Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995
An act to institute the policies of overseas employment and establish a higher standard of protection and promotion of
the welfare of migrant workers, their families and overseas Filipinos in distress, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE. - This act shall be known and cited as the "Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995."


(a) In the pursuit of an independent foreign policy and while considering national sovereignty, territorial integrity,
national interest and the right to self-determination paramount in its relations with other states, the State shall, at all
times, uphold the dignity of its citizens whether in country or overseas, in general, and Filipino migrant workers, in

(b) The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full
employment and equality of employment opportunities for all. Towards this end, the State shall provide adequate and
timely social, economic and legal services to Filipino migrant workers.

(c) While recognizing the significant contribution of Filipino migrant workers to the national economy through their
foreign exchange remittances, the State does not promote overseas employment as a means to sustain economic
growth and achieve national development. The existence of the overseas employment program rests solely on the
assurance that the dignity and fundamental human rights and freedoms of the Filipino citizens shall not, at any time,
be compromised or violated. The State, therefore, shall continuously create local employment opportunities and
promote the equitable distribution of wealth and the benefits of development.

(d) The State affirms the fundamental equality before the law of women and men and the significant role of women in
nation-building. Recognizing the contribution of overseas migrant women workers and their particular vulnerabilities,
the State shall apply gender sensitive criteria in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs affecting
migrant workers and the composition of bodies tasked for the welfare of migrant workers.

(e) Free access to the courts and quasi-judicial bodies and adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any
persons by reason of poverty. In this regard, it is imperative that an effective mechanism be instituted to ensure that
the rights and interest of distressed overseas Filipinos, in general, and Filipino migrant workers, in particular,
documented or undocumented, are adequately protected and safeguarded.

(f) The right of Filipino migrant workers and all overseas Filipinos to participate in the democratic decision-making
processes of the State and to be represented in institutions relevant to overseas employment is recognized and

(g) The State recognizes that the ultimate protection to all migrant workers is the possession of skills. Pursuant to this
and as soon as practicable, the government shall deploy and/or allow the deployment only to skilled Filipino workers.

(h) Non-governmental organizations, duly recognized as legitimate, are partners of the State in the protection of
Filipino migrant workers and in the promotion of their welfare, the State shall cooperate with them in a spirit of trust
and mutual respect.

(I) Government fees and other administrative costs of recruitment, introduction, placement and assistance to migrant
workers shall be rendered free without prejudice to the provision of Section 36 hereof.

Nonetheless, the deployment of Filipino overseas workers, whether land-based or sea-based by local service
contractors and manning agencies employing them shall be encouraged. Appropriate incentives may be extended to

