Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995
ACT TO INSTITUTE THE POLICIES OF OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT AND ESTABLISH A
STANDARD OF PROTECTION AND PROMOTION OF THE WELFARE OF MIGRANT WORKERS,
FAMILIES AND OVERSEAS FILIPINOS IN DISTRESS,AND
FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
1. Short Title. - This Act shall be known and cited as the
Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995".
Sec. 2. Declaration of Policies.
In the pursuit of an independent foreign policy and while considering
sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest and the right to
self- determination paramount in its relations with other states, the
shall, at all times, uphold the dignity of its citizens whether in
or overseas, in general, and Filipino migrant workers, in particular.
The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas,
and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment
opportunities for all. Towards this end, the State shall provide
and timely social, economic and legal services to Filipino migrant
While recognizing the significant contribution of Filipino migrant
to the national economy through their foreign exchange remittances, the
State does not promote overseas employment as a means to sustain
growth an achieve national development. The existence of the overseas
program rests solely on the assurance that the dignity and fundamental
human rights and freedoms of the Filipino citizen shall not, at any
be compromised or violated. The State, therefore, shall continuously
local employment opportunities and promote the equitable distribution
wealth and the benefits of development.
The State affirms the fundamental equality before the law of women and
men and the significant role of women in nation-building. Recognizing
contribution of overseas migrant women workers and their particular
the State shall apply gender sensitive criteria in the formulation and
implementation of policies and programs affecting migrant workers and
composition of bodies tasked for the welfare of migrant workers.
Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal
assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty. In
regard, it is imperative that an effective mechanism be instituted to
that the rights and interest of distressed overseas Filipinos, in
and Filipino migrant workers, in particular, documented or
are adequately protected and safeguarded.
The right of Filipino migrant workers and all overseas Filipinos to
in the democratic decision-making processes of the State and to be
in institutions relevant to overseas employment is recognized and
The State recognizes that the ultimate protection to all migrant
is the possession of skills. Pursuant to this and as soon as
the government shall deploy and/or allow the deployment only of skilled
Non-governmental organizations, duly recognized as legitimate, are
of the State in the protection of Filipino migrant workers and in the
of their welfare. The State shall cooperate with them in a spirit of
and mutual respect.
Government fees and other administrative costs of recruitment,
placement and assistance to migrant workers shall be rendered free
prejudice to the provision of Sec. 36 hereof.
the deployment of Filipino overseas workers, whether land- based or
by local service contractors and manning agencies employing them shall
be encouraged. Appropriate incentives may be extended to them.
3. Definitions. - For purposes of this Act:
Migrant worker refers to a person who is to be engaged, is engaged or
been engaged in a remunerated activity in a state of which he or she is
not a legal resident; to be used interchangeably with overseas Filipino
Gender-sensitivity shall mean cognizance of the inequalities and
prevalent in society between women and men and a commitment to address
issues with concern for the respective interests of the sexes.
Overseas Filipinos refers to dependents of migrant workers and other
nationals abroad who are in distress as mentioned in Sec.s 24 and 26
of this Act.
4. Deployment of Migrant Workers. - The State shall deploy
Filipino workers only in countries where the rights of Filipino migrant
workers are protected. The government recognizes any of the following
a guarantee on the part of the receiving country for the protection and
the rights of overseas Filipino workers:
It has existing labor and social laws protecting the rights of migrant
It is a signatory to multilateral conventions, declarations or
relating to the protection of migrant workers;
It has concluded a bilateral agreement or arrangement with the
protecting the rights of overseas Filipino workers; and
It is taking positive, concrete measures to protect the rights of
Sec. 5. Termination or Ban on
Deployment. - Notwithstanding the
of Sec. 4 hereof, the government, in pursuit of the national
or when public welfare so requires, may, at any time, terminate or
a ban on the deployment of migrant workers.
