R E P U B LIC A C T N O .

80 42
M igran t W ork ers an d O verseas Filip in os A ct of 19 95
A n act to in stitu te th e p olicies of overseas em p loym en t an d establish a h igh er
stan dard of p rotection an d p rom otion of th e w elfare of m igran t w orkers, th eir
fam ilies an d overseas Filip in os in distress, an d for oth er p urp oses.
B e it en acted by th e Sen ate an d H ouse of R ep resen tatives of th e P h ilip p in es in
C on gress assem bled:
SE C . 1. SH O R T TITLE . - Th is act sh all be kn ow n an d cited as th e "M igran t W orkers
an d O verseas Filip in os A ct of 1995."
SE C . 2. D E C LA R A TIO N O F P O LIC IE S--
(a) In th e p ursuit of an in dep en den t foreign p olicy an d w h ile con siderin g n ation al
sovereign ty, territorial in tegrity, n ation al in terest an d th e righ t to self-
determ in ation p aram oun t in its relation s w ith oth er states, th e State sh all, at all
tim es, up h old th e dign ity of its citizen s w h eth er in coun try or overseas, in gen eral,
an d Filip in o m igran t w orkers, in p articu lar.
(b) Th e State sh all afford full p rotection to labor, local an d overseas, organ ized an d
un organ ized, an d p rom ote fu ll em p loym en t an d equality of em p loym en t
op p ortun ities for all. Tow ards th is en d, th e State sh all p rovide adequate an d tim ely
social, econ om ic an d legal services to Filip in o m igran t w orkers.
(c) W h ile recogn izin g th e sign ifican t con tribution of Filip in o m igran t w orkers to th e
n ation al econ om y th rough th eir foreign exch an ge rem ittan ces, th e State does n ot
p rom ote overseas em p loym en t as a m ean s to sustain econ om ic grow th an d ach ieve
n ation al develop m en t. Th e existen ce of th e overseas em p loym en t p rogram rests
solely on th e assuran ce th at th e dign ity an d fun dam en tal h u m an righ ts an d
freedom s of th e Filip in o citizen s sh all n ot, at an y tim e, be com p rom ised or violated.
Th e State, th erefore, sh all con tin uou sly create local em p loym en t op p ortun ities an d
p rom ote th e equitable distribu tion of w ealth an d th e ben efits of develop m en t.
(d) Th e State affirm s th e fun dam en tal equality before th e law of w om en an d m en
an d th e sign ifican t role of w om en in n ation -buildin g. R ecogn izin g th e con tribu tion
of overseas m igran t w om en w orkers an d th eir p articular vuln erabilities, th e State
sh all ap p ly gen der sen sitive criteria in th e form ulation an d im p lem en tation of
p olicies an d p rogram s affectin g m igran t w orkers an d th e com p osition of bodies
tasked for th e w elfare of m igran t w orkers.
(e) Free access to th e courts an d quasi-judicial bodies an d adequate legal assistan ce
sh all n ot be den ied to an y p erson s by reason of p overty. In th is regard, it is
im p erative th at an effective m ech an ism be in stitu ted to en sure th at th e righ ts an d
in terest of distressed overseas Filip in os, in gen eral, an d Filip in o m igran t w orkers, in
p articular, docum en ted or un docum en ted, are adequately p rotected an d safeguarded.
(f) Th e righ t of Filip in o m igran t w orkers an d all overseas Filip in os to p articip ate in
th e dem ocratic decision -m akin g p rocesses of th e State an d to be rep resen ted in
in stitu tion s relevan t to overseas em p loym en t is recogn ized an d guaran teed.
(g) Th e State recogn izes th at th e ultim ate p rotection to all m igran t w orkers is th e
p ossession of skills. P ursuan t to th is an d as soon as p racticable, th e govern m en t
sh all dep loy an d/or allow th e dep loym en t on ly to skilled Filip in o w orkers.
(h ) N on -govern m en tal organ ization s, duly recogn ized as legitim ate, are p artn ers of
th e State in th e p rotection of Filip in o m igran t w orkers an d in th e p rom otion of th eir
w elfare, th e State sh all coop erate w ith th em in a sp irit of trust an d m utual resp ect.
(I) G overn m en t fees an d oth er adm in istrative costs of recruitm en t, in troduction ,
p lacem en t an d assistan ce to m igran t w orkers sh all be ren dered free w ith out
p rejudice to th e p rovision of Section 36 h ereof.
N on eth eless, th e dep loym en t of Filip in o overseas w orkers, w h eth er lan d-based or
sea-based by local service con tractors an d m an n in g agen cies em p loyin g th em sh all
be en couraged. A p p rop riate in cen tives m ay be exten ded to th em .
SE C . 3. D E FIN ITIO N S. - For p urp oses of th is A ct:
(a) "M igran t w orker" refers to a p erson w h o is to be en gaged, is en gaged or h as been
en gaged in a ren um erated activity in a state of w h ich h e or sh e is n ot a legal residen t
to be used in terch an geably w ith overseas Filip in o w orker.
(b) "G en der-sen sitivity" sh all m ean cogn izan ce of th e in equalities an d in equities
p revalen t in society betw een w om en an d m en an d a com m itm en t to address issues
w ith con cern for th e resp ective in terests of th e sexes.
(c) "O verseas Filip in os" refers to dep en den ts of m igran t w orkers an d oth er Filip in o
n ation als abroad w h o are in distress as m en tion ed in Section s 24 an d 26 of th is A ct.
I. D E P LO Y M E N T
SE C . 4. D ep loym en t of M igran t W orkers - Th e State sh all dep loy overseas Filip in o
w orkers on ly in coun tries w h ere th e righ ts of Filip in o m igran t w orkers are p rotected.
Th e govern m en t recogn izes an y of th e follow in g as guaran tee on th e p art of th e
receivin g coun try for th e p rotection an d th e righ ts of overseas Filip in o w orkers:
(a) It h as existin g labor an d social law s p rotectin g th e righ ts of m igran t w orkers;
(b) It is a sign atory to m u ltilateral con ven tion s, declaration or resolution s relatin g to
th e p rotection of m igran t w orkers;
(c) It h as con clu ded a bilateral agreem en t or arran gem en t w ith th e govern m en t
p rotectin g th e righ ts of overseas Filip in o w orkers; an d
(d) It is takin g p ositive, con crete m easures to p rotect th e righ ts of m igran t w orkers.
