Manpower and skilled professionals are two of the biggest exports of the Philippines to the world. With a promise of better employment conditions and desirable career paths, overseas jobs have become appealing to many Filipino professionals. That is why the number of professionals and skilled workers is growing relentlessly year-on-year.
OFW’s Preparation Guide before going Abroad
Leaving home to work abroad is not a simple and straightforward process. Aside from the usual recruitment procedures that an OFW hopeful must go through, there are plenty of preparations that must be done.
- Attend PEOS – The Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS) is conducted by the POEA in the main office or at the POEA regional offices.
- Submission of Application and Requirements – Submit application form and all the requirements being asked from you. The basic required documents are: personal data sheets, transcript of records, high school and college diplomas, certificate(s) of employment, board certificate(s), training and trade certificates (if applicable), passport, and 2″x2″ pictures.
- Undergo Preliminary Interview and Evaluation – You may have to attend a pre-application orientation being conducted by the concerned recruiter/local agent so you can be informed of the details of the employment offer. If you meet the minimum qualifications of the job, you will be asked to undergo testing and/or interviews among other screening procedures.
- Undergo Medical and Trade Testing – If selected, you will be instructed to proceed to an accredited medical clinic for basic medical examination and to any TESDA-accredited testing centers, if necessary, to ensure that you are fit to work.
- Discussion of the Terms and Conditions of Employment and Signing of Contract – When you pass the medical exam and trade testing, you will be asked to sign an employment contract. REMEMBER, before signing a contract, read and study first all the provisions. Do not sign the contract, nor pay any fee unless you have fully understood and agreed to the indicated terms and conditions. Always demand for a receipt once a payment is made.
- Processing of your documents with the POEA and concerned embassies or entities – Your agency will now proceed to process your documents with the following entities:
- Concerned Foreign Embassy – Visa issuance/stamping
- Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) – for registration and documentation of employment contracts as well as issuance of e-Receipt or Overseas Employment Certificates (OEC)
- Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) – if certain documents need translation and authentication (e.g. employment contract written wholly in the foreign language)
- Concerned AIRLINE – for issuance of booking certificates or Pre-paid Ticket Advice (PTA)
- Attendance to PDOS – You should undergo a compulsory Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) before leaving the country.
- Validation and departure at the airport – You should proceed at the POEA-Labor Assistance Center and have required documents validated before attending to other airport procedures.
Comply with the Paperwork
Have a valid passport. It is only after they have been accepted for a job that a visa will be filed for entry purposes. Other documents that applicants must comply with, depends on the requirements of the POEA or the manpower agency that an aspiring OFW is connected. It is vital that all paperwork is taken care of before any placement fees are paid or any amount of packing should be done. Documents must be completed for legal and security reasons.
The pre-employment orientation seminar (PDOS) is not offered to everyone. Again, this depends on the recruitment process. Most workers who went through agencies and the POEA must undergo PDOS.
Comply with Medical Examination Requirements
Medical exams vary, depending on what are required by the host country. When workers are bound for the Gulf region, for example, they must be tested for various diseases to rule out possible infections. Medical exams usually have two phases: Laboratory, and physical and psychological examination.
Stay Healthy Prior to Departure
Since workers must undergo medical exams they need to stay healthy before they leave. When health problems show up during the exams, OFWs can always seek a doctor’s advice on how to pass the exam and be fit enough to work abroad.
Due to the luggage weight restrictions at the airport, it’s best to pack right and light. There should be clothes suitable for various seasons in the host country, especially if the possibility of buying a new wardrobe is slim. Medications for various ailments should be packed, particularly for common diseases or for other pre-existing health conditions.
Most importantly, workers must prepare mentally for the challenges ahead.