6. Definition. - For purposes of this Act, illegal recruitment
mean any act of canvassing, enlisting, contracting, transporting,
hiring, or procuring workers and includes referring, contract services,
promising or advertising for employment abroad, whether for profit or
when undertaken by a non-licensee or non-holder of authority
under Article 13(f) of Presidential
Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labor
Code of the Philippines: Provided, That any such
or non-holder who, in any manner, offers or promises for a fee
abroad to two or more persons shall be deemed so engaged. It shall
include the following acts, whether committed by any person, whether a
non-licensee, non-holder, licensee or holder of authority:
To charge or accept directly or indirectly any amount greater than that
specified in the schedule of allowable fees prescribed by the Secretary
of Labor and Employment, or to make a worker pay any amount greater
that actually received by him as a loan or advance;
To furnish or publish any false notice or information or document in
to recruitment or employment;
To give any false notice, testimony, information or document or commit
any act of misrepresentation for the purpose of securing a license or
under the Labor
To induce or attempt to induce a worker already employed to quit his
in order to offer him another unless the transfer is designed to
a worker from oppressive terms and conditions of employment;
To influence or attempt to influence any person or entity not to employ
any worker who has not applied for employment through his agency;
To engage in the recruitment or placement of workers in jobs harmful to
public health or morality or to the dignity of the Republic of the
To obstruct or attempt to obstruct inspection by the Secretary of Labor
and Employment or by his duly authorized representative;
To fail to submit reports on the status of employment, placement
remittance of foreign exchange earnings, separation from jobs,
and such other matters or information as may be required by the
of Labor and Employment;
To substitute or alter to the prejudice of the worker, employment
approved and verified by the Department of Labor and Employment from
time of actual signing thereof by the parties up to and including the
of the expiration of the same without the approval of the Department of
Labor and Employment;
For an officer or agent of a recruitment or placement agency to become
an officer or member of the Board of any corporation engaged in travel
agency or to be engaged directly or indirectly in the management of a
To withhold or deny travel documents from applicant workers before
for monetary or financial considerations other than those authorized
the Labor Code
and its implementing rules and regulations;
Failure to actually deploy without valid reason as determined by the
of Labor and Employment ; and
Failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the worker in connection with
his documentation and processing for purposes of deployment, in cases
the deployment does not actually take place without the worker's fault.
Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale
be considered an offense involving economic sabotage.
recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a
of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one
It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or
more persons individually or as a group.
persons criminally liable for the above offenses are the principals,
and accessories. In case of juridical persons, the officers having
management or direction of their business shall be liable.
Sec. 7. Penalties. -
Any person found guilty of illegal recruitment shall suffer the penalty
of imprisonment of not less than six (6) years and one (1) day but not
more than twelve (12) years and a fine of not less than Two hundred
pesos (P200,000.00) nor more than Five hundred thousand pesos
The penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of not less than Five
thousand pesos (P500,000.00) nor more than One million pesos
shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes economic sabotage
however, That the maximum penalty shall be imposed if the person
recruited is less than eighteen (18) years of age or committed by a
or non-holder of authority.
Sec. 8. Prohibition on Officials
and Employees. - It shall be
for any official or employee of the Department of Labor and Employment,
the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), or the
Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), or the Department of Foreign
or other government agencies involved in the implementation of this
or their relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or
to engage, directly or indirectly in the business of recruiting migrant
workers as defined in this Act. The penalties provided in the immediate
preceding paragraph shall be imposed upon them.
Sec. 9. Venue. - A criminal
action arising from illegal recruitment
defined herein shall be filed with the Regional Trial Court of the
or city where the offense was committed or where the offended party
resides at the time of the commission of the offense: Provided,
That the court where the criminal action is first filed shall acquire
to the exclusion of other courts: Provided, however, That the
provisions shall also apply to those criminal actions that have already
been filed in court at the time of the effectivity of this Act.