SE C . 5. TE R M IN A TIO N O R B A N O N D E P LO Y M E N T - N otw ith stan din g th e p rovision s
of Section 4 h ereof, th e govern m en t, in p ursuit of th e n ation al in terest or w h en
p ublic w elfare so requires, m ay, at an y tim e, term in ate or im p ose a ban on th e
dep loym en t of m igran t w orkers.
II. ILLE G A L R E C R U ITM E N T
Sec. 6. D E FIN ITIO N S. - For p urp oses of th is A ct, illegal recruitm en t sh all m ean an y
act of can vassin g, en listin g, con tractin g, tran sp ortin g, utilizin g, h irin g, p rocurin g
w orkers an d in cludes referrin g, con tact services, p rom isin g or advertisin g for
em p loym en t abroad, w h eth er for p rofit or n ot, w h en un dertaken by a n on -licen se or
n on -h older of auth ority con tem p lated un der A rticle 13(f) of Presiden tial D ecree N o.
442, as am en ded, oth erw ise kn ow n as th e Labor C ode of th e P h ilip p in es. Provided,
th at such n on -licen se or n on -h older, w h o, in an y m an n er, offers or p rom ises for a
fee em p loym en t abroad to tw o or m ore p erson s sh all be deem ed so en gaged. It sh all
likew ise in clude th e follow in g acts, w h eth er com m itted by an y p erson s, w h eth er a
n on -licen see, n on -h older, licen see or h older of auth ority.
(a) To ch arge or accep t directly or in directly an y am oun t greater th an th e sp ecified in
th e sch edu le of allow able fees p rescribed by th e Secretary of Labor an d E m p loym en t,
or to m ake a w orker p ay an y am oun t greater th an th at actually received by h im as a
loan or advan ce;
(b) To furn ish or p ublish an y false n otice or in form ation or docu m en t in relation to
recruitm en t or em p loym en t;
(c) To give an y false n otice, testim on y, in form ation or docum en t or com m it an y act
of m isrep resen tation for th e p urp ose of securin g a licen se or auth ority un der th e
Labor C ode;
(d) To in duce or attem p t to in du ce a w orker already em p loyed to quit h is em p loym en t
in order to offer h im an oth er un less th e tran sfer is design ed to liberate a w orker
from op p ressive term s an d con dition s of em p loym en t;
(e) To in fluen ce or attem p t to in fluen ce an y p erson s or en tity n ot to em p loy an y
w orker w h o h as n ot ap p lied for em p loym en t th rough h is agen cy;
(f) To en gage in th e recruitm en t of p lacem en t of w orkers in jobs h arm ful to p ublic
h ealth or m orality or to dign ity of th e R ep ublic of th e P h ilip p in es;
(g) To obstruct or attem p t to obstru ct in sp ection by th e Secretary of Labor an d
E m p loym en t or by h is duly auth orized rep resen tative;
(h ) To fail to subm it rep orts on th e status of em p loym en t, p lacem en t vacan cies,
rem ittan ces of foreign exch an ge earn in gs, sep aration s from jobs, dep artures an d
su ch oth er m atters or in form ation as m ay be required by th e Secretary of Labor an d
E m p loym en t;
(i) To substitute or alter to th e p rejudice of th e w orker, em p loym en t con tracts
ap p roved an d verified by th e D ep artm en t of Labor an d E m p loym en t from th e tim e of
actual sign in g th ereof by th e p arties up to an d in cludin g th e p eriod of th e exp iration
of th e sam e w ith out th e ap p roval of th e D ep artm en t of Labor an d E m p loym en t;
(j) For an officer or agen t of a recruitm en t or p lacem en t agen cy to becom e an officer
or m em ber of th e B oard of an y corp oration en gaged in travel agen cy or to be en gaged
directly on in directly in th e m an agem en t of a travel agen cy;
(k) To w ith h old or den y travel docu m en ts from ap p lican t w orkers before dep arture
for m on etary or fin an cial con sideration s oth er th an th ose auth orized un der th e
Labor C ode an d its im p lem en tin g rules an d regulation s;
(l) Failure to actually dep loy w ith out valid reason s as determ in ed by th e D ep artm en t
of Labor an d E m p loym en t; an d
(m ) Failure to reim burse exp en ses in curred by th e w orkers in con n ection w ith h is
docum en tation an d p rocessin g for p urp oses of dep loym en t, in cases w h ere th e
dep loym en t does n ot actually take p lace w ith out th e w orker's fault. Illegal
recruitm en t w h en com m itted by a syn dicate or in large scale sh all be con sidered as
offen se in volvin g econ om ic sabotage.
Illegal recruitm en t is deem ed com m itted by a syn dicate carried out by a group of
th ree (3) or m ore p erson s con sp irin g or con federatin g w ith on e an oth er. It is deem ed
com m itted in large scale if com m itted again st th ree (3) or m ore p erson s in dividually
or as a group .
Th e p erson s crim in ally liable for th e above offen ses are th e p rin cip als, accom p lices
an d accessories. In case of juridical p erson s, th e officers h avin g con trol,
m an agem en t or direction of th eir busin ess sh all be liable.
SE C . 7. P E N A LTIE S -
(a) A n y p erson foun d guilty of illegal recruitm en t sh all suffer th e p en alty of
im p rison m en t of n ot less th an six (6) years an d on e (1) day but n ot m ore th an tw elve
(12) years an d a fin e n ot less th an tw o h un dred th ou san d p esos (P20 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 ) n or
m ore th an five h un dred th ousan d p esos (P 50 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 ).
(b) Th e p en alty of life im p rison m en t an d a fin e of n ot less th an five h un dred
th ousan d p esos (P 50 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 ) n or m ore th an on e m illion p esos (P 1,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 )
sh all be im p osed if illegal recruitm en t con stitutes econ om ic sabotage as defin ed
h erein .
P rovided, h ow ever, th at th e m axim um p en alty sh all be im p osed if th e p erson
illegally recruited is less th an eigh teen (18) years of age or com m itted by a n on -
licen see or n on -h older of auth ority.
