View Full Version : The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Explained

7th September 2014, 16:48
In conjunction with the Labor & Employment Department, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) aids Filipino workers interested in finding employment abroad. Formally, a division of the Filipino government, the agency assists individuals who have been forced to seek jobs elsewhere due to a serious downturn in available work at home. As such, the POEA serves as a critical link between those with a strong motivation to find employment and foreign-based firms looking for high quality, reliable workers. The agency, therefore, provides a mutually beneficial relationship that produces valuable outcomes for those in real need.

Because Filipino workers are often willing to accept comparatively low wages for a wide variety of skilled and manual labor positions, many international employers are interested in using the POEA to secure such cost-effective, enthusiastic workers. Though it is certainly true that such an arrangement poses certain ethical questions relating to possible exploitation, the fact remains that countless enterprises abroad find this source of eager workers to be highly valuable and a boon to their bottom lines.

Companies looking to engage the services of Filipino employees must follow a fairly complex series of regulations before they can successfully integrate such workers into their firms. The POEA really does serve as the sole reputable clearinghouse for Filipino employees, largely because it is impermissible for any worker to accept a job abroad without the government's approval. Working through the POEA ensures that such permission has indeed been granted.

Among other things, the POEA maintains government-run health facilities that are used to conduct health examinations before any worker is released to go abroad. In addition, the agency provides monitoring of the workers before and during their engagements in foreign countries. Health examinations, once optional, are now mandatory. The Filipino government requires that all prospective workers for positions based abroad receive comprehensive exams. The facilities performing the examinations broadly fall under the auspices of the POEA, but the actual exams themselves are overseen by the companies already included on the POEA-accredited list of land-based or other type of employment agency.

Anytime an employer wishes to hire a POEA-approved worker for a land-based position, it is necessary for them to go through the approved list of employment agencies. Such firms have already obtained their POEA certification and are able to hire job seekers within the country. These enterprises serve as formally sanctioned POEA agents and have the government's blessing to hire individuals and serve as the middleman between the foreign employer, the workers and the state.

Enterprises whose specific business needs require workers to be located offshore are unable to utilize the POEA's list of land-based employment agencies, but must instead seek employees through distinct manpower firms specializing in such individuals. The surprising truth is that a very large number of overseas employers are looking to hire for offshore positions rather than for jobs situated on land.