Omnibus Rules – Book I
IMPLEMENTING THE LABOR CODE
SECTION 1. Title. — These Rules shall be referred to as the “Rules to Implement the Labor Code.”
SECTION 2. Meanings of Terms. — Whenever used herein, the words “Code,” “Secretary,” “Department,” “Regional Office” and “Regional Director” shall respectively mean the Labor Code of the Philippines; the Secretary of Labor and Employment; the Department of Labor and Employment; Regional Office of the Department and Director of the Regional Office.
SECTION 3. Construction. — All doubts in the interpretation and implementation of these rules shall be resolved in favor of labor.
Definitions of Terms
SECTION 1. Definition of terms. —
(a) “Bureau” means the Bureau of Employment Services.
(b) “NSB” means the National Seamen Board.
(c) “OEDB” means the Overseas Employment Development Board.
(d) “Private recruitment entity” means any person or entity engaged in the recruitment and placement of workers locally or overseas, without charging, directly or indirectly, any fee against the worker.
(e) “Private employment agency” means any person or entity engaged in the recruitment and placement of workers for a fee which is charged directly against the workers or employers, or both.
(f) “Authority” means a document issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment authorizing a person or association to engage in recruitment and placement activities as a private recruitment entity.
(g) “License” means a document issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment authorizing a person or entity to operate a private employment agency.
(h) “Employment permit” means the authority issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment to a non-resident alien to work in the Philippines or to an employer engaged in business in the Philippines to employ such alien.
(i) “Beneficiary” means a person designated by a contract worker or seaman employed overseas to receive his monthly remittance.
(j) “Non-resident alien” means any alien already in the Philippines or seeking admission to the Philippines to obtain employment in any public or private enterprise.
(k) “Seaman” means any person employed in maritime navigation.
(l) “Understudy” means any qualified Filipino citizen designated by a local employer to be trained by a foreign national allowed to work in the country by virtue of an employment permit granted to him by the Secretary of Labor and Employment under an approved understudy training program.
(m) “Recruitment and placement” refers to any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting, utilizing, hiring or procuring workers and includes referrals, contract services, promising or advertising employment locally or abroad, whether for profit or not: Provided, That any person or entity which in any manner, offers or promises employment for a fee to two or more persons shall be deemed engaged in recruitment and placement.
(n) “Foreign exchange earnings” means the earnings abroad of contract workers and seamen or their recruiters or local employers or agents in terms of US dollars or any other internationally acceptable currency.
(o) “Remittance” means the amount of the foreign exchange earnings remitted by a contract worker or seaman to any beneficiary in the Philippines through the Philippine banking system.
(p) “Placement fees” means the amount charged by a private employment agency from an applicant worker for its services in the recruitment and placement of said worker.
(q) “Mobilization fee” means the amount charged by a licensee or authority holder from its foreign employer-principal/partner to cover costs of recruitment, processing and documentation of its recruits for overseas employment.
(r) “Service fee” means the amount charged by a licensee or authority holder from its foreign employer-principal/partner as payment for actual services rendered in relation to the recruitment and employment of workers for said principal/partner.
(s) Administration. — means the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.
(u) Administrator. — means a private employment or a manning agency as herein defined.
(v) Code. — means the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended.
(w) Contracting partner. — refers to a foreign party to any service agreement or project contract entered into by a service contractor or construction contractor.
(x) Contract Worker. — means any person working or who has worked overseas under a valid employment contract and shall include seamen.
(y) Directorate. — means the executive body of the Administration composed of its administrators and Directors.
(z) Director LRO. — refers to the Director of the Licensing and Regulation Office.
(aa) Director MPDO. — refers to the Director of the Market Development and Placement Office.
(bb) Director WAAO. — refers to the Director of the Worker’s Assistance and Adjudication Office.
(cc) Employer. — refers to any person, partnership or corporation, whether local or foreign directly engaging the services of the Filipino workers overseas.
(dd) Entity. — means a private recruitment entity as herein defined.
(ee) Governing Board. — is the policy making body of the Administration.
(ff) Manning Agency. — refers to any person or entity duly licensed by the Secretary to recruit seamen for vessels plying international waters and for related maritime activities.
(gg) Name Hire. — is a worker who is able to secure employment overseas on his own without the assistance or participation of any agency or entity.
(hh) Non-licensee or Non-holder of Authority. — refers to any person, partnership or corporation which has not been issued a valid license or authority, has been suspended, revoked or cancelled by the Administrator or Secretary.
(ii) One-Stop Processing Center. — refers to an inter-agency servicing body designed to facilitate the employment and subsequent deployment of contract workers for work overseas.
(jj) Overseas employment. — means employment of a worker outside the Philippines including employment on board vessels plying international waters, covered by a valid employment contract.
(kk) Principal. — refers to any foreign person, partnership or corporation hiring Filipino workers through an agency.
(ll) Regional Director. — refers to the Directors of the Regional Office of the Department.
(mm) Regional Labor Center or RLC. — refers to an overseas field office of the Administration.
SECTION 1. Powers of the Secretary of Labor and Employment. — The Secretary shall have the power and authority to:
(a) Organize and establish, as the need arises, new public employment offices in addition to or in place of existing ones for the efficient, systematic and coordinated recruitment and placement of workers for local and overseas employment.
(b) Organize and establish a nationwide job clearance and information system to inform applicants registering with a particular employment office of job opportunities in other parts of the country as well as overseas.
(c) Develop and organize programs that will facilitate occupational, industrial and geographical mobility of labor and provide assistance in the relocation of workers from one area to another.
(d) Require any person, establishment, organization or institution to submit such employment information as may be necessary; and chan robles virtual law library
(e) Issue such rules and regulations as may be necessary to regulate and supervise private sector participation in the recruitment and placement of workers, locally or overseas, in the context of a comprehensive national employment program.
SECTION 2. Free placement services. — The public employment offices shall provide free placement of workers applying for both domestic and overseas placement. Applicants shall accomplish appropriate information sheets and submit such other documents as may be prescribed by the Bureau for the purpose.
SECTION 3. Placement of workers. — Any applicant registering for employment with a public employment office shall be interviewed to determine his occupational qualifications. The public employment office shall refer him to any appropriate job for vacancy.
SECTION 4. Vocational guidance and testing. — The public employment offices shall provide adequate vocational guidance and testing service to persons seeking help in choosing or changing an occupation. Each office shall at least have one (1) vocational guidance and testing officer to undertake these tasks.
SECTION 5. Occupational classification of registered applicants. — The public employment office shall classify registered applicants in accordance with job-titles and codes of the Philippine Standard Classification. They shall also maintain a registry of skills using such forms as may be appropriate for the purpose.
SECTION 6. Occupational-industrial mobility of workers. — The public employment offices shall arrange for the training or retraining of unemployed applicants in occupations or trades where they are suitably qualified and have greater prospect of employment.
SECTION 7. Geographical movement of workers. — The public employment office shall arrange for the inter-area placement of unemployed workers through a nationwide job-clearance and information system. The transfer of workers shall be arranged by the public employment office where the applicant is registered and the office where the vacancy exists.
SECTION 8. Job-clearance and information system. — The public employment office shall furnish lists of registered job applicants and job openings to the Bureau which shall act as the national job-clearing house.
SECTION 9. Submission of reports. — At the end of each month, every employer with at least six (6) employees shall submit to the nearest public employment office the following:
(a) List of existing job vacancies or openings;
(b) List of new employees, if any;
(c) Terminations, lay-offs or retirements;
(d) Total number of employed workers for the period; and
(e) Request for assistance, if needed, to fill vacancies or openings.
Recruitment and Placement
SECTION 1. Private recruitment. — No person or entity shall engage in the recruitment and placement of workers either for local or overseas employment except the following:
(a) Public employment offices;
(b) Overseas Employment Development Board;
(c) National Seamen Board;
(d) Private recruitment offices;
(e) Private employment agencies;
(f) Shipping or manning agents or representatives; and
(g) Such other persons or entities as may be authorized by the Secretary.