(b) "Gender-sensitivity" shall mean cognizance of the inequalities and inequities prevalent in society between women and men and a commitment to address issues with concern for the respective interests of the sexes. in any manner. when undertaken by a non-license or non-holder of authority contemplated under Article 13(f) of Presidential Decree No. 6. . ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT Sec. licensee or holder of authority. It shall likewise include the following acts. non-holder. . Provided. and (d) It is taking positive. whether committed by any persons. or to make a worker pay any amount greater than that actually received by him as a loan or advance. DEFINITIONS. 4. I. whether a non-licensee. may. concrete measures to protect the rights of migrant workers. (c) To give any false notice. contact services. as amended.For purposes of this Act: (a) "Migrant worker" refers to a person who is to be engaged. TERMINATION OR BAN ON DEPLOYMENT . (b) It is a signatory to multilateral conventions. DEFINITIONS. (e) To influence or attempt to influence any persons or entity not to employ any worker who has not applied for employment through his agency. (c) It has concluded a bilateral agreement or arrangement with the government protecting the rights of overseas Filipino workers. (d) To induce or attempt to induce a worker already employed to quit his employment in order to offer him another unless the transfer is designed to liberate a worker from oppressive terms and conditions of employment. The government recognizes any of the following as guarantee on the part of the receiving country for the protection and the rights of overseas Filipino workers: (a) It has existing labor and social laws protecting the rights of migrant workers. promising or advertising for employment abroad. . the government.Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4 hereof. terminate or impose a ban on the deployment of migrant workers. enlisting.The State shall deploy overseas Filipino workers only in countries where the rights of Filipino migrant workers are protected. contracting. transporting. declaration or resolutions relating to the protection of migrant workers. at any time. utilizing. Deployment of Migrant Workers . 2 SEC. is engaged or has been engaged in a renumerated activity in a state of which he or she is not a legal resident to be used interchangeably with overseas Filipino worker. who. (c) "Overseas Filipinos" refers to dependents of migrant workers and other Filipino nationals abroad who are in distress as mentioned in Sections 24 and 26 of this Act. hiring. illegal recruitment shall mean any act of canvassing. 3. otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines. procuring workers and includes referring. offers or promises for a fee employment abroad to two or more persons shall be deemed so engaged. DEPLOYMENT SEC. that such non-license or non-holder. 5. (b) To furnish or publish any false notice or information or document in relation to recruitment or employment. in pursuit of the national interest or when public welfare so requires. information or document or commit any act of misrepresentation for the purpose of securing a license or authority under the Labor Code. whether for profit or not. testimony.For purposes of this Act. II. SEC. 442. (a) To charge or accept directly or indirectly any amount greater than the specified in the schedule of allowable fees prescribed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.

(i) To substitute or alter to the prejudice of the worker. Provided. or the Department of Foreign Affairs. (k) To withhold or deny travel documents from applicant workers before departure for monetary or financial considerations other than those authorized under the Labor Code and its implementing rules and regulations. management or direction of their business shall be liable. departures and such other matters or information as may be required by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. Illegal recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one another. that the maximum penalty shall be imposed if the person illegally recruited is less than eighteen (18) years of age or committed by a non-licensee or non-holder of authority. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group. (l) Failure to actually deploy without valid reasons as determined by the Department of Labor and Employment.A criminal action arising from illegal recruitment as defined herein shall be filed with the Regional Trial Court of the province or city where the offense was committed or where the offended party actually resides at . SEC. (j) For an officer or agent of a recruitment or placement agency to become an officer or member of the Board of any corporation engaged in travel agency or to be engaged directly on indirectly in the management of a travel agency.000. PROHIBITION ON OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES. however.000. accomplices and accessories. The penalties shall be imposed upon them. directly or indirectly. placement vacancies. in cases where the deployment does not actually take place without the worker's fault. the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. 7.00) nor more than five hundred thousand pesos (P500. or the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. . (b) The penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of not less than five hundred thousand pesos (P500. in the business of recruiting migrant workers as defined in this Act. or other government agencies involved in the implementation of this Act. PENALTIES - (a) Any person found guilty of illegal recruitment shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) years and one (1) day but not more than twelve (12) years and a fine not less than two hundred thousand pesos (P200. . remittances of foreign exchange earnings. (h) To fail to submit reports on the status of employment.00).000. Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale shall be considered as offense involving economic sabotage. VENUE. SEC. The persons criminally liable for the above offenses are the principals. employment contracts approved and verified by the Department of Labor and Employment from the time of actual signing thereof by the parties up to and including the period of the expiration of the same without the approval of the Department of Labor and Employment. the officers having control. 8.00) nor more than one million pesos (P1. 9. or their relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.000.000. SEC. In case of juridical persons. to engage. 3 (f) To engage in the recruitment of placement of workers in jobs harmful to public health or morality or to dignity of the Republic of the Philippines. and (m) Failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the workers in connection with his documentation and processing for purposes of deployment. separations from jobs.Ot shall be unlawful for any official or employee of the Department of Labor and Employment. (g) To obstruct or attempt to obstruct inspection by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or by his duly authorized representative.00) shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes economic sabotage as defined herein.