Sec. 10. Money Claims. -
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the
contrary, the Labor Arbiters of the National Labor Relations Commission
(NLRC) shall have the original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and
within ninety (90) calendar days after the filing of the complaint, the
claims arising out of an employer-employee relationship or by virtue of
any law or contract involving Filipino workers for overseas deployment
including claims for actual, moral, exemplary and other forms of
liability of the principal/employer and the recruitment/placement
for any and all claims under this Sec. shall be joint and several.
provision shall be incorporated in the contract for overseas employment
and shall be a condition precedent for its approval. The performance
to be filed by the recruitment/placement agency, as provided by law,
be answerable for all money claims or damages that may be awarded to
workers. If the recruitment/placement agency is a juridical being, the
corporate officers and directors and partners as the case may be, shall
themselves be jointly and solidarily liable with the corporation or
for the aforesaid claims and damages.
liabilities shall continue during the entire period or duration of the
employment contract and shall not be affected by any substitution,
or modification made locally or in a foreign country of the said
compromise/amicable settlement or voluntary agreement on money claims
of damages under this Sec. shall be paid within four (4) months from
the approval of the settlement by the appropriate authority.
case of termination of overseas employment without just, valid or
cause as defined by law or contract, the worker shall be entitled to
full reimbursement of his placement fee with interest at twelve percent
(12%) per annum, plus his salaries for the unexpired portion of his
contract or for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term,
whichever is less.
with the mandatory periods for resolutions of cases provided under this
Sec. shall subject the responsible officials to any or all of the
The salary of any such official who fails to render his decision or
within the prescribed period shall be, or caused to be, withheld until
the said official complies therewith;
Suspension for not more than ninety (90) days; or
Dismissal from the service with disqualification to hold any appointive
public office for five (5) years.
however, That the penalties herein provided shall be without
to any liability which any such official may have incurred under other
existing laws or rules and regulations as a consequence of violating
provisions of this paragraph.
Sec. 11. Mandatory Periods for
Resolution of Illegal Recruitment Cases. -
The preliminary investigations of cases under this Act shall be
within a period of thirty (30) calendar days from the date of their
Where the preliminary investigation is conducted by a prosecution
and a prima facie case is established, the corresponding
shall be filed in court within twenty-four (24) hours from the
of the investigation. If the preliminary investigation is conducted by
a judge and a prima facie case is found to exist, the
information shall be filed by the proper prosecution officer within
(48) hours from the date of receipt of the records of the case.
Sec. 12. Prescriptive Periods.
- Illegal recruitment cases under
Act shall prescribe in five (5) years: Provided, however, That
recruitment cases involving economic sabotage as defined herein shall
in twenty (20) years.
Sec. 13. Free Legal Assistance;
Preferential Entitlement Under the
Protection Program. - A mechanism for free legal assistance for
of illegal recruitment shall be established within the Department of
and Employment including its regional offices. Such mechanism must
coordination and cooperation with the Department of Justice, the
Bar of the Philippines, and other non-governmental organizations and
provisions of Republic Act No. 6981 to the contrary notwithstanding,
person who is a victim of illegal recruitment shall be entitled to the
Witness Protection Program provided thereunder.
14. Travel Advisory/Information Dissemination. - To give
priority to the establishment of programs and services to prevent
recruitment, fraud and exploitation or abuse of Filipino migrant
all embassies and consular offices, through the Philippine Overseas
Administration (POEA), shall issue travel advisories or disseminate
on labor and employment conditions, migration realities and other
and adherence of particular countries to international standards on
and workers' rights which will adequately prepare individuals into
informed and intelligent decisions about overseas employment. Such
or information shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation
at least three (3) times in every quarter.
Sec. 15. Repatriation of Workers;
Emergency Repatriation Fund. -
repatriation of the worker and the transport of his personal belongings
shall be the primary responsibility of the agency which recruited or
the worker overseas. All costs attendant to repatriation shall be borne
by or charged to the agency concerned and/or its principal. Likewise,
repatriation of remains and transport of the personal belongings of a
worker and all costs attendant thereto shall be borne by the principal
and/or the local agency. However, in cases where the termination of
in due solely to the fault of the worker, the principal/employer or
shall not in any manner be responsible for the repatriation of the
and/or his belongings.
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), in coordination with
international agencies, shall undertake the repatriation of workers in
cases of war, epidemic, disaster or calamities, natural or man-made,
other similar events without prejudice to reimbursement by the
principal or agency. However, in cases where the principal or
agency cannot be identified, all costs attendant to repatriation shall
be borne by the OWWA.
this purpose, there is hereby created and established an emergency
fund under the administration, control and supervision of the OWWA,
to consist of One hundred million pesos (P100,000,000.00), which shall
be taken from the existing fund controlled and administered by the
Thereafter, such fund shall be provided for in the General
Act from year to year: Provided, That the amount appropriated
in no case be less than One hundred million pesos (P100,000,000.00),
of outstanding balances.
