To ensure the protection of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), foreign employers are not allowed to directly hire OFWs. There are special cases when direct or name-hired OFWs are allowed and overseas job hunting can also be done though POEA. Still, the most common way to get an overseas job is still through the assistance of a recruitment agency.
All agencies that engage in the business of recruiting OFWs should have an accreditation from POEA. However, this is not always the case. Overseas jobseekers are advised to always be careful in dealing with any recruiter that promises deployment abroad. The first thing that they should be concern of is if the agency they are dealing with is licensed. There are two ways to know this:
Go check the recruitment agency's status at the POEA website. Go to www.poea.gov.ph and see if the name of your agency has a "good standing" status.
Inquire through POEA hotline numbers. Anyone can always ask for the status of an agency by calling the POEA hotline at 722-1144 to 55.
It also pays to be aware of the ten commandments against illegal recruiters:
- Do not apply at recruitment agencies not licensed by POEA.
- Do not deal with licensed agencies without job orders.
- Do not deal with any person who is not an authorized representative of a licensed agency.
- Do not transact business outside the registered address of the agency. If recruitment is conducted in the province, check if the agency has a provincial recruitment authority.
- Do not pay more than the allowed placement fee. It should be equivalent to one month salary, exclusive of documentation and processing costs.
- Do not pay any placement fee unless you have a valid employment contract and an official receipt.
- Do not be enticed by ads or brochures requiring you to reply to a Post Office (P.O.) Box, and to enclose payment for processing of papers.
- Do not deal with training centers and travel agencies that promise overseas employment.
- Do not accept a tourist visa.
- Do not deal with fixers.