What is the POEA and why is it important?

What is the POEA and why is it important?

Many Filipinos are seeking new opportunities in foreign countries like the United Kingdom. However, as international revenues constitute a high proportion of GDP in the Philippines, and the government want to protect their workforce, overseas employment is highly regulated. This is where the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) comes into the picture. So what is the POEA and why is it important then?

Here’s what you need to know about the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or “POEA”  before you decide to recruit Philippine nurses. 


The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is a government body responsible for monitoring and regulating private recruitment agencies in the Philippines.

Typically, the POEA ensures that all job opportunities overseas available to all Filipinos are legitimate. Their main purpose is to protect all applicants and Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs from illegal recruiters or employers. Thus, they create and implement policies that endeavor the best interest of the OFWs.

The POEA has five distinct functions namely:

Recruitment Agency Status Verification

Checks the recruitment agency status, whether licensed, suspended, and permanently banned, or closed.

Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS)

Helps potential candidates to determine and understand the advantages and disadvantages of working abroad. It clarifies the guidelines and legal procedures for overseas job applications, required documents and fees for overseas job applications. It even provides tips to candidates to help them avoid becoming a victim of illegal recruitment.

Frontline Services

Overseas Foreign Worker’s (or OFWs as they are commonly referred to) legal documentation such as registration of land-based applicants for overseas employment, registration of seafarer’s registration certificate applicants, documentation of land-based name hires or direct hires and hiring and placement of government-hired workers are available in the frontline services.

Complaints Division 

Overseas workers can file any irregularities, recruitment violations, and complaints with their agency here at the POEA’s Docket and Enforcement Division.

Processing of Overseas Employment Certificate

They are in charge of providing the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). Filipino candidates CANNOT depart the Philippines to work overseas without first securing an OEC.


The POEA plays a vital role in the recruitment and deployment of Filipino workers. It caters services assisting aspiring OFWs achieve legal status through proper documentation before leaving the country to work overseas.

As the demand and opportunities of working abroad are increasing, so are the concerns about illegal recruitment. The POEA works closely with local government units to counter illegal recruitment by conducting seminars like the Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar or PEOS

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Photo Credit: geralt