The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is a Philippine government office responsible for the administration and supervision of overseas Filipino workers. It is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The POLO has a number of office locations scattered across the globe where there are many migrant workers.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is a government agency that falls under the jurisdiction of DOLE labor. Its primary responsibility is to administer and supervise overseas Filipino workers.
What does POLO office mean?
POLO stands for Philippine Overseas Labor Office.
What are the Services Offered by POLO Office?
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) offers various services to Filipino workers abroad. These services include:
- Assistance in the processing of documents for overseas employment
- Provision of pre-departure orientation seminars
- Referral to job placement agencies
- Monitoring of working conditions of Filipino workers
- Assistance in the resolution of problems and disputes involving Filipino workers
- Coordination with other government agencies and private sector organizations in the provision of assistance to Filipino workers.
Purpose of the POLO Labor office
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) was created to protect the rights and welfare of Filipino workers abroad. Its mandate is to promote and safeguard the interests of Filipino workers and to ensure that their working conditions are fair and just.
Who is the head of the POLO office?
POLO is headed by an assigned Philippine Labor Attache officer. He/she refers to job placement agencies, monitors the working conditions of Filipino workers, assists in the resolution of problems and disputes involving Filipino workers, and coordinates with other government agencies and private sector organizations in the provision of assistance to Filipino workers.
Functions and Responsibilities of POLO Office
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is the DOLE’s overseas operating arm in the implementation of Philippine labor policies and programs for the protection of workers’ rights and welfare. Here are some of its functions:
- Ensure the protection of the OFW rights and promote the welfare and interests of Pinoy migrant workers
- Ensure coordination and cooperation with other agencies to improve the Department’s worldwide employment efforts
- Process Contract Verification and other employment-related papers
- Monitor and report on situations and policy development in the host country that may impact Filipino migrant workers or Philippine labor policies
- Supervise and lead the activities of the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Resource Center (MWOFRC)
- Participate in need-based community development and relations programs as well as engage in cultural activities organized by the Philippine government, foreign country, Filipino communities, and other organizations
- Other duties as needed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment may be carried out.
POLO office Integration with the Department of Migrant Workers
The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is a new OFW department that was implemented in 2022 to address the needs of Filipino migrant workers and this will be the main department for all OFWs across the globe. The POLO office will soon be merged with this new Migrant Workers Office (MWO).
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions about this POLO labor office:
1. What is the difference between POLO and OWWA?
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is a government agency that is responsible for the administration and supervision of overseas Filipino workers. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a government agency that provides social and welfare services to Filipino workers abroad. OWWA is more of an insurance program for OFWs. They still work hand in hand.
2. What is the difference between POLO and Embassy?
POLO focuses on Labor issues of OFWs while the PH Embassy/Consulate is a diplomatic mission that represents the Philippines in a foreign country. The PH Embassy also handles consular services like passport renewal, notarization, etc.
3. What is the difference between POLO and POEA?
Both the POLO and POEA address labor concerns of Filipino migrant workers. The difference between the two is the physical location. POLO offices are located outside the Philippines while POEA has its office locations in the Philippines.
4. What are the functions of a POLO officer?
The functions of a POLO officer include but are not limited to the following:
- Assisting Filipino workers in resolving problems and disputes with their employers
- Monitoring working conditions of Filipino workers
- Coordinating with other government agencies and private sector organizations in providing assistance to Filipino workers
5. What is the difference between a job order and a direct hire?
A job order is an employment arrangement where an employer recruits workers through an agency while direct hire is when an employer recruits workers without going through an agency. With a job order, the employer usually pays for the placement fee while with direct-hire, the worker pays for his/her own placement fee.
6. How can I file a complaint against my employer?
You may file a complaint against your employer by going to the nearest Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) or Philippine Embassy/Consulate. You may also file a complaint online through the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) portal.
7. How can I cancel my contract?
You may cancel your contract by going to the nearest Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) or Philippine Embassy/Consulate. You may also cancel your contract online through the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) portal.
8. What will happen to POLO office in the future?
There is a newly-established OFW department called the Department of Migrant Workers and this aims to unite all OFW agencies under one umbrella. Once the transition period is complete, the POLO office will be converted into a Migrant Workers Office. So please stay tuned for these updates.
9. What is the new name of POLO office?
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) will soon be converted into the Migrant Workers Office (MWO).
If you are a Filipino worker based abroad and you have problems with your employment, whether it is your contract or your employer or other job concerns, you can go to the nearest POLO office for assistance. The POLO office is responsible for the administration and supervision of Filipino workers abroad. They can help you file a complaint against your employer, cancel your contract, or assist you in other ways.
We hope this post gives you a better idea of the functions and role of the POLO labor office. Stay tuned for updates on the transition of the POLO office into a MWO.