OWWA CPDEP Program – How to Apply

Domestic Workers (DWs) or Household Service Workers (HSWs) have their own version of the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and it is called the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). It’s a lot like PDOS, except it’s a longer and more comprehensive training program especially designed for domestic workers before they travel overseas for work.

The CPDEP is a mandatory two- to six-day live-in orientation seminar for departing HSWs. It’s a modular type of training, with modules on basic language instruction, cultural familiarization, and stress management to help them adapt in the new country.

In this article, we look into the program and rounded up everything that you need to know about CPDEP—from the process of how to apply for the CPDEP program to the CPDEP benefits, requirements, and procedures, along with some important reminders—in the guide below.

owwa cpdep comprehensive pre departure education program


The Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Programs (CPDEP) is OWWA’s response to the needs of vulnerable groups of household service workers (HSWs) and domestic workers (DWs). It is a two- to six-day orientation-seminar that departing HSWs need to complete before they can leave the country. This training was designed to help OFWs so they may be able to address whatever difficulty they may face relating to language barrier, as well as the culture of their destination countries.

This mandatory live-in training is designed to educate and prepare the HSWs and DWs as they embark on a new job in a foreign country where the culture, customs, traditions, and languages are totally different from their own. It is particularly helpful for departing household workers as the training also provides them with basic information on work standards, the general profile of the host country, the various stages of the OFW’s life abroad, some health and safety tips, travel tips, airport procedures, and available government programs and services. Note that just like the PDOS, the CPDEP orientation seminars are also country-specific, though sometimes they can be skill-specific, too.

Components of the OWWA CPDEP

There are three parts to the OWWA CPDEP: the Language Seminar, Culture Familiarization Seminar, and the Stress Management Seminar.

Basic Language Training

The Language and Culture Familiarization Seminar is one of the modules in the CPDEP. It was launched in January 2007 to help OFWs by teaching them how to overcome language barriers. In the beginning, it only covers the Arabic language, but by March 2009, the language course has expanded to cover more languages, including:

  • Arabic – Three (3) days training
  • Cantonese – Three (3) days training
  • Hebrew – Three (3) days training
  • Italian – Three (3) days training
  • Mandarin – Six (6) days training

Cultural Acquaintance or Familiarization Seminar

Other than the basic language training, the Cultural Familiarization Seminar is yet another training given to OFWs under the CPDEP. Through this training, OFWs, particularly HSWs and DWs get insights on the host country’s culture and traditions so they can gain a better understanding of their hosts and employers. This understanding also helps them communicate better and more effectively with the locals., allowing them to tackle any potential cultural obstacles that may come their way. The cultural familiarization seminar also involves a study of the host country’s cultural norms, and practices, cuisine, art forms, and entertainment, as well as a brief introduction to the nation’s history, culture shock, and all the adjustments needed in dealing with the locals.

Stress Management Seminar

The Stress Management Seminar offered by OWWA under the CPDEP is a half-day training program meant to educate participants on the causes and effects of stress. It was designed to help prepare the OFWs both physically and mentally, for the demands and challenges of working in a foreign country. The training also taps into the current and common stress coping techniques that work best for the workers as well as new coping mechanisms that they have developed. It also covers the training that teaches household service workers to develop new coping mechanisms all on their own.


As part of the benefits of the CPDEP, HSWs are made aware of the things that they need to know so that they may stay and adjust to their new jobs within their first six months in the host country.

Some other perks of joining in the mandatory CPDEP include: 

  • Getting focused trainings regarding the OFWs’ and HSWs’ fundamental needs for orientation rather than overloading them with specifics.
  • Receiving country-specific and skill-specific training, with the purpose of providing HSWs with relevant and credible information needed to assist them in transitioning into their new workplace.
  • HSWs are equipped with the knowledge to deal with any kind of challenging work environment and atmosphere commonly seen in international households
  • The vulnerable population’s health and security needs are addressed better and in a more effective way.
  • It helps HSWs adjust to their new jobs and stay sane at work for the crazy first six months.
  • HSWs are better equipped to deal with the challenges in the work environment and atmosphere in unfamiliar international households.

