All OFWs are required to undergo a series of seminars handled by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in order for them to be fully aware of the necessary conditions upon arriving at their country of destination, and to be equipped with essential competencies and skills for overseas employment. Among these include the Pre–Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and the Comprehensive Pre–Departure Education Program (CPDEP).
If you plan to become an OFW, it is important that you go over these OWWA programs before your departure to your assigned country. This is because the information you will get from these seminars is important for your safety and security, including your job performance.
PDOS and CPDEP is designed to equip each worker with skills that will help them adapt to the new environment they will experience abroad. Topics include orientation on the house rules, culture of host country, coping strategies, etc.
So before you embark on your overseas journey, make sure to gear yourself by registering to either training program according to your applied occupation abroad. This article will now walk you through the registration process.
The PDOS and CPDEP are under the Pre-Departure Education Program of OWWA which is the preparatory program of all unemployed OFWs who are willing to seek jobs abroad.
This program aims to educate and train of Filipino workers for overseas employment through seminars, briefing sessions, role plays, video shows, study tours, company visits and other related activities conducted at OWWA training centers across the country.
The participants will get employment offers from private recruitment agencies and job matching vacancies from business process outsourcing companies.
What is OWWA PDOS?
The Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) is a six-hour seminar that provides a comprehensive orientation on overseas travel and employment for departing OFWs.
It comprises seven modules covering a brief profile on the destination country and employment stages therein, as well as crucial points, tips and guidelines on work ethic and standards, travel procedures, government programs and services, health and safety, and financial literacy.
This seminar has been managed by OWWA since the 1980s and continues to be delivered by government agencies, NGOs, travel and recruitment agencies, and authorized service providers alike.
What is OWWA CPDEP?
On the other hand, the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) is an expansion of PDOS in 2009 to cater to departing Household Service Workers (HSWs) such as caregivers and domestic helpers.
This is usually held for two to six days, covering basic language training as well as topics on work ethic and standards, health and safety, stress management, financial literacy, government programs and services, and cultural familiarization of the destination country.
Some of the topics are also covered under PDOS, that’s why the first day of this program is usually handled by the PDOS administrator, while the succeeding days are handled by OWWA.
The primary goal of both PDOS and CPDEP is to help OFWs adapt to their new lifestyle and work experience abroad. These seminars are designed to help them start their jobs on a good note and maintain them for at least 6 months within their employment period.
These seminars may also be country-specific or skill-specific, either of which could provide OFWs with the necessary competencies to maximize their job and opportunities overseas. Anyway, however tedious and boring it sounds, both seminars are actually light, relevant and engaging.
And as of HSWs, these seminars can actually help them respond to difficult situations and seek help should emergencies arise.
To register for either PDOS or CPDEP, all registrants must pass the following qualifications:
- Must have been issued an immigrant visa
- Adults must be between 20-59 years old, children between 13-19 years old.
Eligible registrants may pursue their registration by completing the following documents:
- Valid original passport
- Valid visa
- One (1) valid ID with photo
- Original copy of any of the following documents, following your country of destination:
- For emigrants bound to US: Immigrant Data Summary (IDS), except those with K-visa
- For emigrants bound to Canada: Permanent Residence Confirmation
- For emigrants bound to Italy: Nulla Osta (Clearance)
- For emigrants bound to Japan: Certificate of Eligibility
- For emigrants bound to Australia and New Zealand: Letter of approval for Work to Residence
- For emigrants bound for other countries, you may visit the OWWA website at www.owwa.gov.ph for the detailed requirements.
- Payment of PhP 400 if attending PDOS. Attendees for CPDEP are free of charge for the seminar but they must have paid their OWWA membership contribution, which they are to show proof of (i.e: official receipt) upon registration.
How to Attend PDOS and CPDEP Seminars
Registrants must have an account on the Overseas Filipinos – CFO Online Registration System (OF-CORS), which they will use to register for either PDOS or CPDEP:
- Go to the official website of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) at www.cfo.gov.ph
- Look for and click the PDOS tab.
- Create a CFO account by filling out the account creation details.
- Relationship of registrant to petitioner or emigrant
- Country of destination
- Work classification
- Email address
- Attach copies of your passport and visa, then click “Submit”.
- Confirm your account by going to your registered email and confirming the email sent by the CFO. Confirming your email will redirect you to your CFO profile page where you must complete your profile with your personal information.
- Upon completion of your profile, click “Verify”.
- Once you have verified your account, you will be redirected to the CFO page showing the list of requirements. Click “Submit” once you have read and checked them through.
- You will again receive an email stating where you should submit your other documents for verification purposes. Do note that this step can take a few days to process.
- Once your documents are verified, you will receive a confirmation whether or not you are required to attend PDOS or CPDEP, and a registration link should be required.
- For required registrants, click the link sent to your email for the registration page. You will then select your preferred schedule. Keep in mind, however, that schedules are on a first come, first served bases and only limited slots are given for each schedule.
- For exempted registrants, simply fill up the registration page.
- Once you have registered, click “Continue for Payment”.
- Select your preferred payment methodand fill out your delivery information.
- Verify your delivery and payment information, then click “Proceed”. You will need to save your proof of payment along with a copy of your passport and visa for backup.
- Your digital certificate for OF-CORS will be sent via email, as well as your confirmed schedule for PDOS or CPDEP, if you are required to attend.
- Always double-check your entered information before proceeding to any next step of the registration. As the registration process itself is lengthy, it is highly advisable that you read through all pages first before submitting any information.
- The registration confirmation sent through your email contains a barcoded portion containing your information. It is recommended that you save at least a hard copy and a soft copy ready, along with all your documentary requirements, for security. The registration form, however, need NOT be printed.
- Please arrive at the CFO office at least 2 hours before your scheduled time for the verification process.
- Upon completion of the PDOS or CPDEP, you will be given a certificate of completion, which is to be submitted to POEA for processing, then presented at the airport upon departure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some FAQs about the Pre-Departure programs of OWWA for OFWs:
1. Are both PDOS and CPDEP mandatory?
Yes, PDOS and CPDEP are mandatory orientation seminars for all emigrants who are departing for the first time. PDOS is for all, regardless of work classification, while CPDEP is specifically for Household Service Workers (HSWs) such as caregivers or domestic workers.
2. How much is the registration fee?
Registration for PDOS entails a PhP 400 registration fee. For CPDEP, registration is for free, but registrants must be active OWWA OFW members.
3. Can I register if I have not renewed my membership yet?
It is highly recommended that you renew your OWWA membership prior to registering for any of their seminars, grants or other programs, to ensure that you can get the most of them. For instance, as CPDEP registration requires that registrants must have paid their OWWA membership fee, inactive OWWA OFW members can not register in the program.
4. Where can I attend the seminars?
Both seminars are handled by OWWA and delivered by their local offices here and abroad, as well as recruitment agencies, NGOs, and other concerned agencies.
As of November 2021, the OWWA has announced a list of 275 authorized supplemental PDOS providers, which you can access through this link: https://owwa.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/List-of-Supplemental-PDOS-Providers-as-of-Nov-8-2021.pdf
As you can see, the OWWA continues to lend its hand to millions of OFWs worldwide, including those who are just about to start working. From start to finish, you can count on the agency to keep you kicking for you and your family’s future.
For more information on PDEP and other OWWA programs and services, visit their website at www.owwa.gov.ph or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OWWAofficial. You may also download the OWWA Mobile App on Google Play and App Store to stay posted on their latest releases and updates.
Don’t forget to keep your OWWA member account active in order to avail the full benefits and services available for OFW members.