Government Agencies every OFW must know

Here’s the list of Philippine government agencies every Overseas Filipino Workers should be aware of:

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)

This agency provides consular services such as passport application or renewal and “red ribbon” authentication.

  • Address: 2330 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Philippines
  • Contact number:
    • (632) 8 834 4000
    • (632) 8 834 3000
    • 8 234 3488 (For Passport Appointment Concerns) 
    • 8 651 9400 (For Passport, Authentication, & Other Consular Inquiries)
  • Website: https://dfa.gov.ph

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)

Mainly responsible for handling OFW employment affairs. Its core functions include industry regulation, employment facilitation, OFW’s protection.

This agency verifies recruitment and manning agencies to ensure that overseas opportunities are legal and ethical. 

It also assists in OFW deployment and conducts necessary seminars to prepare workers for their overseas endeavours.

For returning OFWs, you have to secure your Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). OEC is your exit pass and is a proof of your registration with POEA. This document is presented to the immigration officer at the departure gate.

POEA also provides legal assistance that caters to illegal recruitment, recruitment violations, disciplinary action against employer or worker and legal counselling.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)

This agency focuses on the welfare of the OFWs and their families. It works hand and hand with Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). 

If you are an active member of OWAA, you will be entitled to benefits and programs including death benefit, disability and dismemberment benefit, burial benefit, educational programs for the OFW and duly designated beneficiary, repatriation program and reintegration program.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)

DOLE protects the rights and welfare of OFWs through its Philippine Overseas Labor & Offices (POLOs). 

Its on-site welfare services includes workers’ training to prepare OFWs for their reintegration when they return to the country, legal assistance to address employment related complaints, custodial services to OFWs who ran away from their employers, repatriation assistance and other welfare assistance including hospital, jail or workplace visits, medical referrals or assistance, counselling, and rescue from unsafe working environment.

  • Address: Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Building, Muralla Wing cor. General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila
  • Contact number:
    • 1349 (Hotline)
    • (632) 8400 6242
  • Website: https://www.dole.gov.ph

Department of Health (DOH)

As part of OFW requirements, you have to get a medial certificate from a medical facility accredited by DOH.

  • Address: San Lazaro Compound, Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, Manila
  • Contact number:
    • (632) 8651 7800 local 5003-5004
    • (632) 165 364
    • (63) 919 160 1418 (Mobile number)
  • Email address: callcenter@doh.gov.ph
  • Website: https://doh.gov.ph

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)

NBI clearance is required for employment purposes or resident visa application. 

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

DSWD’s Reintegration program for deportees and returning undocumented OFWs aims to provide support, trainings and opportunities as well as guidance and counsel to deportees and undocumented OFWs.

It also has International Social Welfare services for Filipinos (ISWSF) which aims to provide social services to Overseas Filipinos by providing psychosocial intervention and timely and appropriate response to OFW concerns, particularly human rights abuses including human trafficking. 

  • Address: Batasan Pambansa Complex, Batasan Road, Quezon City
  • Contact number:
    • (63) 947 482 2864, (63) 916 247 1194, (63) 932 933 3251 (Call only)
    • (63) 0918 912 2813 (Text only)
    • 8931 8101 to 07
  • Email address: sapgrievances@dswd.gov.ph
  • Website: https://www.dswd.gov.ph

Social Security System (SSS)

All OFWs are mandatorily covered by SSS, according to the newly-enacted Social Security Act of 2018.

An Overseas Filipino Worker can depend on SSS for financial support and assistance in times of emergencies such as sickness, maternity, disability, unemployment, retirement, death and funeral.

SSS established a program exclusive for OFWs, called SSS Flexi-Fund. This program serves as OFW’s Provident fund and a Pension-Savings Plan. Each member is entitled to the tax-free net guaranteed earnings from their accumulated Flexi-fund contributions.

Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)

Overseas Filipino Workers must ensure to settle PhilHealth contribution. Paying premium contribution is mandated by law.

Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko, Industriya at Gobyerno (Pag-IBIG)

Pag-IBIG contribution is required during recruitment stage. It is also required for OEC issuance. 

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