SECTION 2. Ban on direct hiring. — No employer may hire a Filipino worker for overseas employment except through the person or entities enumerated in the preceding section or as authorized by the law or by the Secretary. Direct hiring by members of the diplomatic service, officials and employees of international organizations and such other employers as may be authorized by the Secretary is exempted from this provision. Such hirings shall be processed by the Overseas Employment Development Board.
Private Sector Participation in Recruitment and Placement
SECTION 1. Who may participate in the private sector. — Only the following persons or entities in the private sector may engage in the recruitment and placement of workers either for local or overseas employment:
(a) Private employment agencies;
(b) Private recruitment entities;
(c) Shipping or manning agents or representatives; and
(d) Such other persons or entities as may be authorized by the Secretary.
SECTION 2. Citizenship requirement. — Only Filipino citizens or corporations, partnerships or entities at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the authorized and voting capital stock of which is owned and controlled by Filipino citizens shall be permitted to participate in the recruitment and placement of workers, locally or overseas.
Private Employment Agencies
SECTION 1. Qualifications of applicants. — All applicants for license to operate private employment agencies either for local or overseas recruitment and placement shall possess the following qualifications:
(a) Citizenship requirement as provided for in Rule IV of these Rules;
(b) Appropriate capitalization as follows:
1. For overseas recruitment and placement, a minimum networth of P150,000.00 in the case of single proprietorship, and a paid-up capital or networth of P150,000.00 in the case of a corporation or partnership, as the case may be;
2. For local recruitment and placement, a minimum networth of P25,000.00 in the case of single proprietorship; and a paid-up capital or networth of P25,000.00 in the case of partnership or corporation, as the case may be;
(c) Applicants not otherwise disqualified by law, rule or regulations as may be determined by competent authority to engage in recruitment and placement. (Repealed by POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 2. Application for license for overseas recruitment and placement. — Every applicant for license to operate a private employment agency for overseas recruitment and placement shall submit to the Bureau the following documents in support of the application:
(a) A certified copy of the Articles of Incorporation in the case of a corporation, or the registration with the Bureau of Domestic Trade in the case of a single proprietorship or partnership;
(b) If the applicant is a corporation, proof of financial capacity of the major stockholders such as sworn statements of assets and verified income tax returns for the last two years;
(c) Clearance from the Philippine Constabulary and the Bureau of Internal Revenue for all the incorporators, partners or single proprietor; chan robles virtual law library
(d) A verified statement that the applicant has in its employ persons with adequate competence to evaluate and test recruits and to consider them for employment strictly on the basis of merit and fitness, without any undue discrimination and in accordance with the qualifications prescribed by the employer;
(e) A verified undertaking to assume all responsibilities for the proper use of its license/authority and the implementation of the contracts of employment with the workers; and
(f) Such other requirements that the Secretary may require upon recommendation of the Bureau Director. (Amended by Sec. 1, Rule II, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 3. Action on application. — Within the thirty (30) days from the receipt of the application for license, the Bureau shall recommend its denial or approval to the Secretary. Upon considering the findings and recommendations of the Bureau, the Secretary may either deny or approve the application. (Amended by POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 4. Fees and bonds. — Upon approval of the application, the applicant shall pay to the Department a license fee of P6,000.00, post a cash bond of P50,000.00 or negotiate bonds of equivalent amount convertible to cash issued by banking or financial institutions duly endorsed to the Department, as well as a surety bond of P150,000.00 from an accredited bonding company to answer for valid and legal claims arising from violations of the conditions of the license or the contracts of employment and guarantee compliance with the provisions of the Code, its implementing rules and regulations and appropriate issuances of the Department. (Amended by Sec. 2 & 4 Rule II Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 5. Issuance of license. — Upon payment of the license fee and the posting of the appropriate bonds, the Bureau shall issue the corresponding licensing to the applicant. (Modified by Sec. 5, Rule II, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 6. Duration of license. — Every license shall be valid for one year from the date of approval, unless sooner cancelled, revoked or suspended by the Secretary for violation of any of the conditions of the license or any of applicable provisions of the Code and these Rules. (As amended by Sec. 6, Rule II, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 7. Non-transferability of license. — No license shall be transferred, conveyed or assigned to any other person or entity, or used in any place other than that stated in the license. Any transfer of business address, appointment or designation, of any agent or representative, including the establishment of additional offices elsewhere, shall be subject to the final approval of the Bureau. (As amended by Sec. 7, Rule II, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 8. Change of Ownership of Business. — Transfer or change of ownership of a single proprietorship licensed or authorized to engage in overseas employment shall cause the automatic revocation of the license or authority. The new owner shall be required to apply for a license or authority in accordance with these Rules. (Added by Sec. 8, Rule II, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
A change in the relationship of the partners in a partnership duly authorized or licensed to engage in overseas employment which materially interrupt the course of the business or results in the actual dissolution of the partnership shall likewise cause the automatic revocation of the license or authority.
SECTION 9. Upgrading of Single Proprietorship or partnership. — Licensees or authority holders which are single proprietorships or partnerships may, subject to the guidelines of the Administration, convert into corporations for purposes of upgrading or raising their capabilities to meet the stiff competition in the international labor market and to enable them to better comply with their responsibilities arising from the recruitment and deployment of workers overseas. (Added by Sec. 9, Rule II, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
The prohibition on the issuance of new license under L.O.I. 1190 shall not apply to the new entity created by reason of the above merger, consolidation or upgrading.
The approval of merger, consolidation or upgrading shall automatically revoke or cancel the license or authorities of the single proprietorships, partnerships or corporations so merged, consolidated or upgraded.
SECTION 10. Change of Directors of Corporations. — Every change in the composition of the Board of Directors of a corporation licensed or authorized to participate in overseas employment shall be registered with the Administration within 30 days from the date the change was decided or approved. The corporation shall be required to submit to the Administration the bio-data and clearances of the new members of the Board from the government agencies identified in Section 1 (c) Rule II, Book II of these Rules. (Added by Sec. 10, Rule II, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 11. Change of Other Officers and Personnel. — Every change of officers or representatives and termination of appointment of personnel shall be registered with the Administration within 30 days from the date the change or termination occurred. (Added by Sec. 11, Rule II, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 12. Transfer of Business Address. — Any transfer of business address, including the establishment of additional offices elsewhere, shall be effected only with prior authority or approval of the Administration. The approval shall be issued only upon formal notice of the intention of transfer with the following attachments: (Added by Sec. 12, Rule II, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(a) Copy of the company’s formal notice to the BDT or SEC on the transfer of business address;
(b) In case of a corporation, Board Resolution duly registered with the SEC authorizing transfer of business address;
(c) Copy of the BDT or SEC acknowledgment of the notice to transfer;
(d) Copy of the contract of lease or proof of building ownership.
The new office space shall be subject to the normal ocular inspection procedures by duly authorized representatives of the Administration.
A notice to the public of the new address shall be punished in a newspaper of general circulation.
SECTION 13. Conduct of Recruitment Outside of Registered Office. — No licensed or authorized agency or entity shall conduct recruitment activities outside of the address stated in the licensed authority without first securing prior authority from the Administration. (Added by Sec. 13, Rule II, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 14. Appointment of Representatives. — Every appointment of representatives or agents of licensed or authorized agency or entity shall be subject to the prior approval or authority of the Administration. The approval may be issued upon submission of or compliance with the following requirements:(Added by Sec. 14, Rule II, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(a) Proposed appointment or special power of attorney;
(b) Philippine Constabulary (PC-CIS) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearances of the proposed representative or agent;
(c) Two (2) copies of passport-size pictures of the proposed representative or agent;
(d) A sworn or verified statement by the designating or appointing person or company assuming full responsibility for all acts of the agent or representative done in connection with the recruitment and placement of workers.
Approval by the Administration of the appointment or designation does not authorize the agent or representative to establish a branch or extension office of the licensed agency represented.
Any revocation or amendments in the appointment should be communicated to the Administration, otherwise the designation or appointment shall be deemed as not revoked or amended.
