How to Hire a Foreign Domestic Worker directly from the Philippines?

To hire a helper directly from the Philippines is not as complicated as you may be led to believe. There are some formalities to contend with however. No matter whether you choose to use the DIY route or prefer to use a maid agency to act on your behalf,  here is how things generally work:

The Philippines have a lot of “OFW-overseas foreign workers” (people working abroad). The Philippines government want to keep track of its overseas citizens and therefore have made it mandatory that those that wish to work abroad go through a process that will register and vet them. The organisation that does this is called the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). The POEA will get Filipino helpers an exit visa, called an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). This is a document certifying his/her registration with the POEA. It is always needed when a helper wishes to leave the Philippines to take up employment abroad , to re-enter, or avail of consular services when abroad. 

After having found a prospective employer, the helper or the employer must engage a POEA-accredited agency. There are more than 800 of these all over the Philippines. The up-to-date list of accredited recruitment agencies can be found here: http://www.poea.gov.ph/cgi-bin/agList.asp?mode=actLB

The documents that the agency requires to do its job include:

  • the FDW employment contract;
  • the FDW’s Passport
  • the IPA or work permit
  • Certificate of medical fitness to work issued by an accredited medical clinic for OFWs; http://www.poea.gov.ph/clinic/1.pdf
  • Certificate of insurance with benefits provided under Section 37-A of Republic Act 8042 as amended;
  • TESDA Skill Certification equivalent to National Certificate II (NCII) or higher;
  • Notarized statement by the worker on how the employment was secured, attaching the
  • photocopy of the employer’s passport/ID and contact details;
  • Certificate of attendance to the Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS); and
  • Certificate of attendance to the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP).
  • Membership of OWWA. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration is a national government agency and implementing welfare programs and services to the needs of OFW. Requirements for enrolment: http://www.philippine-embassy.org.sg/labor/owwa-membership/
  • Barangai / NBI Clearance

After obtaining the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), the helper can get on her plane to sunny Singapore bringing her passport, contract and a copy of the IPA and looking forward to a warm reception by her new employer and family.

If a Philippines helper is already present in Singapore without an OEC, then one can be obtained at the Philippines embassy. This will invoke an explanation however why the OEC was not obtained when leaving Philippines. More information is available of the embassy website.

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