exemplary and other forms of damages. Provided. The liability of the principal/employer and the recruitment/placement agency for any and all claims under this section shall be joint and several. 4 the same time of the commission of the offense: Provided. 12. If the preliminary investigation is conducted by a judge and a prima facie case is found to exist. That the aforestated provisions shall also apply to those criminal actions that have already been filed in court at the time of the effectivity of this Act. SEC. Any compromise/amicable settlement or voluntary agreement on money claims inclusive of damages under this section shall be paid within four (4) months from the approval of the settlement by the appropriate authority. .Illegal recruitment cases under this Act shall prescribe in five (5) years: Provided. Non-compliance with the mandatory periods for resolutions of cases provided under this section shall subject the responsible officials to any or all of the following penalties: (a) The salary of any such official who fails to render his decision or resolutions within the prescribed period shall be. however.Botwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary. SEC. the corresponding information shall be filed in court within twenty-four (24) hours from the termination of the investigation. amendment or modification made locally or in a foreign country of the said contract. 13. 11. withheld until the said official complies therewith. SEC. Such mechanism must include coordination and cooperation with . FREE LEGAL ASSISTANCE. shall themselves be jointly and solidarily liable with the corporation or partnership for the aforesaid claims and damages. the Labor Arbiters of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) shall have the priginal and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide. within ninety (90) calendar days after filing of the complaint. That the court where the criminal action is first filed shall acquire jurisdiction to the exclusion of other courts. 10. or (c) Dismissal from the service with disqualifications to hold any appointive public office for five (5) years. (b) Suspension for not more than ninety (90) days. valid or authorized cause as defined by law or contract. as provided by law. MANADATORY PERIODS FOR RESOLUTION OF ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT CASES. MONEY CLAIMS. that the penalties herein provided shall be without prejudice to any liability which any such official may have incurred under other existing laws or rules and regulations as a consequence of violating the provisions of this paragraph. plus his salaries for the unexpired portion of his employment contract or for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term. however. shall be answerable for all money claims or damages that may be awarded to the workers. PREFERENTIAL ENTITLEMENT UNDER THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM. moral. or caused to be. Such liabilities shall continue during the entire period or duration of the employment contract and shall not be affected by any substitution. PRESCRIPTIVE PERIODS. Provided. whichever is less. the claims arising out of an employer-employee relationship or by virtue of any law or contract involving Filipino workers for overseas deployment including claims for actual. This provisions shall be incorporated in the contract for overseas employment and shall be a condition precedent for its approval.The preliminary investigations of cases under this Act shall be terminated within a period of thirty (30) calendar days from the date of their filing. Where the preliminary investigation is conducted by a prosecution officer and a prima facie case is established. the workers shall be entitled to the full reimbursement of his placement fee with interest of twelve percent (12%) per annum. the corporate officers and directors and partners as the case may be. . If the recruitment/placement agency is a juridical being.A mechanism for free legal assistance for victims of illegal recruitment shall be established within the Department of Labor and Employment including its regional offices. In case of termination of overseas employment without just. The performance bond to be filed by the recruitment/placement agency. prosecution officer within forty-eight (48) hours from the date of receipt of the records of the case. however. . . SEC. That illegal recruitment cases involving economic sabotage as defined herein shall prescribe in twenty (20) years.