SECTION 15. Renewal of license. — Not later than forty five (45) days before the expiry date of the license, a private employment agency shall submit to the Bureau an application for renewal of license. Such application shall be supported by the following documents:
(a) A report under oath of its operations during the period covered by the license containing the following information, among other:
1) Number and categories of workers recruited and placed overseas during the period, names and addresses of their respective employer(s)/principal(s), total basic wages and salaries earned of workers placed by it and reported foreign exchange earnings remitted during the period as certified by the Central Bank;
2) Total amount paid to the welfare fund and processing fees paid during the period;
3) Names and addresses of its principals and the amount of service fees per worker charged against them; and
(b) Verified financial statement of operation during the period, including latest income tax payment. (Amended by Sec. 15, Rule II, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 16. Processing of application for renewal. — Within thirty (30) days from receipt of the application for renewal of license, the Bureau shall complete the processing of the same. Upon evaluation of the documents submitted and the agency’s performance records, the Bureau shall recommend its denial or renewal to the Secretary who may accept or deny the Bureau’s recommendation. The Bureau shall release the license subject to payment of a license fee of P6,000.00, posting of a cash bond of P50,000.00 or its acceptable equivalent, and the renewal of the surety bond of P150,000.00. (Amended by Sec. 16 to 18, Rule II, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(a) Replenishment of Cash or Surety Bonds. — Within thirty (30) days from notice by the Administration that the bonds or any part thereof had been garnished, the agency or entity shall replenish the same. Failure to replenish shall cause the suspension or cancellation of the license or authority.
(b) Refund of Cash Bond. A licensed agency or entity which voluntarily surrenders its license or authority shall be entitled to the refund of its cash bond only after posting a surety bond of similar amount valid for three (3) years.
(c) Evaluation of Performance of Agencies and Entities. The Administration shall undertake the evaluation and rating of the performance of licensed agencies and entities and determine the merits of their continued participation in the overseas employment program taking into consideration compliance with laws and regulations and such other criteria as it may deem proper. (Sec. 21 Rule II, Book III, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(d) Classification and Ranking. — The Administration may undertake the classification and ranking of agencies and entities. (Sec. 22 Rule II, Book III, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(e) Incentives and Recognition. — The Administration may undertake incentives and recognition to deserving agencies and contractors for exemplary performance. (Sec. 23 Rule II, Book III, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 17. Requirement before recruitment. — Before recruiting any worker, the private employment agency shall submit to the Bureau the following documents:
(a) A formal appointment or agency contract executed by a foreign-based employer in favor of the license holder to recruit and hire personnel for the former duly authenticated or attested by the Philippine Labor Attaché or duly authorized Philippine foreign service official or, in his absence by an appropriate official, agency or organization in the country where the employer conducts his business. In case any of the foregoing documents is executed in the Philippines, the same may be authenticated by the duly authorized official of the Department of Foreign Affairs or of the employer’s consulate or Embassy or of the Department of Labor and Employment official as may be appropriate. Such formal appointment or recruitment agreement shall contain the following provisions, among others:
(1) Terms of recruitment, including the responsibility of the parties relative to the employment of workers;
(2) Power of the agency to sue and be sued jointly and solidarily with the principal or foreign-based employer for any of the violations of the recruitment agreement and the contracts of employment;
(3) Compensation or payment schedule, including payment of documentation costs, government fees, service from the transportation fare and the mode of payments;
(4) Period of validity, which shall be not less than one year and up to the expiration date of the last employment contract signed with its recruits; and
(5) Institutions of systems or procedure to be implemented for mandatory remittance of a portion of the worker’s salary as provided under the Code and the Affidavit of undertaking.
(b) Commercial registration and other pertinent documents proving the legal personality of the foreign principal, including its authority to hire and recruit foreign workers;
(c) Job order or requisition of the foreign-based employer or principal, including the number for categories of workers needed, salary and benefit schedule, qualification guidelines and testing procedures and master employment contract; and
(d) Work permits or work visas where such are required by the country of destination.
SECTION 18. Submission of employment contracts. — (a) Every private employment agency shall submit to the Bureau, for evaluation and approval, the master employment contract to be used for its recruits and the service/recruitment agreement which shall be written in English and in the language of the country of work whenever necessary.
(b) All applicants for passport or travel of recruited workers shall be properly endorsed by the Bureau.
SECTION 19. Standard format of service agreement and employment contract. — The Bureau shall adopt a standard format of service agreement and employment contract in accordance with pertinent labor and social legislation and prevailing international standard and conventions. The standard format shall set the minimum standards of the terms and conditions to govern the employment of land-based overseas Filipinos. All employers shall adopt the model contract in connection with the hiring and engagement of the services of overseas workers. (Modified by Sec. 2 Rule I, Book V, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 20. Worker’s deployment. — It shall be the responsibility of the private employment agency to facilitate the deployment of the recruits. If the worker is unable to depart within forty-five (45) days from the release of passport through no fault of his and without any valid reason on the part of the agency, he shall be entitled to the refund of his expenses, if any, and standby pay, if he is made to wait for his deployment. On the other hand, if after the applicant worker has been properly documented and processed, he decides to withdraw without any valid reason, he shall reimburse the agency all expenses of processing and documentation. The Bureau shall issue as appropriate, orders to implement this provision.
SECTION 21. Contents of employment contracts. — The employment contracts shall in no case provide for terms of employment below the standards established by the Department, which shall not be below the basic requirements of Philippine labor and social legislation or practices, and shall include the following: (Modified by Sec. 1 Rule I, Book V, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(a) Guaranteed wages for regular working hours and overtime pay for services rendered in excess of basic working hours as established by the Ministry;
(b) Free transportation from point of hire to site of employment and return, including expenses for travel documentation;
(c) Adequate board and lodging facilities;
(d) Free emergency medical and dental treatment and facilities;
(e) Just causes for the termination of the contract or of the service of the workers;
(f) Workmen’s compensation benefits and war hazard protection, including life and accident insurance coverage during the term of employment;
(g) Immediate transportation of the worker’s remains and property in case of death to the point of hire or if this is not possible under the circumstances, the proper disposition thereof, upon previous arrangement with the worker’s next-of-kin and the nearest Philippine Embassy or Consulate; and
(h) Remittance of the worker’s salaries, allowances and/or allotments to his beneficiaries through the Philippine banking system.
SECTION 21. (a) Allowable Salaries and Wages. — Workers hired for overseas employment shall receive salaries or wages in accordance with the standards promulgated by the Administration. The Administration shall undertake the periodic review of salaries and wages prevailing at worksites. (Sec. 3 Rule I, Book V, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 22. Renewal of contracts. — Every contract worker shall advise the Department of the renewal or extension of his employment contract in any of the following manner:
(a) Through the labor attaché, or in his absence through a duly designated foreign service official in the area of employment who is authorized to renew the contract; or
(b) By furnishing the Bureau directly with a copy of the renewed contract.
SECTION 23. Allowable fees chargeable against the workers. —
(a) Unless otherwise provided by the Secretary, private employment agencies may collect a placement fee from every worker in accordance with a schedule to be approved by him. Such fee shall be paid only when the employment contract of the worker has been approved by the Bureau and he is about to commence employment through the efforts of the agency. Every payment shall be covered by an appropriate receipt indicating the amount paid and the purpose of such payment. In addition and subject to the approval of the Secretary the applicant workers may be required to post a bond to guarantee compliance with the employment contract.
(b) A recruit may be required to shoulder the cost of the following requirements provided that the same shall be covered by an appropriate receipt and unless paid by the employer of principal:
(1) Medical and psychological examination;
(2) Inoculation certificate;
(c) Records of payment shall be available for inspection by an authorized representative of the Bureau any time during regular office hours. (Amended by Sec. 2 Rule IV, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 24. Fees chargeable against the employer. — A private employment agency shall charge a minimum mobilization fee to cover costs of recruitment, processing and documentation in accordance with a schedule approved by the Secretary in addition to service charges which may be negotiated with a foreign employer or principal.