CPDEP Qualifications

Some of the most basic qualifications that OFWs and HSWs need to satisfy in order to join the mandatory CPDEP seminar include being at least one the following: 

For Filipinos who are leaving the Philippines (if you have been issued an immigrant visa):

  • Adults between ages 20 to 59
  • Children aged 13 to 19 years old
  • Minors under the age of 13 and adults over the age of 59 are ineligible to take CPDEP

Requirements When Taking OWWA CPDEP 

Like any other OWWA programs, the OWWA Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Programs (CPDEP) for HSWs comes with certain documentary requirements which includes the following:

  • Duly completed registration form
  • Original and photocopy of Valid Passport issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) (must be valid for about six months before the date of travel)
  • Any one (1) of the following valid photo ID:
    • Alien Certificate of Registration (ARC I-Card)
    • Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ID
    • Barangay Clearance / Certificate
    • Certification from the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP)
    • Company / Office ID, Student’s ID or School ID
    • Consular ID
    • Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) ID
    • Driver’s license
    • Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) E-card
    • Home Development Mutual Fund (HMDF) or PAG-IBIG ID
    • Marriage Certificate (NSO Authenticated)
    • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance
    • National Statistics Office (NSO) / Birth Certificate
    • Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) ID
    • Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) ID
    • Permit to Carry Firearms
    • PhilHealth Identification Card (PIC)
    • Philippine National Police (PNP) ID
    • Philippines Overseas Employment Association (POEA) ID
    • Police Clearance
    • Postal ID
    • Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) ID
    • PRA Special Resident Retiree Visa (SRRV) ID
    • Seaman’s Book
    • Senior Citizen’s ID Card
    • Social Security System (SSS) ID
    • Tax Identification Number (TIN) ID
    • Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID)
    • Voter’s ID
  • Original and photocopy of Working Visa from the DFA or Concerned Embassy
  • Original Employment Contract verified by Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in the host country where they will be working issued by POLO or the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW, formerly known as POEA) 
  • Certificate of Attendance ng Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) issued by OWWA or any Accredited PDOS Provider
  • Endorsement letter from the recruitment agency or the OWWA RWO where PDOS certification was obtained, which may vary depending on whether the HSW is:
    • Agency Hire
    • Name-Hire
  • $25 (payment for OWWA membership fee)
  • CPDEP attendance

Documentary requirements specific to a country: 

The following documentary requirements are needed for CPDEP. However, these documents may vary as these are specific to the country where the HSWs will be working:

  • For US-bound emigrants: Summary of immigrant data (except for K visa holders)
  • For workers going to Italy: Nulla Osta
  • For emigrants going to Canada: Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) (must not be torn or signed before departure)
  • For workers heading to Australia: A letter of approval for a Work to Residence visa – Visa Grant Notification Letter
  • For emigrants going to New Zealand: A letter of approval for a Work to Residence visa is required.
  • For Japanese emigrants: Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

Note: All of these country-specific documents must be presented in original form. There’s no need to provide a photocopy of any of these documents.

CPDEP  Application Procedures   

There are two different ways of availing the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program for Household Service Workers (CPDEP for HSWs) and each comes with a separate set of procedures that household workers or domestic workers need to follow to get in on the program and avail the service.

Personal/ Face-to-face Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP)

For personal of face-to-face CFO CPDEP held at the OWWA Office:

  • Secure an appointment to the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO):
    • Use the appointment scheduler available on the OWWA website (appointment.owwa.gov.ph).
    • Use the appointment scheduler on the OWWA Mobile App.
  • On the selected date of the appointment, visit the selected OWWA RWO that is closest to the OFW-member’s permanent address.
  • Fill-up and submit the Enrollments Form along with the complete documentary requirements to the CPDEP Staff at the OWWA RWO’s Registration Desk for the schedule of training. (5 minutes) 
  • Obtain the Enrollment Card from the CPDEP staff at the OWWA RWO Registration Desk to get the training schedule and venue (10 minutes). 
  • Attend the training schedule conducted by the CPDEP Resource Speaker for the Language Training and Culture Familiarization in the given training venue and schedule stated in the Enrolment Card. 
  • Obtain the Certificate of Attendance at the end of the seminar/training (15-30 minutes).

