The OWWA Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) is a one-day mandatory seminar that has been provided for all Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) since 1993. It is a part of the OWWA Pre-Departure Education Programs and is especially important for those who are going to work abroad for the first time. The seminar is an initiative of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) in an attempt to provide important, relevant, and even tailored information that will help OFWs succeed in their new work environment at their destination country.
This comprehensive seminar is a seven-course set of orientation seminars that details everything that an OFW needs to know. From immigration and labor laws to packing and shipping your belongings, cultural adjustment, financial planning, employment contracts, country profiles, health and safety, travel tips, and other useful information, the OWWA PDOS is meant to reduce the risk on workers and help Filipinos prepare for their departure.
What is OWWA PDOS – Pre Departure Orientation Seminar by CFO
The Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) is a mandatory program initiated by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). Since 1993, it has always been hosted by the now-defunct Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA). Now, PDOS is being given as part of OWWA’s Pre-Departure Education Programs, in an attempt to help OFWs or would-be OFWs transition into successful life as a worker overseas.
The OWWA PDOS is a one-day, six-hour comprehensive orientation seminar that overseas workers are required to take before they can leave the country. It is generally tailored to a certain location or country and is facilitated by people who have previously worked in the specific destination countries being trained for.
As an educational initiative from OWWA, the PDOS offers important information that would help the OFWs adjust and transition into a better work-life in their new environment. To do so, they are made to be familiar with various topics about their new work environment including:
- Migration realities
The information on the first OWWA PDOS module. This lesson offers information on travel documents, airport rules and processes, luggage allowances, and all the items that are restricted or prohibited at the airport and in-flight.
- Destination country profile
This lesson is designed to teach OFWs about the policies of the employer’s religion, as well as the cultural perspectives and traditions in the new workplace.
- Employment contract
This OWWA PDOS module section taps on the rights and obligations of the migrant worker as stipulated in the employment contract. Needless to say, learning about this will help them understand fair and unfair practices in the OFW’s new work environment.
- Health and safety
In this part, OFWs are taught about specific health and safety information in the destination country to ensure that they can protect their physical health and welfare along with their overall well-being while working and living abroad.
- Financial literacy
This covers financial information and all the basic financial literacy knowledge that OFWs would benefit from. This is included in the PDOS modules to assist OFWs and teach them how to manage their finances while working overseas. The information will be useful to them in the long run as it will ensure that they would have better finances in the future. The module touches on lessons regarding basic financial planning and joint planning, as well as sending remittances. It will also cover the importance of credit history and credit rating of OFWs especially while living in other countries.
- Travel procedures and tips
In this portion, OFWs and would-be OFWs can expect to learn about all the important protocols, rules, and travel information that they need to remember to survive in the new environment.
- Available government programs and services for OFWs
This teaches OFWs about all in-country and international government services that are made available for them. This way, they will know that in the event that they need such services, these services are available by following certain availment procedures.
These information are rolled out in seven (7) different training modules including:
- Preparing for departure
- Entering the host country
- Getting settled
- Building a support network
- Finding a job
- Managing your finances
- Maintaining and strengthening ties with the Philippines
Benefits that OFWs can Get from OWWA PDOS
OFWs and would-be OFWs who attend the OWWA PDOS will not get any monetary or cash benefits. Instead, they will get invaluable information which will help them prepare for the challenges of working in the international scene. They can also learn more about dealing with things involving cultural and language changes, and learn how to address their own concerns.
Specifically, OFWs can gain the following benefits:
- Information needed to address the OFWs basic needs, particularly on adjustment difficulties
- Specific and relevant answers and responses to all of the concerns of the OFWs
- Enough knowledge to cope with the new and unfamiliar environment and culture
- Enough preparation to help minimize the effect of culture shock on the OFWs upon reaching the host countries where they will be working
- Information on who to reach out to or call in case the OFWs face emergencies and unexpected happenings.
Who is the OWWA PDOS for?