(a) Fees Chargeable Against Principals. Agencies shall charge from their principals a service of manning fee to cover services rendered in the recruitment, documentation and placement of workers. (Sec. 1 Rule IV, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(b) Charges deductible from Fees Paid by Withdrawing Workers. In case of the withdrawal of the worker within one hundred twenty (120) days from the signing of the employment contracts the agency or entity shall refund the amount paid by him after deducting such actual expenses incurred in the documentation of the worker as may be supported by receipts. (Sec. 3 Rule IV, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(c) Prohibition on Charging of Other Fees. No other fees or charges shall be imposed against any worker. (Sec. 4 Rule IV, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(d) Processing Fees and Welfare Fund Contribution. Contract processing fees and the Welfare Fund contributions shall in no case be charged to the worker. However, this shall not apply in the case of Seafarers’ Welfare Fund which is contributory in nature.
SECTION 25. Recruitment Advertisement. —
(a) No advertisement for overseas recruitment including training or review activities for overseas employment shall be placed in any newspaper by a private employment agency without prior authorization by the Bureau. Such advertisement shall contain the following information, among others:
(1) The number and nature of jobs available, including wage and benefit schedule;
(2) A brief description of the skills needed;
(3) The name, nationality and address of the employer; and
(4) The name, address and license number of the agency.
(b) No press notice or announcement regarding the availability of overseas jobs shall be released by the agency prior to the accreditation of one principal. (As amended by Sec. 2 Rule II Book III, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 25. (a) Recruitment from the Administration’s Manpower Registry. Agencies or entities may recruit workers for their accredited principals or projects from the manpower registry of the Administration in accordance with the guidelines set by it. (Sec. 1, Rule II Book III, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(b) Advertisement for Manpower Pooling By Agencies or Entities. Agencies or entities desiring to generate qualified applicants for prospective principal or project may advertise in accordance with the format prescribed by the Administration. Such undertakings shall not involve payment of any fee by applicants. (Sec. 3, Rule II Book III, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(c) Press Releases on Recruitment. For purposes of these rules, press releases on negotiations with principals or contracting partners and/or involving overseas job openings shall be considered as advertisements. (Sec. 4, Rule II Book III, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(d) Sanctions. False and deceptive advertisements published by agencies or entities including those published not in accordance with the prescribed format shall be valid ground for suspension or cancellation of license or authority. (Sec. 3, Rule I, Book III, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 26. Application for license for local recruitment and placement.
(a) Every applicant for license to operate a private employment agency for local recruitment and placement shall submit the following documents in support of the application;
(1) A certified copy of the Articles of Incorporation in the case of a corporation or the registration with the Bureau of Domestic Trade in the case of a single proprietorship or partnership; and
(2) Clearance from the Philippine Constabulary and the Bureau of Internal Revenue for all the incorporators, partners or single proprietor.
(3) List of officers/personnel and corresponding bio-data.
(b) An agency licensed to recruit and place workers overseas need not apply for a separate license to engage in domestic recruitment and placement.
SECTION 27. Action on application. — Within thirty (30) days from receipt of the application for license, the Bureau Director shall either deny or approve the same. The denial by the Bureau Director may be appealed by the applicant to the Secretary within ten (10) days from the receipt of the notice of denial.
SECTION 28. Notice of approval or denial. — The Bureau shall immediately transmit the notice of denial or approval of the application to the applicant.
SECTION 29. Fees and bonds. — Upon approval of the application, the applicant shall pay to the Department a license fee of P1,000.00 and post cash and surety bonds of P5,000.00 and P25,000.00, respectively.
The bonds shall guarantee compliance with the provisions of the Code, its implementing rules and the terms and conditions of the employment contracts.
SECTION 30. Issuance of License. — Upon payment of the license fee and the posting of the appropriate bonds, the Bureau Director shall issue the corresponding license to the applicant.
SECTION 31. Duration of license. — The license shall be valid for one year from the date of approval unless sooner cancelled, revoked or suspended by the Bureau Director for violation of any of the conditions prescribed in the license or applicable provisions of the Code or these Rules.
SECTION 32. Non-transferability of license. — No license shall be transferred, conveyed or assigned to any other person or entity, or used in any place other than that stated in the license. Any transfer of business address, appointment, or designation of any agent or representatives, including the establishment of additional offices elsewhere shall be subject to the prior approval of the Bureau.
SECTION 33. Registration of local private recruitment entities. — Educational institutions and civic organizations setting up placement offices to service their students or members shall register their operations with the nearest public employment office or the Bureau under such guidelines as may be prescribed by the Secretary. Such entities shall coordinate their recruitment activities with the public employment offices in the area where they operate.
SECTION 34. Allowable fees. — An employment agency which recruits a domestic worker for an employer may charge the latter a service fee to be determined by the Bureau which shall cover the maintenance of the recruit including board and lodging prior to placement. The transportation fare of the recruit from place of work may be charged against the latter.
Every payment shall be covered by an appropriate receipt indicating the amount paid and purpose of such payment.
SECTION 35. Replacement without costs. — An employer shall be entitled to a replacement without additional charges within one (1) month from the date of engagement of the first recruit on any of the following grounds:
(a) The recruit is found to be suffering from an incurable or contagious disease;
(b) The recruit is physically or mentally incapable of discharging the minimum normal requirements of the job;
(c) The recruit abandons the job, voluntarily resigns, commits theft or any other act prejudicial to the employer or to any immediate members of his family; and
(d) Other grounds analogous to the foregoing.
SECTION 36. Acknowledgment of contracts. — Every recruitment contract shall be acknowledged before the appropriate Regional Director or his duly authorized representative, or in his absence, before the municipal mayor, judge, notaries public or any person authorized by law to administer oath of the place where the recruit resides. If the recruit is a minor, the consent of the parent or guardian, similarly acknowledged, shall be attached to the contract.
Cancellation or Suspension of License
SECTION 1. Scope of Application. — These Rules shall apply to all persons, agencies or entities duly licensed or authorized to recruit and deploy Filipino workers for overseas employment. (Sec. 1, Rule VI Book I, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 2. Grounds for Suspension, Cancellation or Revocation. — A license or authority shall be cancelled, suspended or revoked on any of the following grounds, among others:
a. Imposing or accepting directly or indirectly any amount of money, goods or services, or any fee or bond in excess of what is prescribed by the Administration;
b. Engaging in act(s) of misrepresentation, such as publication or advertisement of false or deceptive notices or information in relation to the recruitment and placement of workers;
c. Engaging in act(s) of misrepresentation, such as giving false statements, false testimonies or falsified documents;
d. Inducing or attempting to induce an already employed worker to transfer from or leave his employment to another unless such transfer is advantageous or beneficial to the worker;
e. Influencing or attempting to influence any person or entity to prevent employment of any worker;
f. Engaging in the recruitment and placement of workers in jobs harmful to public health or morality or to the dignity of the Republic of the Philippines;
g. Obstructing or attempting to obstruct inspection by the Secretary, the Administrator or by their duly authorized representatives;
h. Substituting or altering employment contracts and other documents approved and verified by the Administration from the time of actual signing thereof by the parties up to and including the period of expiration of the same without the Administration’s approval;
i. Failure to file report on the remittance of foreign exchange earnings and such matters as may be required by the Administration;
j. Where the owner, partner or majority stockholder, licensee or holder of authority, or principal officers become officer or member of the Board of any corporation or partnership engaged in travel or engaged directly or indirectly in the management of a travel agency;
k. Withholding or denying travel and other documents from workers for monetary considerations or reasons other than those authorized under the Labor Code and its implementing Rules and Regulations;
l. Engaging in recruitment activities in places other than specified in the license or authority without previous authorization from the Administration;
m. Appointing or designating agents or representatives without prior approval of the Administration;
n. Falsifying or altering workers’ employment contracts or travel documents;
o. Deploying workers or seamen to vessels or principals not accredited by the Administrator;
p. Deploying workers whose employment and travel documents were not processed by the Administration;
q. Publishing or causing the publication of overseas job vacancies in violation of the prescribed rules;
r. Failure to deploy workers without valid reasons within the prescribed period as provided under Section 5, Rule III, Book III hereof;
s. Failure to pay or replenish cash bond and renew surety bond;
t. Disregard of lawful orders, summons, etc;
u. Withholding of workers’ salaries or remittances without justifiable reasons;
v. Coercing workers overseas to accept prejudicial arrangements in exchange of certain benefits that rightfully belong to the worker; and
w. Violation of other pertinent provisions of the Labor Code and other relevant laws, rules and regulations. (Sec. 2, Rule Sec. 4, Rule II Book III, POEA Rules and Regulations)I Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 3. Complaints against private employment agency. — Any complaint or report against private employment agency shall be filed with the Bureau. If the complainant or report shows any violation of the conditions of the license or the pertinent provisions of the Code or of these rules, the Bureau shall immediately conduct an investigation and require the private employment agency concerned to submit its comments or explanation within five (5) working days upon receipt of the copy of order/notice of the Bureau. ( Amended by Sec. 3, Rule VI Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(a) Contents of the Complaint. The complaint shall state the name and address of the complainant as well as that of the respondent, the specific offense or omission, the date when the offense was committed, and the relief(s) sought. (Sec. 4, Rule VI Book I, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(b) Action on the Complaint. Upon receipt of the complaint, the Administration shall furnish the respondent with a copy of the complaint and its supporting documents, if any, and require him to file his answer within ten (10) working days from receipt thereof.