Sec. 16. Mandatory Repatriation of
Underage Migrant Workers. - Upon
or being informed of the presence of migrant workers whose actual ages
fall below the minimum age requirement for overseas deployment, the
officers in the foreign service shall without delay repatriate said
and advise the Department of Foreign Affairs through the fastest means
of communication available of such discovery and other relevant
Sec. 17. Establishment of
Re-placement and Monitoring Center. - A
placement and monitoring center is hereby created in the Department of
Labor and Employment for returning Filipino migrant workers which shall
provide a mechanism for their reintegration into the Philippine
serve as a promotion house for their local employment, and tap their
and potentials for national development.
Department of Labor and Employment, the Overseas Workers Welfare
and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration shall, within
(90) days from the effectivity of this Act, formulate a program that
motivate migrant workers to plan for productive options such as entry
highly technical jobs or undertakings, livelihood and entrepreneurial
better wage employment, and investment of savings.
this purpose, the Technical
Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Technology
Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC), and other government agencies
in training and livelihood development shall give priority to returnees
who had been employed as domestic helpers and entertainers.
Sec. 18. Functions of the
Re-placement and Monitoring Center. - The
shall provide the following services:
Develop livelihood programs and projects for returning Filipino migrant
workers in coordination with the private sector;
Coordinate with appropriate private and government agencies in the
development, re-placement and the full utilization of their potentials;
Institute, in cooperation with other government agencies concerned, a
information system on skilled Filipino migrant workers which shall be
to all local recruitment agencies and employers, both public and
Provide a periodic study and assessment of job opportunities for
Filipino migrant workers; and
Develop and implement other appropriate programs to promote the welfare
of returning Filipino migrant workers.
19. Establishment of a
Migrant Workers and other Overseas Filipinos
Resource Center. - Within the premises and under the administrative
jurisdiction of the Philippine Embassy in countries where there are
concentrations of Filipino migrant workers, there shall be established
a Migrant Workers and Other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center with the
Counselling and legal services;
Welfare assistance including the procurement of medical and
Information, advisory and programs to promote social integration such
post-arrival orientation, settlement and community networking services
and activities for social interaction;
Institute a scheme of registration of undocumented workers to bring
within the purview of this Act. For this purpose, the Center is
to compel existing undocumented workers to registered with it within
(6) months from the effectivity of this Act, under pain of having
Human resource development, such as training and skills upgrading;
Gender sensitive program and activities to assist particular needs of
Orientation program for returning worker and other migrants; and
Monitoring of daily situations, circumstances and activities affecting
migrant workers and other overseas Filipinos
establishment and operations of the Center shall be a joint undertaking
of the various government agencies. The Center shall be open for
(24) hours daily including Saturdays, Sunday and holidays, and shall be
staffed by Foreign Service personnel, service attaches or officers who
represent other Philippine government agencies abroad and, if
individual volunteers and bona fide non-government organizations
from the host countries. In countries categorized as highly problematic
by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and
and where there is a concentration of Filipino migrant workers, the
must provide a lawyer and a social worker for the Center. The Labor
shall coordinate the operation of the Center and shall keep the Chief
Mission informed and updated on all matters affecting it.
Center shall have a counterpart 24-hour information and assistance
at the Department of Foreign Affairs to ensure a continuous network and
coordinative mechanism at the home office.