SE C . 8. PR O H IB ITIO N O N O FFIC IA LS A N D E M P LO Y E E S. - O t sh all be un law ful for an y
official or em p loyee of th e D ep artm en t of Labor an d E m p loym en t, th e P h ilip p in e
O verseas E m p loym en t A dm in istration , or th e O verseas W orkers W elfare
A dm in istration , or th e D ep artm en t of Foreign A ffairs, or oth er govern m en t agen cies
in volved in th e im p lem en tation of th is A ct, or th eir relatives w ith in th e fourth civil
degree of con san guin ity or affin ity, to en gage, directly or in directly, in th e busin ess
of recruitin g m igran t w orkers as defin ed in th is A ct. Th e p en alties sh all be im p osed
up on th em .
SE C . 9. V E N U E . - A crim in al action arisin g from illegal recruitm en t as defin ed h erein
sh all be filed w ith th e R egion al Trial C ourt of th e p rovin ce or city w h ere th e offen se
w as com m itted or w h ere th e offen ded p arty actually resides at th e sam e tim e of th e
com m ission of th e offen se: P rovided, Th at th e court w h ere th e crim in al action is first
filed sh all acquire jurisdiction to th e exclusion of oth er courts. Provided, h ow ever,
Th at th e aforestated p rovision s sh all also ap p ly to th ose crim in al action s th at h ave
already been filed in court at th e tim e of th e effectivity of th is A ct.
SE C . 10 . M O N E Y C LA IM S. - B otw ith stan din g an y p rovision of law to th e con trary, th e
Labor A rbiters of th e N ation al Labor R elation s C om m ission (N LR C ) sh all h ave th e
p rigin al an d exclusive jurisdiction to h ear an d decide, w ith in n in ety (90 ) calen dar
days after filin g of th e com p lain t, th e claim s arisin g ou t of an em p loyer-em p loyee
relation sh ip or by virtue of an y law or con tract in volvin g Filip in o w orkers for
overseas dep loym en t in cludin g claim s for actual, m oral, exem p lary an d oth er form s
of dam ages.
Th e liability of th e p rin cip al/em p loyer an d th e recruitm en t/p lacem en t
agen cy for an y an d all claim s un der th is section sh all be join t an d several. Th is
p rovision s sh all be in corp orated in th e con tract for overseas em p loym en t an d sh all
be a con dition p receden t for its ap p roval. Th e p erform an ce bon d to be filed by th e
recruitm en t/p lacem en t agen cy, as p rovided by law , sh all be an sw erable for all m on ey
claim s or dam ages th at m ay be aw arded to th e w orkers. If th e
recruitm en t/p lacem en t agen cy is a juridical bein g, th e corp orate officers an d
directors an d p artn ers as th e case m ay be, sh all th em selves be join tly an d solidarily
liable w ith th e corp oration or p artn ersh ip for th e aforesaid claim s an d dam ages.
Such liabilities sh all con tin ue durin g th e en tire p eriod or duration of th e
em p loym en t con tract an d sh all n ot be affected by an y substitution , am en dm en t or
m odification m ade locally or in a foreign coun try of th e said con tract.
A n y com p rom ise/am icable settlem en t or volun tary agreem en t on m on ey
claim s in clusive of dam ages un der th is section sh all be p aid w ith in four (4) m on th s
from th e ap p roval of th e settlem en t by th e ap p rop riate auth ority.
In case of term in ation of overseas em p loym en t w ith out just, valid or
auth orized cause as defin ed by law or con tract, th e w orkers sh all be en titled to th e
fu ll reim bursem en t of h is p lacem en t fee w ith in terest of tw elve p ercen t (12% ) p er
an n um , p lus h is salaries for th e un exp ired p ortion of h is em p loym en t con tract or for
th ree (3) m on th s for every year of th e un exp ired term , w h ich ever is less.
N on -com p lian ce w ith th e m an datory p eriods for resolution s of cases
p rovided un der th is section sh all subject th e resp on sible officials to an y or all of th e
follow in g p en alties:
(a) Th e salary of an y such official w h o fails to ren der h is decision or
resolution s w ith in th e p rescribed p eriod sh all be, or caused to be, w ith h eld un til th e
said official com p lies th erew ith ;
(b) Susp en sion for n ot m ore th an n in ety (90 ) days; or
(c) D ism issal from th e service w ith disqualification s to h old an y ap p oin tive
p ublic office for five (5) years.
P rovided, h ow ever, th at th e p en alties h erein p rovided sh all be w ith out
p rejudice to an y liability w h ich an y such official m ay h ave in curred un der oth er
existin g law s or rules an d regulation s as a con sequen ce of violatin g th e p rovision s of
th is p aragrap h .
SE C . 11. M A N A D A TO R Y P E R IO D S FO R R E SO LU TIO N O F ILLE G A L
R E C R U ITM E N T C A SE S. - Th e p relim in ary in vestigation s of cases un der th is A ct sh all
be term in ated w ith in a p eriod of th irty (30 ) calen dar days from th e date of th eir
filin g. W h ere th e p relim in ary in vestigation is con ducted by a p rosecu tion officer an d
a p rim a facie case is establish ed, th e corresp on din g in form ation sh all be filed in
court w ith in tw en ty-four (24) h ours from th e term in ation of th e in vestigation . If th e
p relim in ary in vestigation is con ducted by a judge an d a p rim a facie case is foun d to
exist, p rosecu tion officer w ith in forty-eigh t (48) h ours from th e date of receip t of th e
records of th e case.
SE C . 12. PR E SC R IP TIV E P E R IO D S. - Illegal recruitm en t cases un der th is A ct
sh all p rescribe in five (5) years: Provided, h ow ever, Th at illegal recruitm en t cases
in volvin g econ om ic sabotage as defin ed h erein sh all p rescribe in tw en ty (20 ) years.
SE C . 13. FR E E LE G A L A SSISTA N C E , P R E FE R E N TIA L E N TITLE M E N T U N D E R
TH E W ITN E SS P R O TE C TIO N PR O G R A M . - A m ech an ism for free legal assistan ce for
victim s of illegal recruitm en t sh all be establish ed w ith in th e D ep artm en t of Labor
an d E m p loym en t in cludin g its region al offices. Such m ech an ism m ust in clude
coordin ation an d coop eration w ith th e D ep artm en t of Justice, th e In tegrated B ar of
th e P h ilip p in es, an d oth er n on -govern m en tal organ ization s an d volun teer group s.