Online Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP)

There’s also an option for Online Registration for the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program for Household Service Workers (CPDEP for HSWs). You will need to use a designated email address for the enrollment of trainees, and appointment via phone calls for the release of Certificate of Attendance (COAs).

To do so, just follow these instructions:

  • Refer to the public notice.
  • Visit www.cfo.gov.ph.
  • Fill out all preliminary questions to determine whether you need to attend the PDOS or the CPDEP orientation seminar. 

Below are some of the preliminary questions included in the page:

  • How do you know your petitioner/sponsor?
  • What is the name of your destination country?
  • What is the type/category/classification of your visa?
  • Once done, key in your email address and click the submit button.
  • Look for a confirmation letter in your inbox (including the SPAM folder). 
  • Click “Confirm Email” and fill out the “personal information” tab with your information.
  • The personal information tab will then ask you to provide the following information:
    • Last Name
    • First Name
    • Middle Name
    • Suffix
    • Birthdate
    • Sex
    • Civil Status
  • Complete your online registration by clicking “proceed to registration”
  • Upload clear and most recent picture.
  • You can download or print your barcoded confirmation. If printed, you need to bring this along with your other requirements to CFO on your schedule date.

Important Reminders

Here are some important reminders about the OWWA CPDEP program for household service workers and domestic workers.

  • HSWs or DWs who successfully complete the CPDEP training are awarded with a Certificate of Completion once they have completed the CPDEP.
  • The Certificate of Completion along with all the other documentary requirements must be submitted to the Department of Migrant Workers or DMW (formerly POEA) for processing.
  • The Certificate of Completion must be shown to the authorities at the airport when departing the country.
  • To ensure that you can avoid unnecessary delays or difficulties at the airport, keep all of your documents well-organized and complete in only one easy-to-access location.
  • Only CPDEP applications that meet all of the registration criteria will be approved by the CFO.

Understanding CPDEP Better: Live CPDEP Training 

To understand the goals and processes of availing the CPDEP better, you can watch this Youtube video by Karen Marie Gorospe as she shares her own OWWA-CPDEP experience:


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Here are some common questions and answers that people frequently ask about the CPDEP OWWA Program:

1. Is PDOS and CPDEP the same?

No. While the two are similar in nature and end-goal, CPDEP is exclusively designed for Household Service Workers (HSWs) or Domestic Workers (DWs) who are about to leave the country.

2. Where should I take this program, in the Philippines or in my new host country?

As indicated by the program name, it is a mandatory “Pre-Departure” training which means it has to be completed by the HSWs and DWs in the Philippines, before leaving the country for their new work.

3. How long does the CPDEP program last?

It lasts for approximately two (2) to six (6) days.

4. Is the CPDEP program free? If not, how much does it cost?

Yes. CPDEP is completely free. If there’s any fee to be paid, the agency should be the one to pay for it.

5. Can I get the CPDEP scheduled online?

Yes, you may register and book your schedule online via the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) website .

6. Do I need to pay a registration fee for taking CPDEP?

No. There is no registration fee to be paid to take the mandatory CPDEP orientation-seminar.

7. Is it necessary to register at CPDEP?

Yes. Even if you are among the exempted ones, you will still need to register for the CPDEP orientation seminar as it is one of the mandatory requirements that you will need to present before you are allowed to leave the country for your new host country.

8. What language courses does OWWA currently offer?

At present, OWWA offers courses in substantial linguistics (alphabet), basic household vocabulary instruction, history, faith, and judicial system in the Arabic, Cantonese, Hebrew, Italian, and Mandarin languages. They also offer, as part of CPDEP, lessons on all the prohibitions that were established, and included them in the training to make the learners more aware and prepared. The learners also get a pronunciation guide, along with a guide that includes greetings and apologies, numerals and currencies, calendar, time, customs, and values as part of the course.