The respondent’s answer should be filed with the Licensing and Regulation Office within the reglementary period, attaching thereto proof of service of a copy thereof to the complainant.
Within five (5) days from receipt of the last responsive pleading, the Hearing Officer, shall schedule the hearing of the case if he finds from the submitted pleadings that there is a prima facie case of violation of the rules. Should there be a finding to the contrary, a minute resolution/summary judgment can be rendered motu proprio. (Amended by Sec. 5, Rule VI Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
(c) Failure to Answer/Appear During Hearing. Failure of the respondent to file an answer within the period prescribed or appear during the hearing, as the case may be, shall render the respondent in default and hearing or investigation may proceed ex parte. Decision/resolution of the case shall be based on the evidence presented by the complainant. ( Amended by Sec. 6, Rule VI Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 4. Suspension of license pending investigation. — (a) Pending investigation of the complaint or report, the Secretary may suspend the license of the private employment agency concerned upon recommendation of the Bureau on any of the following grounds:
(1) Failure on the part of the agency to submit its comments or explanation within five (5) days;
(2) There is a strong prima facie case for violation of the Labor Code as amended, its implementing Rules and Regulations and the Bureau’s policies, memoranda and circulars; or
(3) There exists reasonable ground showing that the continued operations of the agency will lead to further violation of the conditions of the license or the exploitation of the workers being recruited, or imperil friendly relations with any country or otherwise prejudice national interest or security.
(b) Similar action may be taken by the Bureau Director in the case of private agencies licensed for domestic recruitment and placement.
SECTION 5. Conduct of investigation. — The Bureau shall summon the owner or official of the private employment agency and other parties concerned if any, receive such evidence as may be relevant and necessary, and otherwise take such other actions as may be warranted to inform itself of true facts and circumstances of the case. The investigation shall be terminated not later than thirty (30) working days from the first hearing. The Bureau shall submit its findings and recommendations to the Department of Labor and Employment within fifteen (15) days from the termination of the investigation. (Amended by Sec. 7, Rule VI Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 6. Duration of Suspension. — The order of suspension may carry with it the period of effectivity which shall be in accordance with the scale of penalties which the Administration may promulgate. (Sec. 11, Rule VI Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 7. Effects of Settlement. — A mutually agreed settlement of the case or the desistance of the complainant shall not bar the Administration from proceeding with the investigation. The Secretary or the Administrator shall act on the case as may be merited by the results of the investigation and impose such penalties on the erring agency or entity as may be deemed appropriate. Such settlement when reached to the full satisfaction of the complainant may, however, mitigate the liability of the respondent. (Sec. 12, Rule VI Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 8. Imposition of Fines. — In addition to or in lieu of the penalties of suspension or cancellation the Secretary or the Administrator may impose fines. (Sec. 13, Rule VI Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 9. Suspension of Documentary Processing. — The Administration may order the suspension of the processing of documents pertaining to a respondent agency or entity on any of the grounds under Section 2 of this Rule or for violation of any provision of these Rules. (Sec. 14, Rule VI Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 10. Who May Issue Orders. — Orders of cancellation shall be issued by the Secretary. Orders for suspension of license or authority or the lifting thereof shall be issued by the Administrator, or in his absence by the Acting Administrator, in behalf of the Secretary. All other orders or resolutions which do not involve the suspension, cancellation or revocation of license or authority may be issued by the Director, LRO. (Sec. 14, Rule VI Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 11. Effect of Order of Suspension of License. — An order suspending a license or authority shall be immediately executory and shall have the effect of suspending all activities of the agency or entity which fall under the definitions of recruitment and placement. The Administration may seek the assistance of other government institutions, agencies, or offices to ensure that suspension or revocation orders are carried out. (Sec. 16, Rule VI Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 12. Authority to Administer Oath, Issue Subpoena, Etc. — The Administrator, the Director, LRO and the Hearing Officers shall have the authority to administer oath and/or affirmations, issue subpoena, take evidence, compel the attendance of the parties and/or witnesses and require the production of any book, paper, correspondence, memoranda and other records relevant or material to the case or inquiry. (Sec. 17, Rule VI Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 13. Motion for Reconsideration or Appeal. — A motion for the reconsideration of an order of suspension or an appeal to the Secretary from an order cancelling a license or authority may be entertained only when filed with the LRO within ten (10) working days from service of the order or decision.
The filing of a motion for reconsideration or appeal shall not automatically stay the execution of the order. The Secretary or the Administrator may order the stay of execution and require the posting of supersedeas bond. (Sec. 18, Rule VI Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 14. Action by the Secretary or Bureau Director. — (a) Where the case arises from overseas recruitment and placement activities, the Bureau shall submit its findings and recommendations to the Secretary within fifteen (15) days from the termination of the investigation, on the basis of which the Secretary may lift the suspension of the license or maintain the same until the violation are corrected, or cancel the license. (Repealed by POEA Rules and Regulations)
(b) Where the case involves domestic recruitment and placement activities, the Bureau Director may take similar action as provided for in paragraph (a) hereof. His decision may be appealed to the Secretary by an aggrieved party within ten (10) days from receipt of decision.
(c) The decision of the Secretary in both cases shall be final and unappealable.
(d) Where the decision of the Secretary is to suspend the license/authority, the duration of said suspension shall not be less than sixty (60) days, unless sooner lifted by him.
SECTION 15. Inspection and enforcement. — (a) The Bureau shall establish an inspectorate system to ensure effective supervision of the activities of all license and authority holders as well as of aliens employed in the Philippines and the implementation of the understudy training program of the employers of such aliens.
(b) The Bureau Director or his duly authorized representative may, during regular office hours, inspect the premises, books and records of license and authority holders and of establishments employing aliens to determine compliance with the Code and of these Rules. (Amended by Sec. 3, Rule III Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 16. Inspection Before Licensing. — Before issuance or renewal of license or authority the Administration shall conduct an inspection of the premises and pertinent documents of the applicant. (Sec. 1, Rule III, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 17. Inspection of Agencies and Entities. — All Agencies and entities shall be subject to periodic inspection by the Administration to determine compliance with existing rules and regulations. Inspection shall likewise be conducted by the Administration in case of transfer of office or establishment of a branch office or upon complaint or report of violations of existing rules and regulations. (Sec. 2, Rule III, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 18. Subject of Inspection. — Depending on the purpose of inspection, the authorized representative(s) of the Administration shall require the presentation of and examine the necessary documents, records and premises of an agency or entity. (Sec. 4, Rule III, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 19. Inspection Procedures. —
a) Inspection shall be conducted by a team of at least two duly authorized persons during office hours, unless otherwise authorized in accordance with Section 3 of this Rules;
b) Inspection shall be conducted in the presence of the Manager of the office or any office personnel;
c) Inspection reports shall be submitted to the Administrator or the Director, LRO, within 24 hours after the inspection. (Sec. 5, Rule III, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 20. Violations Found in the Course of Inspection. — Violations found in the course of inspection such as non-compliance with the Administration’s rules, issuances, directives, etc. may be grounds for the imposition of appropriate sanctions or for the denial of application for renewal of license. (Sec. 6, Rule III, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 21. Issuance of Policy Guidelines on Inspection. — The Director, LRO, shall issue appropriate guidelines which shall ensure an effective and comprehensive system of inspection. (Sec. 7, Rule III, Book II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 22. Guidelines on functions and responsibilities. — Consistent with these rules and regulations and appropriate instructions of the Secretary, the Bureau shall issue guidelines governing its functions and responsibilities.