Th e p rovision s of R ep ublic A ct N o. 6981 to th e con trary, n otw ith stan din g,
an y p erson w h o is a victim of illegal recruitm en t sh all be en titled to th e W itn ess
P rotection Program p rovided th ereun der.
III. SE R V IC E S
SE C . 14. TR A V E L A D V ISO R Y /IN FO R M A TIO N D ISSE M IN A TIO N . - To give
u tm ost p riority to th e establish m en t of p rogram s an d services to p reven t illegal
recruitm en t, frau d, an d exp loitation or abuse of Filip in o m igran t w orkers, all
em bassies an d con sular offices, th rough th e P h ilip p in e O verseas E m p loym en t
A dm in istration (P O E A ), sh all issue travel advisories or dissem in ate in form ation on
labor an d em p loym en t con dition s, m igration realities an d oth er facts; an d adh eren ce
of p articular coun tries to in tern ation al stan dards on h u m an an d w orkers' righ ts
w h ich w ill adequately p rep are in dividuals in to m akin g in form ed an d in telligen t
decision s about overseas em p loym en t. Such advisory or in form ation sh all be
p ublish ed in a n ew sp ap er of gen eral circulation at least th ree (3) tim es in every
quarter.
SE C . 15. R E P A TR IA TIO N O F W O R K E R S; E M E R G E N C Y R E P A TR IA TIO N FU N D . -
Th e rep atriation of th e w orker an d th e tran sp ort of h is p erson al belon gin gs sh all be
th e p rim ary resp on sibility of th e agen cy w h ich recruited or dep loyed th e w orker
overseas. A ll costs atten dan t to rep atriation sh all be born e by or ch arged to th e
agen cy con cern ed an d/or its p rin cip al. Likew ise, th e rep atriation of rem ain s an d
tran sp ort of th e p erson al belon gin gs of a deceased w orker an d all costs atten dan t
th ereto sh all be born e by th e p rin cip al an d/or local agen cy. H ow ever, in cases w h ere
th e term in ation of em p loym en t is due solely to th e fault of th e w orker, th e
p rin cip al/em p loyer or agen cy sh all n ot in an y m an n er be resp on sible for th e
rep atriation of th e form er an d/or h is belon gin gs.
Th e O verseas W orkers W elfare A dm in istration (O W W A ), in coordin ation ith
ap p rop riate in tern ation al agen cies, sh all un dertake th e rep atriation of w orkers in
cases of w ar, ep idem ic, disasters or calam ities, n atural or m an -m ade, an d oth er
sim ilar even ts w ith out p rejudice to reim bursem en t by th e resp on sible p rin cip al or
agen cy. H ow ever, in cases w h ere th e p rin cip al or recruitm en t agen cy can n ot be
iden tified, all costs atten dan t to rep atriation sh all be born e by th e O W W A .
For th is p urp oses, th ere is h ereby created an d establish ed an em ergen cy
rep atriation fun d un der th e adm in istration con trol an d sup ervision of th e O W W A ,
in itially to con sist of on e h un dred m illion p esos (P 10 0 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 ), in clusive of
ou tstan din g balan ces.
SE C . 16. M A N D A TO R Y R E P A TR IA TIO N O F U N D E R A G E M IG R A N T W O R K E R S. -
U p on discovery or bein g in form ed of th e p resen ce of m igran t w orkers w h ose actual
ages fall below th e m in im um age requirem en t for overseas dep loym en t, th e
resp on sible officers in th e foreign service sh all w ith out delay rep atriate said w orkers
an d advise th e D ep artm en t of Foreign A ffairs th rough th e fastest m ean s of
com m un ication availavle of such discovery an d oth er relevan t in form ation .
SE C . 17. E STA B LISH M E N T O F R E -PLA C E M E N T A N D M O N ITO R IN G C E N TE R . -
A rep lacem en t an d m on itorin g cen ter is h ereby created in th e D ep artm en t of Labor
an d E m p loym en t for return in g Filip in o m igran t w orkers w h ich sh all p rovide a
m ech an ism for th eir rein tegration in to th e P h ilip p in e society, serve as a p rom otion
h ouse for th eir local em p loym en t, an d tap th eir skills an d p oten tials for n ation al
develop m en t.
Th e D ep artm en t of Labor an d E m p loym en t, th e O verseas W orkers W elfare
A dm in istration , an d th e P h ilip p in e O verseas E m p loym en t A dm in istration sh all,
w ith in n in ety (90 ) days from th e effectivity of th is A ct, form ulate a p rogram th at
w ou ld m otivate m igran t w orkers to p lan for p rodu ctive op tion s such as en try in to
h igh ly tech n ical jobs or un dertakin gs, livelih ood an d en trep ren eurial develop m en t,
better w age em p loym en t, an d in vestm en t of savin gs.
For th is p urp ose, th e Tech n ical E ducation an d Skills D evelop m en t A uth ority
(TE SD A ), th e Tech n ology Livelih ood R esource C en ter (TLR C ), an d oth er govern m en t
agen cies in volved in train in g an d livelih ood develop m en t sh all give p riority to return
w h o h ad been em p loyed as dom estic h elp ers an d en tertain ers.
SE C . 18. FU N C TIO N S O F TH E R E -PLA C E M E N T A N D M O N ITO R IN G C E N TE R . -
Th e cen ter sh all p rovide th e follow in g service:
(a) D evelop livelih ood p rogram s an d p rojects for return in g Filip in o m igran t
w orkers in coordin ation w ith th e p rivate sector;
(b) C oordin ate w ith ap p rop riate p rivate an d govern m en t agen cies th e
p rom otion , develop m en t, re-p lacem en t an d th e full utilization of th eir p oten tials;
(c) In stitu te in coop eration w ith oth er govern m en t agen cies con cern ed, a
com p uter-based in form ation system on skilled Filip in o m igran t w orkers w h ich sh all
be accessible to all local recruitm en t agen cies an d em p loyers, both p ublic an d
p rivate;
(d) Provide a p eriodic stu dy an d assessm en t of job op p ortun ities for
return in g Filip in o m igran t w orkers.