000. the Technology Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC). and tap their skills and potentials for national development. and exploitation or abuse of Filipino migrant workers. . SEC. 15. FUNCTIONS OF THE RE-PLACEMENT AND MONITORING CENTER. there is hereby created and established an emergency repatriation fund under the administration control and supervision of the OWWA. . SEC. better wage employment. MANDATORY REPATRIATION OF UNDERAGE MIGRANT WORKERS. 6981 to the contrary. . and adherence of particular countries to international standards on human and workers' rights which will adequately prepare individuals into making informed and intelligent decisions about overseas employment. SEC. SEC. and other similar events without prejudice to reimbursement by the responsible principal or agency. 14. However. SERVICES SEC.The repatriation of the worker and the transport of his personal belongings shall be the primary responsibility of the agency which recruited or deployed the worker overseas. the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Likewise. REPATRIATION OF WORKERS. . the repatriation of remains and transport of the personal belongings of a deceased worker and all costs attendant thereto shall be borne by the principal and/or local agency. through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). serve as a promotion house for their local employment. all embassies and consular offices. . the principal/employer or agency shall not in any manner be responsible for the repatriation of the former and/or his belongings. However. TRAVEL ADVISORY/INFORMATION DISSEMINATION. epidemic. inclusive of outstanding balances. migration realities and other facts. ESTABLISHMENT OF RE-PLACEMENT AND MONITORING CENTER.To give utmost priority to the establishment of programs and services to prevent illegal recruitment. All costs attendant to repatriation shall be borne by or charged to the agency concerned and/or its principal. and other non-governmental organizations and volunteer groups. 5 the Department of Justice. initially to consist of one hundred million pesos (P100. fraud. For this purpose. the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. notwithstanding. 18. all costs attendant to repatriation shall be borne by the OWWA.Upon discovery or being informed of the presence of migrant workers whose actual ages fall below the minimum age requirement for overseas deployment. shall issue travel advisories or disseminate information on labor and employment conditions. within ninety (90) days from the effectivity of this Act. livelihood and entrepreneurial development. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). in cases where the termination of employment is due solely to the fault of the worker.00). formulate a program that would motivate migrant workers to plan for productive options such as entry into highly technical jobs or undertakings. in coordination ith appropriate international agencies. in cases where the principal or recruitment agency cannot be identified. and other government agencies involved in training and livelihood development shall give priority to return who had been employed as domestic helpers and entertainers.A replacement and monitoring center is hereby created in the Department of Labor and Employment for returning Filipino migrant workers which shall provide a mechanism for their reintegration into the Philippine society. Such advisory or information shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation at least three (3) times in every quarter. and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration shall. For this purposes. any person who is a victim of illegal recruitment shall be entitled to the Witness Protection Program provided thereunder. EMERGENCY REPATRIATION FUND. 17. and investment of savings. natural or man-made.The center shall provide the following service: . The Department of Labor and Employment. disasters or calamities.000. the responsible officers in the foreign service shall without delay repatriate said workers and advise the Department of Foreign Affairs through the fastest means of communication availavle of such discovery and other relevant information. III. The provisions of Republic Act No. shall undertake the repatriation of workers in cases of war. 16. the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