Sec. 20. Establishment of a Shared
Government Information System for
- An inter-agency committee composed of the Department of
and its attached agency, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, the
of Labor and Employment, the Philippine Overseas Employment
the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Department of Tourism,
the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Immigration, the National
of Investigation, and the National Statistics Office shall be
to implement a shared government information system for migration. The
inter- agency committee shall initially make available to itself the
contained in existing data bases/files. The second phase shall involve
linkaging of computer facilities in order to allow free flow data
and sharing among concerned agencies.
inter-agency committee shall convene to identify existing data bases
shall be declassified and shared among member agencies. These shared
bases shall initially include, but not be limited to, the following
Masterlists of Filipino migrant workers/overseas Filipinos classified
to occupation/job category, civil status, by country/state of
including visa classification;
Inventory of pending legal cases involving Filipino migrant workers and
other Filipino nationals, including those serving prison terms;
Masterlist of departing/arriving Filipinos;
Statistical profile on Filipino migrant workers/overseas
Blacklisted foreigners/undesirable aliens;
Basic data on legal systems, immigration policies, marriage laws and
and criminal codes in receiving countries particularly those with large
numbers of Filipinos;
List of labor and other human rights instruments where receiving
A tracking system of past and present gender disaggregated cases
male and female migrant workers; and
Listing of overseas posts which may render assistance to overseas
in general, and migrant workers, in particular.
21. Migrant Workers Loan
Guarantee Fund. - In order to further
unscrupulous illegal recruiters from taking advantage of workers
employment abroad, the OWWA, in coordination with government financial
institutions, shall institute financing schemes that will expand the
of pre- departure loan and family assistance loan. For this purpose, a
Migrant Workers Loan Guarantee Fund is hereby created and the revolving
amount of One hundred million pesos (P100,000,000.00) from the OWWA is
set aside as a guarantee fund in favor of participating government
Sec. 22. Rights and Enforcement
Mechanism Under International and
Human Rights Systems. - The Department of Foreign Affairs is
to undertake the necessary initiative such as promotions, acceptance or
adherence of countries receiving Filipino workers to multilateral
declaration or resolutions pertaining to the protection of migrant
rights. The Department of Foreign Affairs is also mandated to make an
of rights and avenues of redress under international and regional human
rights systems that are available to Filipino migrant workers who are
of abuse and violation and, as far as practicable and through the Legal
Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs created under this Act, pursue
same on behalf of the victim if it is legally impossible to file
complaints. If a complaints machinery is available under international
or regional systems, the Department of Foreign Affairs shall fully
the Filipino migrant workers of the existence and effectiveness of such
23. Role of Government Agencies. - The following government
shall perform the following to promote the welfare and protect the
of migrant workers and, as far as applicable, all overseas Filipinos:
(a) Department of Foreign Affairs - The Department,
office or foreign posts, shall take priority action or make
with the foreign authority concerned to protect the rights of migrant
and other overseas Filipinos and extend immediate assistance including
the repatriation of distressed or beleaguered migrant workers and other
(b) Department of Labor and Employment - The
Department of Labor
Employment shall see to it that labor and social welfare laws in the
countries are fairly applied to migrant workers and whenever
to other overseas Filipinos including the grant of legal assistance and
the referral to proper medical centers or hospitals:
(b.1) Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
- Subject to
and phase-out as provided under Sec.s 29 and 30 herein, the
shall regulate private sector participation in the recruitment and
placement of workers by setting up a licensing and registration system.
It shall also formulate and implement, in coordination with appropriate
entities concerned, when necessary, a system for promoting and
the overseas employment of Filipino workers taking into consideration
welfare and the domestic manpower requirements.
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration - The Welfare officer or in
his absence, the coordinating officer shall provide the Filipino
worker and his family all the assistance they may need in the
of contractual obligations by agencies or entities and/or by their
In the performance of this function, he shall make representation and
call on the agencies or entities concerned to conferences or
meetings for the purpose of settling the complaints or problems brought
to his attention.
THE LEGAL ASSISTANT FOR MIGRANT WORKERS AFFAIRS
24. Legal Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs. - There is
created the position of Legal Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs
the Department of Foreign Affairs who shall be primarily responsible
the provision and overall coordination of all legal assistance services
to be provided to Filipino migrant workers as well as overseas
in distress. He shall have the rank, salary and privileges equal to
of an undersecretary of said Department.
said Legal Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs, shall be appointed by
the President and must be of proven competence in the field of law with
at least ten (10) years of experience as a legal practitioner and must
not have been a candidate to an elective office in the last local or
the functions and responsibilities of the aforesaid Legal Assistant are:
To issue the guidelines, procedures and criteria for the provision of
assistance services to Filipino migrant workers;
To establish close linkages with the Department of Labor and
the POEA, the OWWA and other government agencies concerned, as well as
with non-governmental organizations assisting migrant workers, to
effective coordination and cooperation in the provision of legal
to migrant workers;
To tap the assistance of reputable law firms and the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines and other bar associations to complement the
efforts to provide legal assistance to our migrant workers;
To administer the legal assistance fund for migrant workers established
under Sec. 25 thereof and to authorize disbursements therefrom in
with the purposes for which the fund was set up; and
To keep and maintain the information system as provided in Sec. 20.