SE C . 19. E STA B LISH M E N T O F A M IG R A N T W O R K E R S A N D O TH E R O V E R SE A S
FILIP IN O S R E SO U R C E C E N TE R . - W ith in th e p rem ises an d un der th e adm in istrative
jurisdiction of th e P h ilip p in e E m bassy in coun tries w h ere th ere are large
con cen tration s of Filip in o m igran t w orkers, th ere sh all be establish a M igran t
W orkers an d O th er O verseas Filip in os R esource C en ter w ith th e follow in g services:
(a) C oun selin g an d legal services;
(b) W elfare assistan ce in cludin g th e p rocurem en t of m edical an d
h osp italization services;
(c) In form ation , advisory an d p rogram s to p rom ote social in tegration such
as p ost-arrival orien tation , settlem en t an d com m un ity n etw orkin g services for
social in tegration ;
(d) In stitu te a sch em e of registration of un docum en ted w orkers to brin g
th em w ith in th e p urview of th is A ct. For th is p urp ose, th e C en ter is en join ed to
com p el existin g un docu m en ted w orkers to register w ith it w ith in six (6) m on th s
from th e effectivity of th is A ct, un der p ain of h avin g h is/h er p assp ort can celled;
(e) H um an resource develop m en t, such as train in g an d skills up gradin g;
(f) G en der sen sitive p rogram s an d activities to assist p articular n eeds of
w om en m igran t w orkers;
(g) O rien tation p rogram for return in g w orkers an d oth er m igran ts; an d
(h ) M on itorin g of daily situation s, circum stan ces an d activities affectin g
m igran t w orkers an d oth er overseas Filip in os.
Th e establish m en t an d op eration s of th e C en ter sh all be a join t un dertakin g
of th e variou s govern m en t agen cies. Th e C en ter sh all be op en for tw en ty-four (24)
h ours daily, in cludin g Saturdays, Sun days an d h olidays, an d sh all be staffed by
Foreign Service p erson n el, service attach es or officers w h o rep resen t oth er
organ ization s from th e h ost coun tries. In coun tries categorized as h igh ly
p roblem atic by th e D ep artm en t of Foreign A ffairs an d th e D ep artm en t of Labor an d
E m p loym en t an d w h ere th ere is a con cen tration of Filip in o m igran t w orkers, th e
govern m en t m ust p rovide a law yer an d a social w orker for th e C en ter. Th e Labor
A ttach e sh all coordin ate th e op eration of th e C en ter an d sh all keep th e C h ief of
M ission in form ed an d up dated on all m atters affectin g it.
Th e C en ter sh all h ave a coun terp art 24-h our in form ation an d assistan ce
cen ter at th e D ep artm en t of Foreign A ffairs to en sure a con tin u ous n etw ork an d
coordin ative m ech an ism at th e h om e office.
SE C . 20 . E STA B LISH M E N T O F A SH A R E D G O V E R N M E N T IN FO R M A TIO N
SY STE M FO R M IG R A TIO N . - A n in ter-agen cy com m ittee com p osed of th e
D ep artm en t of Foreign A ffairs an d its attach ed agen cy, th e C om m ission on Filip in o
O verseas, th e D ep artm en t of Labor an d E m p loym en t, th e P h ilip p in e O verseas
E m p loym en t A dm in istration , Th e O verseas W orkers W elfare A dm in istration , Th e
D ep artm en t of Tourism , th e D ep artm en t of Justice, th e B ureau of Im m igration , th e
N ation al B ureau of In vestigation , an d th e N ation al Statistics O ffice sh all be
establish ed to im p lem en t a sh ared govern m en t in form ation system for m igration .
Th e in ter-agen cy com m ittee sh all in itially m ake available to itself th e in form ation
con tain ed in existin g data bases/files. Th e secon d p h ase sh all in volve lin kagin g of
com p uter facilities in order to allow free-flow data exch an ges an d sh arin g am on g
con cern ed agen cies.
Th e in ter-agen cy com m ittee sh all con ven e to iden tify existin g data bases
w h ich sh all be declassified an d sh ared am on g m em ber agen cies. Th ese sh ared data
bases sh all in itially in clude, but n ot lim ited to, th e follow in g in form ation :
(a) M asterlists of dep artin g/arrivin g Filip in os;
(b) In ven tory of p en din g legal cases in volvin g Filip in o m igran t w orkers an d
oth er Filip in o n ation als, in cludin g th ose servin g p rison term s;
(c) M asterlists of dep artin g/arrivin g Filip in os;
(d) Statistical p rofile on Filip in o m igran t w orkers/overseas
Filip in os/Tourists;
(e) B lacklisted foreign ers/un desirable alien s;
(f) B asic data on legal system s, im m igration p olicies, m arriage law s an d civil
an d crim in al codes in receivin g coun tries p articu larly th ose w ith th e large n um bers
of Filip in os;
(g) List of labor an d oth er h um an righ ts in strum en ts w h ere receivin g
coun tries are sign atories;
(h ) A trackin g system of p ast an d p resen t gen der disaggregated cases
in volvin g m ale an d fem ale m igran t w orkers; an d
(I) Listin g of overseas p osts w h ich m ay ren der assistan ce to overseas
Filip in os, in gen eral, an d m igran t w orkers, in p articu lar.
SE C . 21. M IG R A N T W O R K E R S LO A N G U A R A N TE E FU N D . - In order to furth er
p reven t un scrup u lous illegal recruiters from takin g advan tage of w orkers seekin g
em p loym en t abroad, th e O W W A , in coordin ation w ith govern m en t fin an cial
in stitu tion s, sh all in stitute fin an cin g sch em es th at w ill exp an d th e gran t of p re-
dep arture loan an d fam ily assistan ce loan . For th is p urp ose, a M igran t W orkers Loan
G uaran tee Fun d is h ereby created an d th e revolvin g am oun t of on e h un dred m illion
p esos (P 10 0 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 ) from th e O W W A is set aside as a guaran tee fun d in favor of
p articip atin g govern m en t fin an cial in stitu tion s.