the government must provide a lawyer and a social worker for the Center. settlement and community networking services for social integration. the Commission on Filipino Overseas. In countries categorized as highly problematic by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment and where there is a concentration of Filipino migrant workers. including Saturdays. the National Bureau of Investigation. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. SEC. under pain of having his/her passport cancelled. circumstances and activities affecting migrant workers and other overseas Filipinos. For this purpose. . (c) Institute in cooperation with other government agencies concerned. 19. and the National Statistics Office shall be established to implement a shared government information system for migration. and shall be staffed by Foreign Service personnel. 6 (a) Develop livelihood programs and projects for returning Filipino migrant workers in coordination with the private sector. Sundays and holidays. (b) Welfare assistance including the procurement of medical and hospitalization services. (d) Institute a scheme of registration of undocumented workers to bring them within the purview of this Act. The Labor Attache shall coordinate the operation of the Center and shall keep the Chief of Mission informed and updated on all matters affecting it. The Center shall have a counterpart 24-hour information and assistance center at the Department of Foreign Affairs to ensure a continuous network and coordinative mechanism at the home office. ESTABLISHMENT OF A MIGRANT WORKERS AND OTHER OVERSEAS FILIPINOS RESOURCE CENTER. The second phase shall involve linkaging of computer facilities in order to allow free-flow data exchanges and sharing among concerned agencies. both public and private. ESTABLISHMENT OF A SHARED GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR MIGRATION. re- placement and the full utilization of their potentials. . (g) Orientation program for returning workers and other migrants. the Department of Labor and Employment. development. (c) Information. The inter-agency committee shall initially make available to itself the information contained in existing data bases/files. (e) Human resource development. - Within the premises and under the administrative jurisdiction of the Philippine Embassy in countries where there are large concentrations of Filipino migrant workers. and (h) Monitoring of daily situations. The Center shall be open for twenty-four (24) hours daily. advisory and programs to promote social integration such as post-arrival orientation. a computer-based information system on skilled Filipino migrant workers which shall be accessible to all local recruitment agencies and employers. service attaches or officers who represent other organizations from the host countries. (d) Provide a periodic study and assessment of job opportunities for returning Filipino migrant workers. the Department of Justice. such as training and skills upgrading. there shall be establish a Migrant Workers and Other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center with the following services: (a) Counseling and legal services. (f) Gender sensitive programs and activities to assist particular needs of women migrant workers. the Bureau of Immigration. 20. (b) Coordinate with appropriate private and government agencies the promotion. The Department of Tourism. SEC. the Center is enjoined to compel existing undocumented workers to register with it within six (6) months from the effectivity of this Act.An inter- agency committee composed of the Department of Foreign Affairs and its attached agency. The establishment and operations of the Center shall be a joint undertaking of the various government agencies. the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES SEC. as far as applicable. The Department of Foreign Affairs is also mandated to make an assessment of rights and avenues of redress under international and regional human rights systems that are available to Filipino migrant workers who are victims of abuse and violation and. IV. (b) Inventory of pending legal cases involving Filipino migrant workers and other Filipino nationals. . but not limited to. (c) Masterlists of departing/arriving Filipinos. (d) Statistical profile on Filipino migrant workers/overseas Filipinos/Tourists. . 7 The inter-agency committee shall convene to identify existing data bases which shall be declassified and shared among member agencies. shall take priority action or make representation with the foreign authority concerned to protect the rights of migrant workers and other overseas Filipinos and extend immediate assistance including the repatriation of distressed or beleaguered migrant workers and other overseas Filipinos. the following information: (a) Masterlists of departing/arriving Filipinos. MIGRANT WORKERS LOAN GUARANTEE FUND. declaration or resolutions pertaining to the protection of migrant workers' rights. all overseas Filipinos: (a) Department of Foreign Affairs.In order to further prevent unscrupulous illegal recruiters from taking advantage of workers seeking employment abroad. in general.000. a Migrant Workers Loan Guarantee Fund is hereby created and the revolving amount of one hundred million pesos (P100.The following government agencies shall perform the following to promote the welfare and protect the rights of migrant workers and. through its home office or foreign posts. immigration policies. 22. (g) List of labor and other human rights instruments where receiving countries are signatories. pursue the same on behalf of the victim if it is legally impossible to file individual complaints. For this purpose. in coordination with government financial institutions. marriage laws and civil and criminal codes in receiving countries particularly those with the large numbers of Filipinos. . (e) Blacklisted foreigners/undesirable aliens. shall institute financing schemes that will expand the grant of pre-departure loan and family assistance loan. the OWWA. RIGHTS AND ENFORCEMENT MECHANISM UNDER INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS SYSTEMS. shall take priority action its home office or foreign posts. If a complaints machinery is available under international or regional systems.000. the Department of Foreign Affairs shall fully apprise the Filipino migrant workers of the existence and effectiveness of such legal options. SEC. as far as practicable and through the Legal Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs created under this Act. . including those serving prison terms.00) from the OWWA is set aside as a guarantee fund in favor of participating government financial institutions. and migrant workers. (h) A tracking system of past and present gender disaggregated cases involving male and female migrant workers. (f) Basic data on legal systems. 23.The Department. in particular. acceptance or adherence of countries receiving Filipino workers to multilateral convention. . ROLE OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. These shared data bases shall initially include. SEC. and (I) Listing of overseas posts which may render assistance to overseas Filipinos.The Department of Foreign Affairs is mandated to undertake the necessary initiative such as promotions. 21.