The Overseas Construction Industry and the Corporate Export Program
SECTION 1. Registration of Filipino Construction Contractors. — Subject to guidelines issued jointly by the Secretary and the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines, construction contractors shall be issued authority to operate as private recruitment entities.
SECTION 2. Corporate Export Program. — The Bureau, in coordination with other relevant agencies and entities shall develop programs for the hiring of workers in organized or corporate groups.
Private Recruitment Entities
SECTION 1. Qualifications of applicants. — All applicants for authority to operate private recruitment entities for overseas work other than construction contractors shall possess the following qualifications:
(a) Citizenship requirement as provided for in Rule IV of these Rules;
(b) Appropriate capitalization as follows:
1. A minimum networth of P300,000 in the case of single proprietorship; and a paid-up capital or networth of P300,000 in the case of a corporation or partnership, as the case may be.
SECTION 2. Application for authority for overseas private recruitment. — Every applicant for authority to operate a private recruitment entity shall submit the following documents in support of the application:
(a) A certified copy of the Articles of Incorporation in the case of a corporation, or the registration with the Bureau of Domestic Trade in the case of a single proprietorship or partnership;
(b) If the applicant is a corporation, proof of financial capacity of the major stockholders such as sworn statements of assets and liabilities and verified income tax returns for the last two years;
(c) If the applicant is a single proprietorship or a partnership, proof of financial capacity of proprietor or partners such as sworn statements of assets and liabilities and verified income tax returns for the last two years;
(d) Clearance from the Philippine Constabulary and the Bureau of Internal Revenue for all the incorporators, partners or single proprietor;
(e) A verified statement that the applicant has in its employ persons with adequate competence to evaluate and test recruits and to consider them for employment strictly on the basis of merit and fitness, without any undue discrimination and in accordance with the qualifications prescribed by the employers;
(f) A verified undertaking to assume all responsibilities for the proper use of its authority and the implementation of the contract of employment with the workers; and
(g) Such other requirements that the Secretary may require upon recommendation of the Director.
SECTION 3. Action on application. — Within thirty (30) days from the receipt of the application for authority, the Bureau shall recommend its denial or approval to the Secretary. Upon considering the findings and recommendations of the Bureau, the Secretary may either deny or approve the application.
SECTION 4. Fees and bonds. — Upon approval of the application, the applicant shall pay to the Department a registration fee of P2,000.00, and post a performance bond of P200,000.00 from an accredited bonding company to answer for valid and legal claims arising from violations of the conditions of the authority of the contracts of employment and guarantee compliance with the provisions of the Code, its implementing rules and appropriate issuances of the Department.
SECTION 5. Action on application. — Within thirty (30) days from the receipt of the application for authority, the Bureau shall recommend its denial or approval to the Secretary. Upon considering the findings and recommendations of the Bureau, the Secretary may either deny or approve the application.
SECTION 6. Issuance of authority. — Upon payment of the registration fee and the posting of the appropriate bonds the Secretary shall issue the corresponding authority to the applicant.
SECTION 7. Duration/renewal and non-transferability of Authority. — (a) Every authority shall be valid for one year from the date of approval, unless sooner cancelled, revoked or suspended by the Secretary for violations of any of the conditions of the authority or any applicable provisions of the Code or these Rules.
(b) No authority shall be transferred, conveyed or assigned to any other person or entity or used in any place other than that stated in the authority. Any transfer of business address, appointment or designation of any agency or representative, including the establishment of additional offices elsewhere, shall be subject to the prior approval of the Bureau.
(c) The Secretary shall issue appropriate guidelines on the renewal of authority in accordance with the applicable provisions of these Rules and which may be similar to those provided for licensed holders.
SECTION 8. Recruitment, hiring and employment of workers. — Every private recruitment entity shall recruit, hire and employ workers for overseas job in accordance with the applicable provisions of these Rules. All applications for passport or travel of recruited and hired workers shall be properly endorsed by the Bureau.
SECTION 9. Allowable fees and charges. — (a) A private recruitment entity shall charge a minimum mobilization fee to cover costs of recruitment, processing and documentation in accordance with a schedule approved by the Secretary in addition to service charges it may negotiate with its principal.
(b) Subject to approval by the Secretary the recruited workers may be required to post a bond to guarantee compliance with the employment contract.
Overseas Employment Development Board
SECTION 1. Coverage. — This Rule shall cover the functions and responsibilities of the OEDB. It shall apply to employers hiring through the OEDB and to workers processed and placed by said agency.
SECTION 2. Role of the OEDB. — The OEDB shall be the government placement agency for overseas employment. In cooperation with other relevant agencies and entities, it shall also be responsible for developing employment and wage standards and such support services as may be necessary for the government’s overseas employment program. (Modified by Sec. 1, Rule II, Bk. IV POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 3. Employment development. — The promotion and development of employment opportunities abroad shall be undertaken by the OEDB, in cooperation with relevant government agencies and entities, through organized and systematic activities and services which shall include among others, the following:
(a) A comprehensive manpower marketing strategy and to dispatch OEDB development officers abroad for this purpose;
(b) Develop and promote programs or arrangements that would encourage the hiring of Filipinos in organized or corporate groups;
(c) Scout for labor market for unskilled workers, among others; and
(d) Promote Filipino manpower through advertising in appropriate media overseas. (Modified by Sec. 1, Rule I, Bk. IV POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 4. Recruitment and placement. — a) The OEDB shall recruit and place workers primarily on government-to-government arrangements, and shall therefore service the hiring of foreign governments and their instrumentalities and, in addition:
(1) Recruit and place workers of particular skills categories as may be directed by the Secretary;
(2) Administer employment programs or projects as may be directed by the Secretary; and
(3) In cooperation with the Regional Offices of the Department, undertake organized recruitment activities in the provinces in aid of the employment dispersal policy of the Department.
b) The employer shall enter into a bilateral recruitment agreement with the OEDB. The employer shall directly assist the OEDB in selecting appropriate workers from its manpower pool.
c) The OEDB shall ensure that the worker through appropriate undertakings complies with his obligations arising from the employment contract.
SECTION 5. Documents requirements. — An employer hiring through the OEDB shall submit the following documents:
a) Authority from the government of the employer to hire Filipino workers;
b) Work permit or visa assurance of workers; and
c) Recruitment Order which shall state the number and categories of workers needed, compensation benefits, qualification guidelines, testing procedures and a model employment contract. (Modified by Sec. 2, Rule II, POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 6. Formalization of a Recruitment Agreement. — Employers hiring through the Administration shall be required to formalize a Recruitment Agreement which shall be in accordance with existing bilateral labor agreements, if any. The Recruitment Agreement shall, among others, contain the following provisions:
a. Responsibilities of the parties to the agreement;
b. Selection and documentation procedures;
c. Fee schedules and terms of payment;
d. Manner and facilities for remittance of workers’ salary;
e. Grievance Machinery for workers; and
f. Validity and revocation of the agreement.
