The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) connection to the rest of the globe. It is under the direct control of the Secretary of Labor’s Office. It serves as DOLE’s operational arm for the administration and enforcement of its policies and programs relevant to overseas Filipino workers (OFW).
We previously discussed what is the meaning of OWWA, now we are going to tackle the purpose and functions of POLO office.
POLO embodies DOLE’s continuing efforts to ensure that the rights of Filipino workers are protected while promoting their welfare, especially to protect them from bondage and violence.
What is the meaning of POLO?
POLO is an acronym and it means Philippine Overseas Labor Office.
What is the purpose of setting up POLO offices abroad?
The POLO offices cater to Overseas Filipino Workers by ensuring that the rights of Filipinos are protected.
Functions & Responsibilities of POLO office
As part of its responsibilities it conducts regular inspections on deployment agencies; evaluates employment agreements submitted by individual employers; rescreens deployed workers; verifies employment records; recommends revocation or suspension of licenses or imposition of fines
1. The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) link to the world
2. POLO embodies DOLE’s continuing efforts to ensure that the rights of Filipino workers are protected while promoting their welfare, especially to protect them from abuse and violence
3. The POLO acts as a POEA representative abroad, on request, to serve as a marketing agent for the DOLE with the power to negotiate contracts with foreign employers as set out in the POEA’s negotiating procedures.
4. POLO ensures that laws, policies, programs, and services for overseas Filipino workers are in place
5. POLO also maintains an updated database on contracts of OFWs worldwide
6. POLO office conducts regular inspections on deployment agencies
7. The POLO office evaluates employment agreements submitted by individual employers.
8. POLO rescreens deployed workers and this agency verifies employment records abroad.
9. POLO office abroad engages in sociocultural activities sponsored by the Philippine government, host country, Filipino communities, and other organizations as a part of your need-based community development and relationship program.
10. The POLO office also performs other responsibilities as assigned by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
Common Services Filipinos Avail in POLO office
The most common services OFWs inquire and process at the POLO office include the following:
- Issuance of OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate) – POLO issues overseas employment certificates (OECs) to workers going on vacation to the Philippines. This is also called the Balik Manggagawa certificate (BMC).
- Contract Verification – Another service POLO handles is the verification of employment papers offered by potential local employers hiring Filipino workers.
- Mediation between Employee and Employer – The POLO office offers conflict resolution services for employees and employers to resolve their issues amicably.
POLO Office Organizational Officers and Staff
In every POLO office, you should expect to have the following officers and staff.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) is managed by a Labor Attaché, who supervises labor corps personnel at the post and manages the operations of the Filipino Workers’ Resource Center. Each FWRC must be staffed by at least four (4) individuals, all of whom are shown in R.A. 8042 (1995).
- Labor Attaché (DOLE)
- Foreign Service personnel (DFA)
- Welfare Officer (OWWA)
- Center Coordinator (OWWA)
- Interpreter, when necessary (local hire)
Here is a sample organization structure in one of the POLO offices (this one is based in Abu Dhabi):
The POLO is a collaborative effort between the Philippine government and the local private sector to accelerate growth by fostering an exchange of information, ideas, expertise, and experience among both groups.
It is organized around the One-Country Team Approach (OCTA), which stipulates that all representatives, officials, and staff of the PH Government stationed outside of the Philippines act as one-country teams with a mission under the leadership of the Ambassador.
Where are the POLO Labor Offices Abroad?
POLO offices are located in strategic areas where the are a large number of Overseas Filipino workers. If you wish to know where are the locations of these POLO offices, please check out this directory list – Directory: POLO-OWWA Offices Overseas
So this is the reason why the POLO offices have been set up abroad for Filipino workers. They are all part of the Philippine government who serve as a link to OFWs. And for us to know what they do, we have also enlisted their functions and responsibilities.
POLO ensures that laws, policies, programs, and services for overseas Filipino workers are in place. It also maintains an updated database on contracts of OFWs worldwide. This information is made available to other government agencies like the Bureau of Immigration (BI), diplomatic missions, local government units (LGUs), and Migrant Workers And Overseas Filipinos Resource Center (MWOFRC).
We hope you get a better idea of the functions of POLO and what to expect when you visit this government agency. In most cases, the POLO offices are located at the PH Embassy or PH Consulate.