and .1) Philippine Overseas Employment Administration . he shall make representation and may call on the agencies or entities concerned to conferences or conciliation meetings for the purpose of settling the complaints or problems brought to his attention. (d) To administer the legal assistance fund for migrant workers established under Section 25 hereof and to authorize disbursements there from in accordance with the purposes for which the fund was set up.Subject to deregulation and phase out as provided under Sections 29 and 30 herein. The legal Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs shall have authority to hire private lawyers.2) Overseas Workers Welfare Administration .There is hereby established a legal assistance fund for migrant workers. salary and privileges equal to that of an undersecretary of said Department. It shall also formulate and implement. as well as with non-governmental organizations assisting migrant workers. the coordinating officer shall provide the Filipino migrant worker and his family all the assistance they may need in the enforcement of contractual obligations by agencies or entities and/or by their principals.000. 8 (b) Department of Labor and Employment . LEGAL ASSISTANT FOR MIGRANT WORKERS AFFAIRS. He shall have the rank. in coordination with appropriate entities concerned. when necessary employment of Filipino workers taking into consideration their welfare and the domestic manpower requirements. (b. LEGAL ASSISTANCE FUND . the POEA.000.000. to other overseas Filipinos including the grant of legal assistance and the referral to proper medical centers or hospitals: (b. V. The said Legal Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs shall be appointed by the President and must be of proven competence in the field of law with at least ten (10) years of experience as a legal practitioner and must not have been a candidate to an elective office in the last local or national elections. Among the functions and responsibilities of the aforesaid Legal Assistant are: (a) To issue the guidelines. and (e) To keep and maintain the information system as provided in Section 20.000. . SEC.000.000. 25. in the amount of One hundred million pesos (P100. the OWWA and other government agencies concerned. THE LEGAL ASSISTANT FOR MIGRANT WORKERS AFFAIRS SEC. the Administration shall regulate private sector participation in the recruitment and overseas placement of workers by setting up a licensing and registration system.00) from the Presidential Social Fund. domestic or foreign. Thirty million pesos (P30. herein after referred to as Legal Assistance fund.The Welfare Officer or in his absence. procedures and criteria for the provisions of legal assistance services to Filipino migrant workers. to ensure effective coordination and cooperation in the provision of legal assistance to migrant workers.00) to be constituted from the following sources: Fifty million pesos (P50. (c) To tap the assistance of reputable law firms and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and other bar associations to complement the government's efforts to provide legal assistance to migrant workers. 24. (b) To establish close linkages with the Department of Labor and Employment.00) from the Contingency Fund of the President.The Department of Labor and Employment shall see to it that labor and social welfare laws in the foreign countries are fairly applied to migrant workers and whenever applicable. in order to assist him in the effective discharge of the above functions. In the performance of this functions.There is hereby created the position of Legal Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs under the Department of Foreign Affairs who shall be primarily responsible for the provision and overall coordination of all legal assistance services to be provided to Filipino migrant workers as well as overseas Filipinos in distress.