SE C . 22. R IG H TS A N D E N FO R C E M E N T M E C H A N ISM U N D E R
IN TE R N A TIO N A L A N D R E G IO N A L H U M A N R IG H TS SY STE M S. - Th e D ep artm en t of
Foreign A ffairs is m an dated to un dertake th e n ecessary in itiative such as
p rom otion s, accep tan ce or adh eren ce of coun tries receivin g Filip in o w orkers to
m u ltilateral con ven tion , declaration or resolution s p ertain in g to th e p rotection of
m igran t w orkers' righ ts. Th e D ep artm en t of Foreign A ffairs is also m an dated to
m ake an assessm en t of righ ts an d aven ues of redress un der in tern ation al an d
region al h um an righ ts system s th at are available to Filip in o m igran t w orkers w h o
are victim s of abuse an d violation an d, as far as p racticable an d th rough th e Legal
A ssistan t for M igran t W orkers A ffairs created un der th is A ct, p ursue th e sam e on
beh alf of th e victim if it is legally im p ossible to file in dividual com p lain ts. If a
com p lain ts m ach in ery is available un der in tern ation al or region al system s, th e
D ep artm en t of Foreign A ffairs sh all fu lly ap p rise th e Filip in o m igran t w orkers of th e
existen ce an d effectiven ess of su ch legal op tion s.
IV . G O V E R N M E N T A G E N C IE S
SE C . 23. R O LE O F G O V E R N M E N T A G E N C IE S. - Th e follow in g govern m en t
agen cies sh all p erform th e follow in g to p rom ote th e w elfare an d p rotect th e righ ts of
m igran t w orkers an d, as far as ap p licable, all overseas Filip in os:
(a) D ep artm en t of Foreign A ffairs. - Th e D ep artm en t, th rough its h om e
office or foreign p osts, sh all take p riority action its h om e office or foreign p osts,
sh all take p riority action or m ake rep resen tation w ith th e foreign auth ority
con cern ed to p rotect th e righ ts of m igran t w orkers an d oth er overseas Filip in os an d
exten d im m ediate assistan ce in cludin g th e rep atriation of distressed or beleaguered
m igran t w orkers an d oth er overseas Filip in os;
(b) D ep artm en t of Labor an d E m p loym en t - Th e D ep artm en t of Labor an d
E m p loym en t sh all see to it th at labor an d social w elfare law s in th e foreign coun tries
are fairly ap p lied to m igran t w orkers an d w h en ever ap p licable, to oth er overseas
Filip in os in cludin g th e gran t of legal assistan ce an d th e referral to p rop er m edical
cen ters or h osp itals:
(b.1) P h ilip p in e O verseas E m p loym en t A dm in istration - Subject to
deregulation an d p h ase out as p rovided un der Section s 29 an d 30 h erein , th e
A dm in istration sh all regulate p rivate sector p articip ation in th e recruitm en t an d
overseas p lacem en t of w orkers by settin g up a licen sin g an d registration system . It
sh all also form ulate an d im p lem en t, in coordin ation w ith ap p rop riate en tities
con cern ed, w h en n ecessary em p loym en t of Filip in o w orkers takin g in to
con sideration th eir w elfare an d th e dom estic m an p ow er requirem en ts.
(b.2) O verseas W orkers W elfare A dm in istration - Th e W elfare O fficer or in
h is absen ce, th e coordin atin g officer sh all p rovide th e Filip in o m igran t w orker an d
h is fam ily all th e assistan ce th ey m ay n eed in th e en forcem en t of con tractual
obligation s by agen cies or en tities an d/or by th eir p rin cip als. In th e p erform an ce of
th is fun ction s, h e sh all m ake rep resen tation an d m ay call on th e agen cies or en tities
con cern ed to con feren ces or con ciliation m eetin gs for th e p urp ose of settlin g th e
com p lain ts or p roblem s brough t to h is atten tion .
V . TH E LE G A L A SSISTA N T FO R M IG R A N T W O R K E R S A FFA IR S
SE C . 24. LE G A L A SSISTA N T FO R M IG R A N T W O R K E R S A FFA IR S. - Th ere is
h ereby created th e p osition of Legal A ssistan t for M igran t W orkers A ffairs un der th e
D ep artm en t of Foreign A ffairs w h o sh all be p rim arily resp on sible for th e p rovision
an d overall coordin ation of all legal assistan ce services to be p rovided to Filip in o
m igran t w orkers as w ell as overseas Filip in os in distress. H e sh all h ave th e ran k,
salary an d p rivileges equal to th at of an un dersecretary of said D ep artm en t.
Th e said Legal A ssistan t for M igran t W orkers A ffairs sh all be ap p oin ted by
th e Presiden t an d m ust be of p roven com p eten ce in th e field of law w ith at least ten
(10 ) years of exp erien ce as a legal p ractition er an d m ust n ot h ave been a can didate to
an elective office in th e last local or n ation al election s.
A m on g th e fun ction s an d resp on sibilities of th e aforesaid Legal A ssistan t
are:
(a) To issue th e guidelin es, p rocedures an d criteria for th e p rovision s of legal
assistan ce services to Filip in o m igran t w orkers;
(b) To establish close lin kages w ith th e D ep artm en t of Labor an d
E m p loym en t, th e P O E A , th e O W W A an d oth er govern m en t agen cies con cern ed, as
w ell as w ith n on -govern m en tal organ ization s assistin g m igran t w orkers, to en sure
effective coordin ation an d coop eration in th e p rovision of legal assistan ce to m igran t
w orkers;
(c) To tap th e assistan ce of rep utable law firm s an d th e In tegrated B ar of th e
P h ilip p in es an d oth er bar association s to com p lem en t th e govern m en t's efforts to
p rovide legal assistan ce to m igran t w orkers;
(d) To adm in ister th e legal assistan ce fun d for m igran t w orkers establish ed
un der Section 25 h ereof an d to auth orize disbursem en ts th ere from in accordan ce
w ith th e p urp oses for w h ich th e fun d w as set up ; an d
(e) To keep an d m ain tain th e in form ation system as p rovided in Section 20 .
Th e legal A ssistan t for M igran t W orkers A ffairs sh all h ave auth ority to h ire
p rivate law yers, dom estic or foreign , in order to assist h im in th e effective disch arge
of th e above fun ction s.