The OWWA PDOS is an orientation seminar specifically designed for:
- Temporary Workers
- Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)
- Aspiring OFWs
There are certain exemptions. You are exempted from the mandatory PDOS if you satisfy either of the following criteria:
- Children aged 12 or younger
- Senior citizens (over the age of 60)
- If you are suffering from mental illness or are psychologically challenged
- If you are unable to work due to chronic or long-term illnesses
- If you are either a resident, an immigrant, or an emigrant who has remained in the destination country for a total of two months, and can show proof of stay (issued ID) that you have traveled abroad, obtained a visa from the host country, and so on
Though the above-mentioned are exempted from taking the mandatory PDOS, note that they must still use the Reservation and Registration Online System (R&R) to submit their data online and visit the CFO personally or send an authorized representative or a proxy to obtain the Emigrant Registration Sticker from them.
OWWA PDOS Qualifications
As far as qualifications are concerned, the OWWA Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar Program requires takers to satisfy any of the following criteria:
- Be an adult aged 20 to 59
- Be a child aged 13 to 19 years old
- For Filipinos emigrating from the Philippines: Must have been issued an immigrant visa.
Note: No Minors under the age of 13 and adults over the age of 59 are eligible to take the PDOS.
Requirements for taking the OWWA PDOS
Here’s a list of requirements OFWs need to prepare before one can take the OWWA PDOS:
For Temporary Workers
- Original and photocopy of valid copy of passport
- Endorsement paper from a recruitment agency
- Original and photocopy of Employment Contract
- Original and photocopy of valid copy of passport (must be valid for at least about six months before the date of travel)
- Original and photocopy of valid copy of Visa (attached to the passport)
- One (1) 2×2 Picture
- Any of the following valid ID with photo:
- 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
- Duly-accomplished Registration Form for Emigrants available at the CFO website (https://cfo.gov.ph/)
The following documents are also required for those who need to take PDOS. However, these documents may vary depending upon the country where the OFW will be heading out to:
- For workers going to Canada: Labor Marketing Impact Assessment (LMIA)
- For US-bound emigrants: Summary of immigrant data (must jot be detached from visa packet, 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. OFWs no longer need to provide a photocopy of the documents.
For Immigrant Workers
- PDOS Attendance, Guidance Counseling, or Peer Counseling Session
- Php 400.00 Registration Fee
- Photocopy of Employment Contract if you are an immigrant worker
If the registration is done by proxy: the authorized representative must also present the following documents:
- Medical certificate (except for those who are 60 years old or older)
- A letter of authorization from the emigrant (if applicable); and
- The proxy’s original, valid photo ID
If the proxies are not the children’s legal/natural/biological adoptive parents: then the children aged 12 or younger must also have the following documents:
- One (1) original valid photo ID of the proxy, and
- A notarized authorization letter signed by the parent(s) or guardian(s), issued in the Philippines or elsewhere.
For emigrants who have stayed for an aggregate of two months in the destination country: they will need to present the following documents:
- Previous visa or landing stamp
- Foreign government issued identification card i.e. driver’s license, state identification
How to Join the CFO OWWA PDOS Seminar
- Visit the CFO website at https://cfo.gov.ph/, then click PDOS.
- Answer the following preliminary questions to check if you still need to attend the PDOS or Peer Counseling Program:
- What is the relationship of the registrant to the petitioner?
- What is your Country of Destination?
- What is your visa type/category classification?
- Provide a valid e-mail address.
- Click submit. You should receive a confirmation email from CFO Manila. If you can’t find it, check the Spam folder as well.
- Click on the “Confirm Email” link to continue.
- Fill in the required personal information:
- Last Name
- First Name
- Middle Name
- Civil Status
- Once completed, you will be advised if you still need to attend the PDOS/Peer Counseling Program or if exempted:
- If required to attend PDOS/Peer: you will be directed to the you will be redirected to the PDOS schedule page. Click the calendar to select the preferred date and time to attend the PDOS/PEER session based on the available country-specific PDOS schedule information:
- Number of available slots.
Note: There are limited slots per session, per day. If the dates are in blue, then there are no slots available for that date. You will need to choose a different date to continue.
- If exempted from attending the PDOS/Peer session: Proceed to the next step.
- Once done, click “Proceed to Registration” to complete the on-line registration form.