The standards and requirements set by the Administration for the recruitment and placement of workers overseas shall apply to hiring thru the Administration. (Sec. 3, Rule II, Bk. IV POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 7. Recruitment and Placement Procedures. — a) Interview and Selection — An employer hiring through the Administration shall select his workers from the manpower pool developed and maintained by the Administration;
b) Medical Examination. — Selected workers shall undergo and pass a standard pre-employment medical examination conducted by a duly accredited medical retainer of the Administration;
c) Ticketing and Flight Arrangements. — The employer shall assume the full cost of workers’ transportation to and from the place of work, For this purpose, the Administration shall handle the flight arrangements and/or ticketing of workers hired. Should the employer decide to handle its own ticketing, he shall be required to course pre-paid tickets through the Administration for appropriate flight booking.
d) Orientation. — Before the worksite, hired workers shall undergo the required Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS). (Sec. 4, Rule II, Bk. IV POEA Rules and Regulations)
SECTION 8. Documentation of Workers. — a) Contract Processing — Workers hired through the Administration shall be issued the following documents:
(1) Individual Employment Contract duly signed by the employer or the proper administration official where appropriate;
(2) Travel Exit Pass;
(3) Endorsement letter to PTA, and
(4) Such other documents as may be necessary for travel.
b) Passport Documentation. — The Administration may secure directly the selected worker’s passport from the Department of Foreign Affairs. All transmittals and endorsements for passport issuance shall be undertaken directly by the Administration.
c) Visa Arrangements. — The Administration may assist employers and selected workers secure their visas from the appropriate Embassy. Visa forms may be accomplished by the worker at the Administration. The accomplished visa forms together with the passport shall be endorsed by the Administration directly to the Embassy.
SECTION 9. Workers protection. — The OEDB shall protect and enhance the interest, well-being and welfare of workers and, for this purpose, it shall undertake:
a) To establish wage and compensation standards, employments and conditions, by region or by country, which shall be prescribed by the Secretary;
b) To provide facilities for skills development and testing, pre-employment medical examination, pre-departure work/or language orientation, foreign exchange remittance assistance, re-entry and re-employment assistance, accident insurance, among others, and
c) To implement a grievance procedure in accordance with the provisions of this Title and the development objectives of the OEDB.
SECTION 10. Dispute settlement. — The following shall be adhered to in handling employee-employer disputes:
a) In the event of a dispute between employee and employer, the complainant and/or respondent shall submit such dispute to the OEDB for conciliation or mediation. If the dispute is not settled at this stage, the OEDB shall certify the case to the Secretary for final decision.
b) The OEDB, under appropriate circumstances, may suspend, prohibit or prevent an employer from further recruitment activities in the country. The OEDB also under appropriate circumstances, may suspend, prohibit or prevent workers from being placed overseas.
c) Whenever circumstances warrant, the OEDB may dispatch an officer to the worksite to conciliate or mediate employee-employer disputes, in coordination with other appropriate government agencies.
SECTION 11. Welfare Services. — The OEDB shall establish and support a Secretariat for the Welfare Fund for Overseas Workers (Welfund) in accordance with P. D. 1412 and P. D. 1691. Upon the operationalization of the Welfare Fund under P. D. 1694, the functions and responsibilities of such Secretariat shall be assumed by the Welfund.
SECTION 12. Foreign exchange. — The OEDB shall develop and monitor the compliance with the foreign exchange remittance requirements under this Title by employers and workers. It shall establish an office in the OEDB for this purpose in coordination with relevant government agencies.
SECTION 13. Auxiliary services. — The OEDB may, upon approval of its Board, initiate, organize, and establish auxiliary services in support of the overseas employment development program.
SECTION 14. Overseas information system. — The OEDB shall, in coordination with relevant agencies, establish a system of gathering, collating, evaluating and disseminating data and information concerning the Department’s overseas employment program.
SECTION 15. Fees and other charges. — The OEDB shall collect reasonable administrative or service fees from employers. It shall not collect service fee from workers.
SECTION 16. Authority to issue rules. — The OEDB shall issue rules and regulations, instructions or orders governing its functions and responsibilities.
National Seamen Board
SECTION 1. Recruitment and placement of seamen. — Foreign shipping companies and domestic shipping companies owning or operating vessels engaged in overseas shipping shall hire Filipino seamen through the National Seamen Board. For this purpose, the Board shall maintain a complete registry of seamen indicating their categories or ratings and such other qualifications as may be appropriate.
SECTION 2. Requirements for hiring through agents or representatives. — Foreign shipping companies may hire through duly authorized shipping or manning agents if the latter comply with the following requirements:
(a) Registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Bureau of Domestic Trade, as the case may be;
(b) Submission to the Board of a special power of attorney from their foreign principals which shall include the power to sue and be sued in their behalf;
(c) Submission to the Board for approval of the employment contracts, salary scales and other documents the Board may require;
(d) Submission to the Board of their agency or manning contracts with their foreign principals; and
(e) Other requirements the Board may impose.
SECTION 3. Power to modify and revise hiring procedures. — The Board may amend, alter or modify the manner and/or procedure of recruitment, hiring and placement of seamen to make them more responsive to the demands for Filipino seamen.
SECTION 4. Registration of Seamen. — All seamen applicants should register with the Board when applying with an authorized shipping or manning agent for employment on board a foreign-going vessel.
SECTION 5. Qualifications for registration. — To qualify for registration, an applicant must:
(a) Be a Filipino citizen;
(b) Be at least 18 years of age;
(c) Be physically and mentally fit for employment as a seaman; and
(d) Have adequate training or experience for employment as seaman.
SECTION 6. Supporting documents. — The applicant shall also submit the following documents to complete his registration:
(a) Professional license;
(b) Diploma or certification of educational and other training;
(c) Seaman Continuous Discharge Book;
(d) Certificate of employment and/or service record; and
(e) Other documents the Board may require.
SECTION 7. Power to hear and decide cases. — The Board shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over disputes arising out of or in connection with, the employment of all Filipino seamen on board vessels engaged in overseas trade. Its decision in such cases shall be appealable by any aggrieved party to the National Labor Relations Commission within the same period and upon the same grounds provided in Article 223 of the Code.
SECTION 8. Model contract of employment. — The Board shall adopt a standard format of service agreement in accordance with pertinent labor and special legislations and the prevailing standards set by applicable International Labor Organization Conventions. The standard format shall set the minimum standards of the terms and conditions to govern the employment of Filipino seafarers, but in no case shall a shipboard employment contract be allowed where the same provides for benefits less than those enumerated in the model employment contract, or in any way conflict with any other provision embodied in the standard format.
SECTION 9. Sanctions. — The Board may ban, prohibit or prevent foreign shipping companies, their agents or representatives from hiring Filipino seamen if they are shown to have repeatedly or grossly violated pertinent provisions of the Code, these rules and regulations and issuances of the Department of Labor and Employment, the Board and the Central Bank of the Philippines.
SECTION 10. No service charge. — No fees shall be charged from the seamen for services in connection with their recruitment and placement. All expenses for hiring seamen shall be shouldered by foreign shipping principals.
SECTION 11. Fees from employers. — The Board shall collect from shipping companies fees to cover reasonable expenses of recruitment and placement of seamen hired through the Board.
SECTION 12. Board to issue rules and regulations. — The Board shall issue rules and regulations governing its functions and responsibilities.
Disputes Involving Land-Based Overseas Contract Workers
SECTION 1. Scope. — This Rule shall govern the adjudication of complaints for violations of contracts or employer-employee relations dispute arising from the recruitment, placement and employment of land-based overseas contract workers, except cases involving workers recruited through the OEDB.
SECTION 2. Jurisdiction. — The regional offices of the Department shall have the original and exclusive jurisdiction over all matters or cases involving Filipino workers for overseas employment except seamen: Provided, that the Bureau shall, in the case of the National Capital Region, exercise such power. The decisions of the regional offices or the Bureau shall be appealable to the National Labor Relations Commission within the same period and upon the same grounds provided in Article 223 of the Code.
SECTION 3. Who may file. — Any aggrieved worker or his beneficiaries may file a complaint against any placement agency, authority holder construction contractor or foreign based employer-principal or the latter’s authorized agent or representative. The employer or his representative may also file a complaint against a worker for breach of the employment contract or for other violations of the terms and conditions of the employment contract.