Legal Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs shall have authority to
private lawyers, domestic or foreign, in order to assist him in the
discharge of the above functions.
Sec. 25. Legal Assistance Fund.
- There is hereby established a
assistance fund for migrant workers, hereinafter referred to as the
Assistance Fund, in the amount of One hundred million pesos
to be constituted from the following sources:
million pesos (P50,000,000.00) from the Contingency Fund of the
million pesos (P30,000,000.00) from the Presidential Social Fund; and
million pesos (P20,000,000.00) from the Welfare Fund for Overseas
established under Letter of Instruction No. 537, as amended by
Decrees Nos. 1694 and 1809.
balances of existing funds which have been set aside by the government
specifically as legal assistance or defense fund to help migrant
shall, upon effectivity of this Act, be turned over to, and form part
the Fund created under this Act.
Sec. 26. Uses of the Legal
Assistance Fund. - The Legal Assistance
created under the preceding Sec. shall be used exclusively to
legal services to migrant workers and overseas Filipinos in distress in
accordance with the guidelines, criteria and procedures promulgated in
accordance with Sec. 24(a) hereof. The expenditures to be charged
the Fund shall include the fees for the foreign lawyers to be hired by
the Legal Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs to represent migrant
facing charges abroad, bail bonds to secure the temporary release of
under detention, court fees and charges and other litigation expenses.
COUNTRY-TEAM APPROACH Sec.
27. Priority Concerns of Philippine Foreign Service Posts. -
country-team approach, as enunciated under Executive Order No. 74,
of 1993, shall be the mode under which Philippine embassies or their
will operate in the protection of the Filipino migrant workers as well
as in the promotion of their welfare. The protection of the Filipino
workers and the promotion of their welfare, in particular, and the
of the dignity and fundamental rights and freedoms of the Filipino
abroad, in general, shall be the highest priority concerns of the
of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Foreign Service Posts.
Sec. 28. Country-Team Approach.
- Under the country-team approach,
officers, representatives and personnel of the Philippine government
abroad regardless of their mother agencies shall, on a per country
act as one country-team with a mission under the leadership of the
In this regard the ambassador may recommend to the Secretary of the
of Foreign Affairs the recall of officers, representatives and
of the Philippine government posted abroad for acts inimical to the
interest such as, but not limited to, failure to provide the necessary
services to protect the rights of overseas Filipinos.
receipt of the recommendation of the ambassador, the Secretary of the
of Foreign Affairs shall, in the case of officers, representatives and
personnel of other departments, endorse such recommendation to the
secretary concerned for appropriate action. Pending investigation by an
appropriate body in the Philippines, the person recommended for recall
may be placed under preventive suspension by the ambassador.
host countries where there are Philippine consulates, such consulates
also constitute part of the country-team under the leadership of the
the implementation of the country-team approach, visiting Philippine
shall be provided full support and information.
DEREGULATION AND PHASE-OUT Sec.
29. Comprehensive Deregulation Plan on Recruitment Activities.
Pursuant to a progressive policy of deregulation whereby the migration
of workers becomes strictly a matter between the worker and his foreign
employer, the DOLE, within one (1) year from the effectivity of this
is hereby mandated to formulate a five-year comprehensive deregulation
plan on recruitment activities taking into account labor market trends,
economic conditions of the country and emerging circumstances which may
affect the welfare of migrant workers.
