What is the Meaning of ILAB – International Labor Affairs Bureau

The International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) in the Philippines is responsible for formulating policy and program suggestions, as well as operating standards regarding worldwide labor and employment issues; and for monitoring the country’s compliance with its obligations/commitments. courtesies and facilities offered by international groups.

As a Filipino, you might always think that OWWA, DOLE, and CFO are the only agency for OFWs and overseas labor. But you are definitely wrong because there is ILAS or being called now as ILAB.

This is an organization recreated to work with different agencies engaged with overseas employment and labor. The DOLE Rationalization Plan build the International Labor Affairs Bureau ILAB. This was successfully permitted by the Department of Budget in April 2009. The said creation of the Bureau was following Executive Order 366. If you know International Labor Affairs Service (ILAS), it is now International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB).

ilab international labor affairs bureau

What is the meaning of ILAB?

ILAB is an acronym that stands for International Labor Affairs Bureau.

The International Affairs Bureau (ILAB) is part of the Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). It helps manage the international labor relations, cooperation, and overseas labor operations for OFWs. ILAB is also taking care of the Migrant Workers Overseas or MWO and the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices or POLOs. This bureau is in charge of providing technical assistance to Filipino Resource Centers.  

In addition, ILAB provides programs and services to returning Filipino workers, such as reintegration counseling, job placement assistance, and skills training.

Purpose of ILAB

One agency for labor cannot do it alone, that’s why there is ILAB. ILAB is considered as the bridge of DOLE in receiving the most recent details and news from Philippine Overseas Labor Offices as well as other international organizations such as the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and International Labor Organization (ILO).

This is also the reason why DOLE are always up with new updates from different organizations involved with overseas labor. 

It is a no secret that there are a lot of overseas labor and employment problems that are in need to be addressed. ILAB is covering all concerns and monitoring together with its four divisions.

About this Agency

ILAB is a product of a Rationalization Program. It is an assigned agency of DOLE, which mainly focus on plans, projects, programs, and development of different policies for international labor and employment.

A Rationalization Program provide administrative supervision and coverage to all the government department and their bureaus. ILAB focuses on recommending programs and developing policies in relation to the international labor and employment concerns.

Functions & Responsibilities 

ILAB is not just responsible for addressing and resolving labor concerns outside the Philippines, it was also tasked to do make program recommendations for the government. It also helps the government develop the new policy for overseas labor and employment. There are four divisions inside their Director’s Office, the Asian and Pacific Labor Affairs Division, International Relations and Cooperation Division, Middle Eastern and African Labor Affairs Division, and the American and European Labor Affairs Division.

The said divisions were assigned to fulfill the following functions:

Office of the Director or OD

The OD manages all the bureau’s everyday operations. It also helps develop new programs, policy, guidelines and regulations. The division is also committed in following the agency’s order. The Office of Director organize all the tasks given by the secretary and the law.

International Regulations and Cooperation Division or IRCD

The IRCD division handles reports about the participations of different agencies with different labor problems. It also gives administrative and technical support to the visiting officials from other labor agencies.

The said division ensures that the ILAB complies with the obligations and commitments with ILO. In fact, they also do the preparation and monitoring for this. They are the ones in charge of organizing the agreements of ILAB base on the standards of ILO and other agencies. To ensure that the information is well maintained, IRCD has its own database.

American and European labor Affairs Division or AELAD

The AELAD gives administrative support to all concerns of the regional organizations abroad, as well as to the Philippine delegation activities in US and Europe and other operations of POLO and FRC in US and Europe.

The said division also prepares reports such as technical papers and information regarding the participation of DOLE in activities related to regional agreements. They are also responsible for creating and implementing training programs for members and employees in US and Europe.

The AELAD store all this information on their well-maintained database.

Middle Eastern and African Labor Affairs Division or MEALAD

MEALAD provides administrative and technical support to the Philippine delegation in Middle East and Africa. It also handles the preparation of technical papers and reports for the DOLE, which are mainly about regional agreement activities such as JCM, JCBC, GCC, NAM, etc.

This division also have their own database where regional & bilateral agreements in the Middle East and Africa are stored.

Asian and Pacific Labor Affairs Division or APLAD

The APLAD provides administrative support to all the regional and bilateral meetings of ILAB by preparing reports regarding the Department of Labor’s activities with engaged countries.

The said division is also in charge of giving technical assistance to labor official visitors, as well as to POLO and FRC on designated activities. The APLAD is not only limited to providing administrative and technical support to the agency but it is also capable of creating training programs for the labor.

Like the other divisions, APLAD also has a well-maintained database for regional and bilateral agreements. Other data they store includes the operations of FRC and POLO.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What benefits I can get from ILAB?

Answer: ILAB gives protection to your rights while you work abroad as an OFW. It can also help you boost living standards, improve work conditions, and address workplace exploitations.

2. Is ILAB under OWWA?

Answer: Both OWWA and ILAB are connected to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

3. What is the difference between DOLE and ILAB?

Answer: DOLE tasked ILAB to handle specific duty like international labor policies.


ILAB plays a big role inside the Department of Labor and Employment. It helps the government agency to develop plans, programs, and policies that are beneficial to OFWs. Its efforts have improved a lot of OFWs working conditions abroad through its divisions that gives full support on such specific needs.

error: Content is protected !!