The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration has been the go-to partner of the Philippine government when it comes to protecting the rights of Overseas Filipino Workers and providing them with the assistance they need as well as their families. Since 1983, OWWA has provided OFWs with the Pre-Departure Education Program in order to ensure they are on the right track before working abroad.
This program aims to provide attendees with all the relevant information they need to adjust to the new workplace and avoid culture shock once they are in their host country.
What Is the Pre-Departure Education Program?
OWWA’s Pre-Departure Education Program covers orientation seminars to equip OFWs with the knowledge and skills to help them succeed overseas. Departing OFWs must attend this orientation to get basic information such as work standards, life stages of OFWs, background of the host country, travel tips, government programs, airport procedures, and overall health and safety tips.
The thing about this program is that it’s country-specific, and sometimes skill-specific to ensure that OFWs exactly get the information they need before leaving abroad. It can be completed in just one day and covers seven modules to provide comprehensive advice as well as financial literacy to OFWs.
Below are the key topics covered in the six-hour orientation seminar:
- Migration realities including cultural perspectives and the OFW Code of Discipline
- Destination country profile including work hours, and multi-cultural environment
- Employment contracts including OFW contract rights and obligations, and things to do for broken contracts
- Health and safety tips for OFWs
- Financial literacy including saving and investing, and financial planning
- Government programs and services such as OWWA programs, and other agencies related to OFWs and migration
- Travel tips and procedures
Government departments, private individuals, and NGOs act as service providers to deliver these seminars. The Philippine Red Cross, for instance, is one good example of a service provider for PDOS together with other recruitment and government agencies. Aside from these workshops, the National Society also provides psychosocial support to help families cope with the changes caused by their employment abroad.
PDOS for Household Service Workers
Since OWWA wants to be specific in their educational training programs and seminars, HSWs have the CPDEP instead of PDOS. This live-out training program takes up to six days as it covers basic language training, stress management, cultural familiarization, and other important modules and topics. The language courses offered by OWWA include Arabic, Mandarin, Italian, and Hebrew, Cantonese.
Requirements for Pre-Departure Education Program
If you’re attending the CPDEP or PDOS workshops, you need to secure some important documents for the application. You don’t need to submit any photocopies of registration documents or ID photos. Here are the requirements you need to complete:
- Original copy of valid passport
- Original copy of valid Visa
- One valid ID with a photo
- Payment fee of Php 400 for PDOS registration and free for CPDEP, but you need to pay USD25 for OWWA membership
- CPDEP or PDOS attendance
- Original copy of any relevant documentation such as Immigrant Data Summary (US), Permanent Residence Confirmation (Canada), Nulla Osta (Italy), Certificate of Eligibility (Japan), Letter of Approval for Work to Residence Visa (Australia), and Letter of Approval for Work to Residence Visa (New Zealand)
How to Apply
To set an appointment online, follow these steps:
Step 1: Check the Public Notice.
Step 2: Complete the preliminary questions and see if you need CPDEP or PDOS. Put your active email address, then click Submit.
Go to www.cfo.gov.ph to see the questions including how you are related to the sponsor or petitioner, your host country, and the type of your visa.
Step 3: Wait for the confirmation letter that will be sent to your email, make sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see it in your primary messages.
Click on the Confirm Email link and provide your details on the Personal Information tab including your first name, middle name, last name, suffix, date of birth, civil status, and sex.
Step 4: If you must attend CPDEP or PDOS, you will receive a notification to participate. Then you will need to set your schedule by using the calendar so you can join the PEER/PDOS session. Or if you’re exempted, you will also get notified.
Step 5: Fill out the registration form online and tap Proceed to Registration once you’re finished.
Step 6: Upload your photo and complete the required fields to register. Make sure all your details are correct.
Step 7: You can download and print the confirmation form. Include this document with other requirements to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas on your scheduled appointment. You don’t need to print your registration form. However, make sure you are at the CFO’s office two hours before your session.
Video: Online PDOS – OWWA Pre-Departure Orientation for OFWs
In this video, you will understand how the Pre-Departure Education Program is implemented by OWWA. It includes the online PDOS guidelines, the number of participants allowed in each session, the monitoring and reporting system, and other important information that OFWs must know. You will get a lot of helpful tips by watching this tutorial so make sure to finish it until the end.
Wrapping It Up
Now that you know what the Pre-Departure Education Program is, it should be hassle-free for you to process your application and schedule an appointment. Knowing what you need to do before you leave the Philippines to work abroad will make the whole process smoother and more convenient for you and your family. After all, OWWA is dedicated to helping OFWs succeed in their chosen career while making sure their dependents take advantage of government programs and services.