Sec. 30. Gradual Phase-out of
Regulatory Functions. - Within a
of five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act, the DOLE shall
the regulatory functions of the POEA pursuant to the objectives of
PROFESSIONAL AND OTHER HIGHLY-SKILLED FILIPINOS ABROAD
31. Incentives to Professionals and Other Highly-Skilled Filipinos
- Pursuant to the objective of encouraging professionals and other
Filipinos abroad especially in the field of science and technology to
in, and contribute to national development, the government shall
proper and adequate incentives and programs so as to secure their
in priority development areas of the public and private sectors. IX.
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS Sec.
32. POEA and OWWA Board; Additional Memberships. -
any provision of law to the contrary, the respective Boards of the POEA
and the OWWA shall, in addition to their present composition, have
(3) members each who shall come from the women, sea-based and
sectors respectively, to be appointed by the President in the same
as the other members.
Sec. 33. Report to Congress. -
In order to inform the Philippine
on the implementation of the policy enunciated in Sec. 4 hereof, the
Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and
shall submit to the said body a semi- annual report of Philippine
posts located in countries hosting Filipino migrant workers. The report
shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following information:
Masterlist of Filipino migrant workers, and inventory of pending legal
cases involving them and other Filipino nationals including those
Working conditions of Filipino migrant workers;
Problems encountered by the migrant workers, specifically violations of
Initiatives/actions taken by the Philippine foreign posts to address
problems of Filipino migrant workers;
Changes in the laws and policies of host countries; and
Status of negotiations on bilateral labor agreements between the
and the host country.
officer of the government who fails to report as stated in the
preceding Sec. shall be subject to administrative penalty.
Sec. 34. Representation in Congress.
- Pursuant to Sec. 5(2),
VI of the Constitution
and in line with the objective of empowering overseas Filipinos to
in the policy making process to address Filipino migrant concerns, two
(2) sectoral representatives for migrant workers in the House of
shall be appointed by the President from the ranks of migrant workers:
Provided, That at least one (1) of the two (2) sectoral
shall come from the women migrant workers sector: Provided, further,
That all nominees must have at least two (2) years experience as a
Sec. 35. Exemption from Travel Tax
and Airport Fee. - All laws to
contrary notwithstanding, the migrant worker shall be exempt from the
of travel tax and airport fee upon proper showing of proof of
by the POEA.
Sec. 36. Non-increase of Fees;
Abolition of Repatriation Bond. -
approval of this Act, all fees being charged by any government office
migrant workers shall remain at their present levels and the
bond shall be abolished.
Sec. 37. The Congressional Migrant
Workers Scholarship Fund. -
is hereby created a Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Fund
shall benefit deserving migrant workers and/or their immediate
below twenty-one (21) years of age who intend to pursue courses or
primarily in the field of science and technology. The initial seed fund
of Two hundred million pesos (P200,000,000.00) shall be constituted
the following sources:
Fifty million pesos (P50,000,000.00) from the unexpended Countrywide
Fund for 1995 in equal sharing by all Members of Congress; and
The remaining One hundred fifty million pesos (P150,000,000.00) shall
funded from the proceeds of Lotto draws.
Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Fund as herein created shall
be administered by the DOLE in coordination with the Department of
and Technology (DOST). To carry out the objectives of this Sec., the
DOLE and the DOST shall formulate the necessary rules and regulations.
Sec. 38. Appropriation and Other
Sources of Funding. - The amount
to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be provided for in the
Appropriations Act of the year following its enactment into law and
Sec. 39. Migrant Workers Day. -
The day of signing by the President
this Act shall be designated as the Migrant Workers Day and shall
be commemorated as such annually.
Sec. 40. Implementing Rules and
Regulations. - The departments and
charged with carrying out the provisions of this Act shall, within
(90) days after the effectivity of this Act, formulate the necessary
and regulations for its effective implementation.
Sec. 41. Repealing Clause. -
All laws, decrees, executive orders,
and regulations, or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of
Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
Sec. 42. Separability Clause. -
If, for any reason, any Sec. or
of this Act is held unconstitutional or invalid, the other Sec.s or
provisions hereof shall not be affected thereby.
Sec. 43. Effectivity Clause. -
This Act shall take effect after
(15) days from its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least
(2) national newspapers of general circulation whichever comes earlier.
June 7, 1995