SECTION 4. Venue. — Any complainant may file a complaint with the Bureau or with the Regional Office where the contract of employment was originally executed.
SECTION 5. Action of complaints. — Upon receipt of the complaint the Bureau or the Regional Office shall immediately summon the parties for the purpose of conciliating the dispute. If the dispute is not settled within fifteen (15) days from the date of the first conciliation meeting, the Bureau Director shall hear and decide the case; where the case falls under the jurisdiction of the Regional Office, the Regional Director shall assign the same to a Labor Arbiter for compulsory arbitration.
SECTION 1. Basis for recommending arrest and detention. — The Secretary may recommend to the appropriate authority the arrest and detention of any person for illegal recruitment if he is satisfied from the preliminary examination conducted by him or by his duly authorized representative that the act constituting illegal recruitment has been committed and that the particular person has committed it.
SECTION 2. Preliminary examination. — Preliminary examination shall be considered as sufficient basis for recommending arrest and detention if the witness or witnesses have been examined personally by the Secretary or his duly authorized representative and the examination is reduced to writing under oath in the form of searching questions and answers.
SECTION 3. Secretariat on illegal recruitment. — The Bureau shall serve as the secretariat of the inter-agency Council on Illegal Recruitment established under LOI 324. It shall provide the necessary personnel, facilities and support services to the campaign against illegal recruitment and shall coordinate activities for the council for such purpose.
Foreign Exchange Remittance
SECTION 1. Coverage. — This Rule shall apply to every contract worker and seaman recruits. It shall also apply to licensed or authorized recruiters and/or their foreign principals or employers.
SECTION 2. Obligation to remit. — It shall be mandatory for a worker or seaman to remit regularly a portion of his foreign exchange earnings abroad to his beneficiary, through the Philippine banking system. This obligation shall be stipulated in the following documents:
a) Contract of employment and/or service between foreign based employer and a worker;
b) Affidavit of undertaking whereby a worker obligates himself to remit a portion of his earnings to his beneficiaries; and
c) Application for a license or authority to recruit workers.
SECTION 2-A. Obligation to Report. — Agencies and entities shall submit periodic reports to the Central Bank of the Philippines on their foreign exchange earnings, copies of which shall be furnished by the Administration.
SECTION 3. Amount of foreign exchange remittances. — The amount of foreign exchange remittance referred to in Section 2 hereof, shall be a minimum of 70% of the overseas workers basic salary in foreign exchange in the case of construction and sea-based workers; and a minimum of 50% in the case of other workers.
SECTION 4. Form of Remittance. — Remittance of foreign exchange may be done individually by a worker or collectively through an employer under a payroll deduction scheme, to be approved by the Bureau, NSB, OEDB as appropriate.
SECTION 5. Procedure of remittance. — (a) The workers, prior to departure, shall open a deposit account in favor of his beneficiary in any Philippine bank. A foreign currency account may also be opened by the worker.
The applicant shall inform the Bureau, the OEDB or NSB, as the case may be his deposit account number.
(b) In the case of seamen, construction workers and other organized work crews involving at least twenty-five (25) workers, the foreign currency/peso account shall be opened by the employer with any Philippine bank upon the signing of the employment contract. The account shall be accompanied by a covering letter of nomination of beneficiaries and the date of payment of the allotment to the beneficiary as may be stipulated by the employee and the licensed agency, manning agent or construction contractor.
(c) At the end of every period as may be stipulated in the notice as payment, the licensed agency, construction contractor or manning agent shall prepare a payroll sheet indicating the names of workers covered by the scheme, their beneficiaries, their individual bank account numbers, the amount of foreign currency remitted and the peso equivalent thereof. This payroll sheet, together with the peso check representing the remittances, shall be forwarded to the bank concerned with instruction to credit the account of the worker or beneficiaries. A copy of the payroll sheet shall be furnished to the Bureau, OEDB or NSB as the case may be, on a monthly basis.
SECTION 6. Permanent Secretariat. — A permanent inter-agency Secretariat in the Department of Labor and Employment to direct and monitor implementation of this Rule is hereby established. It shall have the power and duty to:
(a) Avail itself of the assistance of the agencies represented in the Foreign Exchange Remittance Committee created under Letter of Instruction No. 90 to enable it to effectively carry out its duties.
(b) Assist the committee in carrying out a continuing informational and educational campaign to promote foreign exchange remittance by workers.
(c) Establish and maintain an information monitoring system to determine periodically the status of remittances, particularly the number of remitters, amount and nature of remittances, amounts actually received by the beneficiaries, etc.
SECTION 7. Responsibility of employer or his representative. — The employer or his representative shall undertake the proper implementation of this Rule by providing facilities to effect the remittances and monitoring of foreign exchange earnings. Failure to do so shall be subject to appropriate sanctions specified in the Code and Central Bank regulations.
SECTION 8. Failure or refusal to remit and trafficking in foreign currency. — A worker who willfully fails or refuses to remit the assigned portion of his foreign exchange earnings or is found to be engaged or is engaging in the illegal traffic or blackmarket of foreign exchange shall be liable under this Code and existing Central Bank rules.
Employment of Aliens
SECTION 1. Coverage. — This Rule shall apply to all aliens employed or seeking employment in the Philippines, and their present or prospective employers.
SECTION 2. Submission of list. — All employers employing foreign nationals, whether resident or non-resident shall submit a list of such nationals to the Bureau indicating their names, citizenship, foreign and local addresses; nature of employment and status of stay in the Philippines.
SECTION 3. Registration of resident aliens. — All employed resident aliens shall register with the Bureau under such guidelines as may be issued by it.
SECTION 4. Employment permit required for entry. — No alien seeking employment, whether on resident or non-resident status, may enter the Philippines without first securing an employment permit from the Department of Labor and Employment. If an alien enters the country under a non-working visa and wishes to be employed thereafter, he may only be allowed to be employed upon presentation of a duly approved employment permit.
SECTION 5. Requirements for employment permit application. — The application for an employment permit shall be accompanied by the following:
(a) Curriculum vitae duly signed by the applicant indicating his educational background, his work experience and other data showing that he possesses high technical skills in his trade or profession;
(b) Contract of employment between the employer and the principal which shall embody the following, among others:
(1) That the non-resident alien worker shall comply with all applicable laws and rules and regulations of the Philippines;
(2) That the non-resident alien worker and the employer shall bind themselves to train at least two (2) Filipino understudies for a period to be determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment; and
(3) That he shall not engage in any gainful employment other than that for which he was issued a permit.
(c) A designation by the employer of at least two (2) understudies for every alien worker. Such understudies must be the most ranking regular employees in the section or department for which the expatriates are being hired to ensure the actual transfer of technology.
SECTION 6. Issuances of employment permit. — The Secretary of Labor and Employment may issue an employment permit to the applicant based on:
a) Compliance by the applicant and his employer with the requirements of Section 2 hereof;
b) Report of the Bureau Director as to the availability or non-availability of any person in the Philippines who is competent, able, and willing to do the job for which the services of the applicant are desired;
c) His assessment as to whether or not the employment of the applicant will redound to the national interest;
d) Admissibility of the alien as certified by the Commission on Immigration and Deportation;
e) The recommendation of the Board of Investments or other appropriate government agencies if the applicant will be employed in preferred areas of investments or in accordance with imperatives of economic developments; and
f) Payments of a P100.00 fee.
SECTION 7. Duration of employment permit. — Subject to renewal upon showing of good cause, the employment permit shall be valid for a minimum period of one (1) year starting from the date of its issuance unless sooner revoked by the Secretary of Labor and Employment for violation of any provisions of the Code or of these Rules.
SECTION 8. Advice to Commission on Immigration and Deportation. — The Bureau shall advice the Commission on Immigration and Deportation on the issuance of an employment permit to an applicant.
SECTION 9. Understudy Training Program. — The employer shall submit a training program for his understudies to the Bureau within thirty (30) days upon arrival of the alien workers. The supervision of the training program shall be the responsibility of the Bureau and shall be in accordance with standards established by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
Lawyer, Author, Mentor