Filipino recruitment and the POEA

Filipino recruitment and the POEA

Now that international travel and border restrictions have been lifted many Filipinos are seeking opportunities to work in foreign countries such as New Zealand.

In the Philippines, a high percentage of the government’s GDP comes from their workforce’s foreign earnings. Therefore, the Philippine government wants to not only protect their workforce from exploitation and harm, but also to ensure this important source of revenue is maintained. Consequently, the overseas employment of Filipino nationals is highly monitored and regulated.

Outlined below are details of what you need to know about the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or “POEA” before you decide to recruit Filipino workers.


What role does the POEA play in hiring Filipino workers, and why is it an essential part of the recruitment process?

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is a government body responsible for monitoring and regulating private recruitment agencies in the Philippines.

Typically, the POEA ensures that all foreign job opportunities available to all Filipinos are legitimate. Their main purpose is to protect all applicants and Overseas Filipino Workers (or OFWs) from illegal recruiters or employers by creating and implementing policies that endeavour the best interest of the OFWs.

The POEA’s main functions include:

  • Recruitment Agency Status Verification - to check the recruitment agency status, whether licensed, suspended, and permanently banned, or closed.
  • Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS) - helps potential Filipino candidates to determine and understand the advantages and disadvantages of working abroad. It clarifies the guidelines and legal procedures for overseas job applications, required documents, and fees for overseas job applications, and even provides tips to candidates to help them avoid becoming a victim of illegal recruitment.
  • Frontline Services – managing OFWs legal documentation such as registration of land-based applicants for overseas employment, registration of seafarer’s registration certificate applicants, documentation of land-based name hires or direct hires, and ensuring frontline services are fully staffed.
  • Complaints Division - OFWs can file any irregularities, recruitment violations, and complaints with their agency here at the POEA’s Docket and Enforcement Division.
  • Processing of Overseas Employment Certificate - They are in charge of providing the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). Filipino workers are absolutely not allowed to depart the Philippines to work overseas without first securing an OEC.

In summary, the POEA plays a vital role in the recruitment and deployment of Filipino workers. It caters its services to assist aspiring OFWs to achieve legal status through proper documentation before leaving the country to work overseas.

As a result of the huge demand (and opportunities) for skilled and experienced Filipino workers around the world, sadly, so are the concerns about illegal recruitment. Hence much of the POEA’s work is directed towards efforts to counter illegal recruitment by conducting seminars for potential OFWs such as the Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar or PEOS.

RecruitNZ assists New Zealand employers to find international workers who are a great fit for their business. Let us take the pain out of recruitment.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business.

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Tanya Gray is your strategic HR partner, passionate about driving clients’ productivity with innovative solutions and collaboration.

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