Terms Every OFW (and Aspiring OFWs) Should Know

Are you planning to go abroad? Are you an existing OFW? If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, we ask you again: how much do you know about being an Overseas Filipino Worker? 

It’s not enough that you know what the job entails and what you are expected to do. Knowing your destination country and its cultures gives you an edge, but there’s something lacking somewhere.

Before you head overseas, here are some terms you need to know and remember:

Agency-Hired – This refers to Filipino workers who applied and got accepted for a job overseas through placement agency. If you are agency-hired, then the agency will be the one processing your papers and documentation.

Direct Hire – This refers to Filipino workers who were able to secure employment overseas without going through accredited placement agencies. Despite being a direct hire, you still need to go through POEA and submit documents to process your deployment.

Employment Contract – This is a document that contains important details concerning your job overseas such as monthly salary, benefits, your position and nature of work, and the like. You can learn more about employment contract here.

Foreign Placement Agency – It is a foreign principal indirectly engaging the services of OFWs.

OEC – Overseas Employment Certificate. This document serves as your travel exit clearance and proof that you are a documented OFW. Presenting your OEC will exempt you from paying travel tax and airport terminal fee.

OWWA – Overseas Welfare Workers Administration, which is attached to the Department of Labor and Employment. This government agency’s primary mandate is to protect and promote every OFW’s (and his/her respective family) overall welfare and well-being.

PDOS – Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar. It is a mandatory orientation for all departing OFWs to help adjust or adapt to the new working environment.

POEA – Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, which is under the Department of Labor and Employment. It is the government agency responsible for securing not just employment for Filipino workers but also ensuring that the rights of OFWs are protected.

Private Employment / Placement Agency – It is person, partnership, or corporation engaged in recruiting and deploying of workers for a fee. The recruitment agency will also be in-charged in processing your documentation as OFW as well charging of fees to your employer abroad for facilitating the recruitment process.

Seafarer – This is a person engaged in sailing or working in a ship.

Tourist Visa – This is a type of visa that allows you to stay in a particular country for a limited period for leisure or travel purposes. Most illegitimate recruitment agencies provide tourist visa and not working visa, which makes this practice illegal.

Working Visa – This is a type of visa that allows you to work in a country where you are not a citizen. Legal and documented Filipino workers whose application was processed by a legitimate placement agency must have working visa and NOT tourist visa.

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