9. In case I need more information, where can I find the CFO Offices?

If you need more information on where you can find the CFO offices, then here’s the contact information for each one: 

CFO-MANILA (Main Office)

Office Address: Citigold Center, 1345 Pres. Quirino Avenue corner Osmeña Highway, Manila, Philippines 1007

Tel. No.: (02) 552-4700

Fax No.: (02) 561-8332

Email address: emailinfo@cfo.gov.ph


Office Address: Ground floor, K&J Building, #4 Don Julio Llorente St., Capitol Site, Cebu City 6000

Telefax. No.: (632) 255-5253

Email address: emailcfocebu@cfo.gov.ph


Office Address: 5th floor, AMQ Building, Lakandula St. corner, Dacudao Ave., Agdao, Davao City

Tel. No.: (+6382) 228-2432

Email address: emailinfo@cfo.gov.ph

Note that all CFO offices keep the following operating hours:

Monday to Thursday, 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Except Holidays)

For other information, you may also reach out to the CFO via the following:

Tel. No.:  (02) 8552-4700

Fax No.:  (02) 8561-8332

Email Address:  info@cfo.gov.ph

Facebook Page:  http://facebook.com/CFOGovPH


As part of OWWA’s mandate to protect and serve OFWs, OWWA launched numerous projects, ranging from grants to cash aids and even trainings and training support to help give the migrant workers a fighting chance both in their new host countries as well as back home (in case they decide to come back). Even for the repatriated OFWs or those who are already inactive OWWA members,government programs are also made available to support them, though not as extensively as the active members. 

In this article, we looked at yet another OWWA PRogram, the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) for Household Service Workers (HSWs). Unlike the others, this program can be seen as something like a preventive measure that OWWA has in place for HSWs. After all, it is a required seminar and is usually mandated for taking before the HSWs and DWs are even allowed to leave.It’s like a warning training seminar, given to the vulnerable groups of migrant workers so they will be better equipped to protect themselves in the foreign country. It also helps them cope with the changes that they might experience, both physically, mentally, and emotionally, while trying their luck abroad for their loved ones. 

More than being a requirement for leaving, the OWWA CPDEP is a guide, one that teaches HSWs of any potential cultural and language barriers that workers may encounter in their new workplace.

As the program provides workers with country-specific and skill-specific training, it is offered in several languages. It taps into a variety of topics, from language training, to culture familiarization, stress management, culture shock, traditions, customs, and even available government programs and services, making it necessary for all domestic workers to attend.

The program is designed to help OFWs manage, especially during their first six to twelve months after arriving in the host country. It is particularly important as it is during this period when they start adjusting to their new surroundings. With CPDEP, OFWs receive proper orientation so they will know how to deal with it before heading to their host country. They are also taught how to communicate more freely with locals and manage the possible stress that comes with it. 

CPDEP also provides specific skill-based training instead of useless generalized ones so the program can better serve its purpose and offer better assistance and supplementation of knowledge to the OFWs.

Contact Information

If, for instance, you feel the need to reach out to OWWA to learn more about the OWWA CPDEP or any other other OWWA Pre-Departure Education Programs, then you might find the following contact information useful:

Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA)

Office Address: F.B. Harrison St, Pasay, Metro Manila

Tel. No.: 8891-7601 to 24

OWWA hotline number: 1348, (02) 1348 (Regional), (+632) 1348 (International) 

OWWA Email Address: owwacares@owwa.gov.ph, commandcenter@dole.gov.ph

OWWA Facebook page: https://web.facebook.com/OWWAofficial

OWWA website: https://owwa.gov.ph/

You may also download and install the OWWA Mobile App from either Google Play Store or Apple Store so you can stay updated on the latest OWWA projects and programs created specifically for OWWA member Filipino OFWs who wish to keep themselves abreast with the OWWA initiatives. You may also contact the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO) or any of their Satellite Offices through their Facebook pages for more comprehensive information.

Some other contact information you can call include:

Cellular Numbers: (Smart) 09615958438, (Globe) 09052535680

Landline Numbers: (02) 85680986, (02) 85680984, (02) 85273476, (02) 85273525, (02) 85272115, (02) 53096605, (02) 83538067

DOLE-Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) – (02) 8527-2539

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