are long
gone with your money. Do not fall for this lottery scam.
4) Phishing emails and phony web pages
This is the most widespread Internet and email scam today. It is a "sting" con game.
"Phishing" is identity and password theft based on convincing emails and web pages. These
emails and web pages resemble legitimate credit authorities like Citibank, eBay, or Paypal.
They frighten or entice you into visiting a phony web page and entering your ID and password. Commonly, the guise is an urgent need to "confirm your identity". They will even offer you
a story of how your account has been attacked by hackers to lure you into entering your
The email message will require you to click on a link. But instead of leading you to the real
login https: site, they will to a fake website. The fake website is often very convincing
You then innocently enter your ID and password. This information is intercepted by the
scammers, who later access your account and fleece you for several hundred dollars.
This phishing con , like all cons, depends on people believing the legitimacy or their emails
and web pages. Because it was born out of hacking techniques, "fishing" is stylistically spelled "phishing" by hackers.
Tip: the beginning of the link address should have https://. Phishing fakes will just have
http:// (no"s" . If still in doubt, make a phone call to the financial institution to verify if
the email is legit. In the meantime, never click on the link in any suspicious email.
5) Items for sale overpayment scam
This one involves an item you might have listed for sale such as a car, truck or some other expensive item. The scammer finds your ad and sends you an email offering to pay much
more than your asking price. The reason for overpayment is supposedly related to the
international fees to ship the car overseas. In return, you are to send him the car and the
cash for the difference.
The money order you receive looks real so you deposit it into your account. In a couple of
days (or the time it takes to clear) your bank informs you the money order was fake and
demands you pay that amount back immediately.
In most documented versions of this money order scam, the money order was indeed an
authentic document, but it was never authorized by the bank it was stolen from.
In the case of cashier's checks, it is usually a convincing forgery. You have now lost the car,
the cash you sent with the car, and you owe a hefty sum of money to your bank to cover for
the bad money order or the fake cashier's check.
6) Employment scams
You have posted your resume, with at least some personal data accessible by potential
employers, on a legitimate employment site. You receive a job offer to become a
"financial representative" of an overseas company you have never even heard of before.
The reason they want to hire you is that this company has problems accepting money from
US customers and they need you to handle those payments. You will be paid 5 to 15 percent commission per transaction.
If you apply, you will provide the scammer with your personal data, such as bank account information, so you can "get paid". Instead, you will experience some, or all, of the following:
* identity theft,
* money stolen from your account, or
* may receive fake checks or money orders for payments which you deposit into your account but must send 85 â€“ 95 percent of that to your "employer".
Soon you will owe much money to your bank!
In other instance, you will receive an unsolicited e-mail message from a "multinationalYou will be asked to send money through Western Union as processing fee or reservation fee.
company" congratulating you for being selected for a specific job. The e-mail contains details about the "hiring company", the positions needed, and a very enticing compensation package.
7) Disaster relief scams
What do 9-11, Tsunami and Katrina have in common? These are all disasters, tragic events
where people die, lose their loved ones, or everything they have. In times like these, good
people pull together to help the survivors in any way they can, including online donations. Scammers set up fake charity websites and steal the money donated to the victims of
If your request for donation came via email, there is a chance of it being a phishing attempt. Do not click on the link in the email and volunteer your bank account or credit card information.
Your best bet is to contact the recognized charitable organization directly by phone or their website.
8) Travel scams
These scams are most active during the summer months. You receive an email with the
offer to get amazingly low fares to some exotic destination but you must book it today or the offer
expires that evening. If you call, you'll find out the travel is free but the hotel rates are
Some can offer you rock-bottom prices but hide certain high fees until you 'sign on the dotted line'. Others, in order to give you the 'free' something, will make you sit through a timeshare pitch at the destination. Still others can just take your money and deliver nothing.
Also, getting your refund, should you decide to cancel, is usually a lost cause, often called a nightmare or mission-impossible.
Your best strategy is to book your trip in person, through a reputable travel agency or proven legitimate online service like Travelocity or Expedia.
9) "Make Money Fast" chain emails
A classic pyramid scheme: you get an email with a list of names, you are asked to send 5
dollars (or so) by mail to the person whose name is at the top of the list, add your own name to the bottom, and forward the updated list to a number of other people.
The author of this scam letter painstakingly explains that, if more and more people join
this chain, when it's your turn to receive the money, you might even become a millionaire!
Bear in mind that, most times, the list of names is manipulated to keep the top name (the
creator of the scam, or his friends) on top, permanently.
As with the previously circulating snail-mail version of this chain, the email edition is just
as illegal. Should you choose to participate, you risk being charged with fraud â€“ definitely
not something you want on your record, or resume.
10) "Turn Your Computer Into a Money-Making Machine!"
Although not a full blown scam, this scheme works as follows: You send someone money for instructions on where to go and what to download and install on your computer to turn it
into a money-making machine -- for spammers.
At sign-up, you get a unique ID and you have to give them your PayPal account information
for the "big money' deposits you'll soon be receiving. The program that you are supposed to
run, sometimes 24/7, opens multiple ad windows, repeatedly, thus generating per-click
revenue for spammers.
In other scenario, your ID is limited to a certain number of page clicks per day. In order to
make any money whatsoever from this scheme, you are pretty much forced to scam the
spammers by hiding your real IP address with Internet proxy services such as "findnot", so
you can make more page clicks.
I won't even go into the discussion about what this program will do to your computer's performance... it is a true tragedy if you get conned into this scam.
Overseas Employment Scams
Job seekers, interested in overseas employment that promises high pay, good benefits, free traveled adventure, should be aware that there are unscrupulous operators who have devised elaborate and very convincing scams to bilk unwitting, and often desperate applicants.
Before getting swept away with promises of exotic job opportunities, make sure you have thoroughly investigated the matter and know the potential risks involved in obtaining overseas employment.
Typical Overseas Employment Scams
Unlike legitimate employment firms that have permanent addresses, many unscrupulous operators run their so-called job placement firms from out-of-state, and may provide only a post office or mail drop address. Although there are legitimate firms with post office or mail drop addresses, job applicants should be aware that this practice, when used by unscrupulous operators, makes it easier for the operators to avoid scrutiny by their clients.
In many instances, law enforcement officials investigating a suspicious firm have found a "fly-by-night" operation. The scam headquarters, with little more than a desk and a telephone, may be based in one state, but operate out of other states, making it more difficult for the officials to track the operation.
Typical overseas job scams, include:
How to Avoid Employment Scams
Many job seekers have lost money to disreputable advance-fee placement firms. If you decide to use an overseas job placement firm, the best way to avoid being scammed is to learn as much as you can about the operation:
If You Are Scammed
If you have been victimized by an employment scam, you can help prevent these types of incidents from recurring by reporting it to the proper law enforcement authorities. They may be able to put the unscrupulous operator out of business and, in extreme cases, fine them heavily or even put them in jail.
Tips To Remember
Overseas Job Scams © 1995
Copyright 1995 by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.