- Upload your recent 2 x 2 photo in plain white background and supply correct and complete information in all the fields required in the registration form.
- Download and print the Barcoded Confirmation Form. Bring this document together with all the other requirements to the CFO on the date of appointment. There is no need to print your registration form. Please come to the CFO office/PDOS venue at least an hour before your scheduled PDOS/PEER session to make time for the verification process.
Here are some important reminders for those who wish to register for the PDOS program:
- If registering an individual or doing everything for the first time: Select “Individual / First-Time Registration” then click “Register.”
- If registering for a family or two or more people: Choose “Family Registration” and select “Register Family Member.”
- If the applicant has already secured an immigrant visa: Choose “I already have my immigrant visa.”
- Click “View Registration Form On-Line and Print New Barcoded Confirmation Form” if you have a “New Barcoded Confirmation Form.”
- An 8-digit reference number is necessary for Family Registration and those who are trying to pick a schedule to take their PDOS.
- Note that the Commission on Filipino Overseas has a cut-off period for emigrants’ online registration. It is only available from Mondays thru Thursdays, 07:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m..
- Once you complete your PDOS or Peer Counselling Program, a CFO sticker will be placed on your Philippine passport if
- Officials from the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) will inspect the CFO sticker before you can get the authorization to leave the airport.
OWWA PDOS Registration Video
Watch this video from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and learn more about what the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) is all about as well as the complete registration process:
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are the common questions and answers about PDOS and its registration and processes:
1. How much do I need to pay for the PDOS registration fee?
The face-to-face PDOS held at the OWWA costs Php 400.00. You may pay for this at Counter No. 7 to get your official receipt. The online PDOS, however, is free.
2. How long does the PDOS last?
The OWWA PDOS program is a six-hour seminar that covers seven topics.
3. Is it necessary to register at PDOS?
Yes. OWWA PDOS registration is a mandatory requirement for leaving the country.
4. When is the OWWA PDOS offered?
The OWWA PDOS takes place every Friday at the OWWA headquarters in Pasay City. It is also available online via the OWWA website.
5. Who must attend the PDOS?
All OWWA members, along with Overseas Filipino workers for foreign employers, employees of foreign companies in the Philippines, emigrants, temporary workers, aspiring OFWs, and OFWs returning to the Philippines after a number of years abroad.
6. Where will this OWWA program take place? Is it held in the Philippines or in my host country?
As insinuated by the program name, “Pre-Departure,” this mandatory educational orientation seminar is conducted in the Philippines and is required from OFWs before they can leave the country.
7. Who is exempted from PDOS?
Some emigrants are exempted from attending the PDOS but they are still required to register personally or by proxy/authorized representative.
The following emigrants are exempted from attending the PDOS:
- Minor emigrant ages 12 and below;
- Senior citizens (60 years old and above);
- Those incapacitated due to permanent or long-term ailments; or
- Those with mental health issues or psychologically-challenged.
- Emigrants who stayed for an aggregate of two months in the destination country
8. 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: email@example.com
Office Address: Ground floor, K&J Building, #4 Don Julio Llorente St., Capitol Site, Cebu City 6000
Telefax. No.: (632) 255-5253
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Address: 5th floor, AMQ Building, Lakandula St. corner, Dacudao Ave., Agdao, Davao City
Tel. No.: (+6382) 228-2432
Email address: email@example.com
All CFO offices keep the following office 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
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) conducts a Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are about to be deployed. It is a mandatory one-day seminar held to ensure that the OFWs know their rights and responsibilities, as well as the various processes and procedures they will encounter while working abroad, before they even leave the country.
The seminar provides relevant information and is one of the most important requirements for departing OFWs as it is quite useful in helping them adjust to their new lives abroad. Plus, the OWWA PDOS helps OFWs be properly prepared for their deployment. It is also held in various locations around the Philippines, so interested workers can attend it in any place close to where they live or even online.
If, for instance, you feel the need to reach out to OWWA to learn more about PDOS, the other Pre-Departure Education Programs, or even their other programs, then feel free to reach out to them via the following contact information:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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