The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) announced today that, starting 01 January 2023, the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) will be converted into Migrant Workers Offices (MWO). This move is part of a larger project to unify all existing departments related to overseas Filipino workers under one roof.
Under Republic Act 11641, foreign service posts in countries with a high concentration of OFWs such as the United Arab Emirates will be among the first to witness the establishment of these MWO offices. The aim is to provide OFWs with a one-stop shop for all of their needs and requirements related to their work abroad.12
The MWO will adopt all the powers and functions formerly held by POLOs as well as those duties previously handled by the Office of Social Welfare Attaches (OSWA) and Assistance-to-Nationals from Philippine Embassies and Consulates. Most importantly, it will be tasked with protecting the welfare and interests of OFWs, most especially when it comes to issues concerning employer-employee relationships like breaches in contracts, nonpayment of wages, illegal dismissal, and other violations of terms & conditions of employment.
The DMW is hoping that this integration will bring much-needed efficiency in providing services for OFW’s, particularly during times when they need assistance most urgently. With this move, overseas Filipinos can now look forward to having one unified office they can approach in order to seek help regarding any legal disputes or problems they may encounter while working away from home.
About DMW – Department of Migrant Workers
The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is a government agency in the Philippines responsible for promoting the welfare and protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and other migrant Filipinos. Under the DMWOF, there are various programs and services offered that aim to support OFWs such as: financial assistance programs, reintegration assistance programs, and assistance to victims of illegal recruitment and trafficking.
The DMW is also tasked with developing policies and strategies to improve the deployment, working conditions, and welfare of OFWs, as well as participating in international labor negotiations to advocate for the rights of migrant workers.
What to Expect for Overseas Filipino Workers
All Filipinos who used to go to the POLO offices in their respective countries of residence can now expect a more efficient and effective service from the MWO. This is true both for those intending to work abroad, as well as OFWs who may need assistance in legal matters concerning their employment contracts.
The DMW will also continue to strive for better working conditions for all OFWs by pushing for stronger policies, regulations, and international labor standards that are in line with the country’s labor laws and human rights principles.
All these efforts will ultimately pave the way toward a world where every Filipino worker can find decent work opportunities overseas while being protected from any form of exploitation or abuse.
So to all of our kababayans abroad, if you need assistance with labor issues with your foreign employer, you may visit the nearest Migrant Workers Office for assistance and advice. You may also contact the DMW for more information or to report any cases of abuse, exploitation, and illegal recruitment. With the establishment of MWO offices all over the world, we hope that it will make life easier for Filipinos working abroad.
Mabuhay ang ating mga OFW! (Long live our OFWs!)