SE C . 25. LE G A L A SSISTA N C E FU N D - Th ere is h ereby establish ed a legal
assistan ce fun d for m igran t w orkers, h erein after referred to as Legal A ssistan ce
fun d, in th e am oun t of O n e h un dred m illion p esos (P 10 0 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 ) to be
con stituted from th e follow in g sources:
Fifty m illion p esos (P 50 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 ) from th e C on tin gen cy Fun d of th e
P residen t;
Th irty m illion p esos (P30 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 ) from th e Presiden tial Social Fun d; an d
Tw en ty m illion p esos (P 20 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 ) from th e W elfare Fun d for O verseas
W orkers establish ed un der Letter of In struction N o. 537, as am en ded by Presiden tial
D ecree N os. 1694 an d 180 9.
A n y balan ces of existin g fun d w h ich h ave been set aside by th e govern m en t
sp ecifically as legal assistan ce or defen se fun d to h elp m igran t w orkers sh all, up on
effectivity of th is A ct, to be turn ed over to, an d form p art of, th e Fun d created un der
th is A ct.
SE C . 26. U SE S O F TH E LE G A L A SSISTA N C E FU N D . - Th e Legal A ssistan ce
Fun d created un der th e p receedin g section sh all be used exclu sively to p rovide legal
services to m igran t w orkers an d overseas Filip in os in distress in accordan ce w ith t
th e guidelin es, criteria an d p rocedures p rom u lgated in accordan ce w ith Section 24 (a)
h ereof. Th e exp en ditures to be ch arged again st th e Fun d sh all in clude th e fees for
th e foreign law yers to be h ired by th e Legal A ssistan ce for M igran t W orkers A ffairs to
rep resen t m igran t w orkers facin g ch arges abroad, bail bon ds to secure th e tem p orary
release of w orkers un der deten tion , court fees an d ch arges an d oth er litigation
exp en ses.
V I. C O U N TR Y - TE A M A P P R O A C H
SE C . 27. P R IO R ITY C O N C E R N S O F P H ILIPP IN E FO R E IG N SE R V IC E P O STS. -
Th e coun try team ap p roach , as en un ciated un der E xecutive O rder N o. 74, series of
1993, sh all be th e m ode un der w h ich P h ilip p in e em bassies or th eir p erson n el w ill
op erate in th e p rotection of th e Filip in o m igran t w orkers as w ell as in th e p rom otion
of th eir w elfare. Th e p rotection of th e Filip in o m igran t w orkers an d th e p rom otion of
th eir w elfare, in p articu lar, an d th e p rotection of th e dign ity an d fun dam en tal righ ts
an d freedom s of th e Filip in o citizen abroad, in gen eral, sh all be th e h igh est p riority
con cern s of th e Secretary of Foreign A ffairs an d th e P h ilip p in e Foreign Service P osts.
SE C . 28. C O U N TR Y -TE A M A P P R O A C H . - U n der th e coun try-team ap p roach ,
all officers, rep resen tatives an d p erson n el of th e P h ilip p in e govern m en t p osted
abroad regardless of th eir m oth er agen cies sh all, on a p er coun try basis, act as on e
coun try-team w ith a m ission un der th e leadersh ip of th e am bassador. In th is regard,
th e am bassador m ay recom m en d to th e Secretary of th e D ep artm en t of Foreign
A ffairs th e recall of officers, rep resen tatives an d p erson n el of th e P h ilip p in e
govern m en t p osted abroad for acts in im ical to th e n ation al in terest such as, bu t n ot
lim ited to, failure to p rovide th e n ecessary services to p rotect th e righ ts of overseas
Filip in os.
U p on receip t of th e recom m en dation of th e am bassador, th e Secretary of
th e D ep artm en t of Foreign A ffairs sh all, in th e case of officers, rep resen tatives an d
p erson n el of oth er dep artm en ts, en dorse such recom m en dation to th e dep artm en t
secretary con cern ed for ap p rop riate action . P en din g in vestigation by an ap p rop riate
body in th e P h ilip p in es, th e p erson recom m en ded for recall m ay be p laced un der
p reven tive su sp en sion by th e am bassador.
In h ost coun tries w h ere th ere are P h ilip p in e con su lates, such con sulates
sh all also con stitute p art of th e coun try-team un der th e leadersh ip of th e
am bassador.
In th e im p lem en tation of th e coun try-team ap p roach , visitin g P h ilip p in e
delegation s sh all be p rovided fu ll sup p ort an d in form ation .
V II. D E R E G U LA TIO N A N D PH A SE -O U T
SE C . 29. C O M P R E H E N SIV E D E R E G U LA TIO N P LA N O N R E C R U ITM E N T
A C TIV ITIE S. - P ursuan t to a p rogressive p olicy of deregu lation w h ereby th e
m igration of w orkers becom es strictly a m atter betw een th e w orker an d h is foreign
em p loyer, th e D O LE w ith in on e (1) year from th e effectivity of th is A ct, is h ereby
m an dated to form ulate a five-year com p reh en sive deregulation p lan on recruitm en t
activities takin g in to accoun t labor m arket tren ds, econ om ic con dition s of th e
coun try an d em ergen cy circum stan ces w h ich m ay affect th e w elfare of m igran t
w orkers.
SE C . 30 . G R A D U A L P H A SE -O U T O F R E G U LA TO R Y FU N C TIO N S. - W ith in a
p eriod of five (5) years from th e effectivity of th is A ct, th e D O LE sh all p h ase out th e
regulatory fun ction s of th e P O E A p ursuan t to th e objectives of deregu lation .
V II. P R O FE SSIO N A L A N D O TH E R H IG H LY -SK ILLE D FILIP IN O S A B R O A D
SE C . 31. IN C E N TIV E S TO P R O FE SSIO N A LS A N D O TH E R H IG H LY -SK ILLE D
FILIP IN O S A B R O A D . - P ursuan t to th e objective of en couragin g p rofession als an d
oth er h igh ly-skilled Filip in os abroad esp ecially in th e field of scien ce an d tech n ology
to p articip ate in , an d con tribu te to n ation al develop m en t, th e govern m en t sh all
p rovide p rop er an d adequate in cen tives an d p rogram s so as to secure th eir services
in p riority develop m en t areas of th e p ublic an d p rivate sectors.
IX . M ISC E LLA N E O U S P R O V ISIO N S
SE C . 32. P O E A A N D O W W A B O A R D ; A D D ITIO N A L M E M B E R SH IP S. -
N otw ith stan din g an y p rovision of law to th e con trary, th e resp ective B oards of th e
P O E A an d th e O W W A sh all, in addition to th eir p resen t com p osition , h ave th ree (3)
m em bers each w h o sh all com e from th e w om en , sea-based an d lan d-based sectors,
resp ectively, to be ap p oin ted by th e P residen t in th e sam e m an n er as th e oth er
m em bers.
SE C . 33. R E P O R T TO C O N G R E SS. - In order to in form th e P h ilip p in e C on gress
on th e im p lem en tation of th e p olicy en un ciated in Section 4 h ereof, th e D ep artm en t
of Foreign A ffairs an d th e D ep artm en t of Labor an d E m p loym en t sh all subm it to th e
said body a sem i-an n ual rep ort of P h ilip p in e foreign p osts located in coun tries
h ostin g Filip in o m igran t w orkers. Th e rep ort sh all n ot be lim ited to th e follow in g
in form ation :
(a) M asterlist of Filip in o m igran t w orkers, an d in ven tory of p en din g cases
in volvin g th em an d oth er Filip in o n ation als in cludin g th ose servin g p rison term s;
(b) W orkin g con dition s of Filip in o m igran t w orkers;
(c) Problem s en coun tered by th e m igran t w orkers, sp ecifically violation s of
th eir righ ts;
(d) In itiative/action s taken by th e P h ilip p in e foreign p osts to address th e
p roblem s of Filip in o m igran t w orkers;
(e) C h an ges in th e law s an d p olicies of h ost coun tries; an d
(f) Status of n egotiation s on bilateral labor agreem en ts betw een th e
P h ilip p in es an d th e h ost coun try.
A n y officer of th e govern m en t w h o fails to rep ort as stated in th e p receedin g
section sh all be subjected to adm in istrative p en alty.
SE C . 34. R E P R E SE N TA TIO N IN C O N G R E SS. - P ursuan t to Section 3(2), A rticle
V I of th e C on stitution an d in lin e w ith th e objective of em p ow erin g overseas
Filip in os to p articip ate in th e p olicy-m akin g p rocess to address Filip in o m igran t
con cern s, tw o (2) sectoral rep resen tatives for m igran t w orkers in th e H ouse of
R ep resen tatives sh all be ap p oin ted by th e Presiden t from th e ran ks of m igran t
w orkers: Provided, th at at least on e (1) of th e tw o (2) sectoral rep resen tatives sh all
com e from th e w om en m igran t w orkers sector: P rovided, furth er, th at all n om in ees
m u st h ave at least tw o (2) years exp erien ce as a m igran t w orker.
SE C . 35. E X E M P TIO N FR O M TR A V E L TA X A N D A IR P O R T FE E . - A ll law s to th e
coun try n otw ith stan din g, th e m igran t w orker sh all be exem p t from th e p aym en t of
travel tax an d airp ort fee up on p rop er sh ow in g of p roof of en titlem en t by th e P O E A .
SE C . 36. N O N -IN C R E A SE O F FE E S; A B O LITIO N O F R E P A TR IA TIO N B O N D . -
U p on ap p roval of th is A ct, all fees bein g ch arged by an y govern m en t office on
m igran t w orkers sh all rem ain at th eir p resen t levels an d th e rep atriation bon d sh all
be establish ed.
SE C . 37. TH E C O N G R E SSIO N A L M IG R A N T W O R K E R S SC H O LA R SH IP FU N D . -
Th ere is h ereby created a C on gression al M igran t W orkers Sch olarsh ip Fun d w h ich
sh all ben efit deservin g m igran t w orkers an d/or th eir im m ediate descen dan ts below
tw en ty-on e (21) years of age w h o in ten t to p ursue courses or train in g p rim arily in
th e field of scien ce an d tech n ology. Th e in itial seed fun d of tw o h un dred m illion
p esos (P 20 0 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 ) sh all be con stituted from th e follow in g sources:
(a) Fifty m illion p esos (P 50 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 ) from th e un exp ected C oun tryw ide
D evelop m en t Fun d for 1995 in equal sh arin g by all m em bers of C on gress; an d
(b) Th e rem ain in g on e h un dred fifty m illion p esos (P 150 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 ) sh all
be fun ded from th e p roceeds of Lotto.
Th e C on gression al M igran t W orkers Sch olarsh ip Fun d as h erein created sh all
be adm in istered by th e D O LE in coordin ation w ith th e D ep artm en t of Scien ce an d
Tech n ology (D O ST). To carry ou t th e objectives of th is section , th e D O LE an d th e
D O ST sh all form ulate th e n ecessary rules an d regulation s.
SE C . 38. A P P R O P R IA TIO N A N D O TH E R SO U R C E S O F FU N D IN G . - Th e am oun t
n ecessary to carry out th e p rovision s of th is A ct sh all be p rovided for in th e G en eral
A p p rop riation s A ct of th e year follow in g its en actm en t in to law an d th ereafter.
SE C . 39. M IG R A N T W O R K E R S D A Y . - Th e day of sign in g by th e Presiden t of
th is A ct sh all be design ated as th e M igran t W orkers D ay an d sh all h en ceforth be
com m em orated as such an n ually.
SE C . 40 . IM P LE M E N TIN G R U LE S A N D R E G U LA TIO N S. - Th e dep artm en ts
an d agen cies ch arged w ith carryin g out th e p rovision s of th is A ct sh all, w ith in n in ety
(90 ) days after th e effectivity of th is A ct, form u late th e n ecessary rules an d
regulation s for its effective im p lem en tation .
SE C . 41. R E P E A TIN G C LA U SE . - A ll law s, decrees, executive orders, rules an d
regulation s, or p arts th ereof in con sisten t w ith th e p rovision s of th is A ct are h ereby
rep ealed or m odified accordin gly.
SE C . 42. SE P A R A B ILITY C LA U SE . - If, for an y reason , an y section or
p rovision of th is A ct is h eld un con stitution al or in valid, th e oth er section s or
p rovision s h ereof sh all n ot be affected th ereby.
SE C . 43. E FFE C TIV ITY C LA U SE . - Th is A ct sh all take effect after fifteen (15)
days from its p ublication in th e O fficial G azette or in at least tw o (2) n ation al
n ew sp ap ers of gen eral circulation w h ich ever com es earlier.

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