. the Fund created under this Act. COMPREHENSIVE DEREGULATION PLAN ON RECRUITMENT ACTIVITIES.The country team approach. Pending investigation by an appropriate body in the Philippines.TEAM APPROACH SEC. 9 Twenty million pesos (P20. VII. endorse such recommendation to the department secretary concerned for appropriate action. INCENTIVES TO PROFESSIONALS AND OTHER HIGHLY-SKILLED FILIPINOS ABROAD. VII.Within a period of five (5) years from the effectivity of this Act. but not limited to. in general. VI. SEC. . 28. GRADUAL PHASE-OUT OF REGULATORY FUNCTIONS. shall be the highest priority concerns of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Philippine Foreign Service Posts. the DOLE shall phase out the regulatory functions of the POEA pursuant to the objectives of deregulation. court fees and charges and other litigation expenses. COUNTRY-TEAM APPROACH.000. representatives and personnel of other departments. the person recommended for recall may be placed under preventive suspension by the ambassador. the DOLE within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act. COUNTRY . SEC. The protection of the Filipino migrant workers and the promotion of their welfare. In the implementation of the country-team approach. The expenditures to be charged against the Fund shall include the fees for the foreign lawyers to be hired by the Legal Assistance for Migrant Workers Affairs to represent migrant workers facing charges abroad. 1694 and 1809. as enunciated under Executive Order No. to be turned over to. 537. PRIORITY CONCERNS OF PHILIPPINE FOREIGN SERVICE POSTS. 31. 30. . and the protection of the dignity and fundamental rights and freedoms of the Filipino citizen abroad. representatives and personnel of the Philippine government posted abroad for acts inimical to the national interest such as. upon effectivity of this Act. bail bonds to secure the temporary release of workers under detention.Pursuant to the objective of encouraging professionals and other highly-skilled Filipinos abroad especially in the field of science and . 74. DEREGULATION AND PHASE-OUT SEC. . all officers. failure to provide the necessary services to protect the rights of overseas Filipinos. In this regard.00) from the Welfare Fund for Overseas Workers established under Letter of Instruction No. economic conditions of the country and emergency circumstances which may affect the welfare of migrant workers. representatives and personnel of the Philippine government posted abroad regardless of their mother agencies shall. PROFESSIONAL AND OTHER HIGHLY-SKILLED FILIPINOS ABROAD SEC. shall be the mode under which Philippine embassies or their personnel will operate in the protection of the Filipino migrant workers as well as in the promotion of their welfare. 26.Pursuant to a progressive policy of deregulation whereby the migration of workers becomes strictly a matter between the worker and his foreign employer. 27. act as one country-team with a mission under the leadership of the ambassador. SEC. in particular. and form part of. in the case of officers. series of 1993. criteria and procedures promulgated in accordance with Section 24 (a) hereof. In host countries where there are Philippine consulates. is hereby mandated to formulate a five-year comprehensive deregulation plan on recruitment activities taking into account labor market trends. . on a per country basis. visiting Philippine delegations shall be provided full support and information. .000. Any balances of existing fund which have been set aside by the government specifically as legal assistance or defense fund to help migrant workers shall. USES OF THE LEGAL ASSISTANCE FUND. the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs shall. as amended by Presidential Decree Nos. Upon receipt of the recommendation of the ambassador. 29. such consulates shall also constitute part of the country-team under the leadership of the ambassador. the ambassador may recommend to the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs the recall of officers.The Legal Assistance Fund created under the preceeding section shall be used exclusively to provide legal services to migrant workers and overseas Filipinos in distress in accordance witht the guidelines.Under the country-team approach.

and contribute to national development. the respective Boards of the POEA and the OWWA shall. 35. that all nominees must have at least two (2) years experience as a migrant worker. respectively. the government shall provide proper and adequate incentives and programs so as to secure their services in priority development areas of the public and private sectors. and inventory of pending cases involving them and other Filipino nationals including those serving prison terms. SEC. specifically violations of their rights.Upon approval of this Act.Pursuant to Section 3(2). MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS SEC. 33.000. REPRESENTATION IN CONGRESS. the migrant worker shall be exempt from the payment of travel tax and airport fee upon proper showing of proof of entitlement by the POEA.There is hereby created a Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Fund which shall benefit deserving migrant workers and/or their immediate descendants below twenty-one (21) years of age who intent to pursue courses or training primarily in the field of science and technology. and (f) Status of negotiations on bilateral labor agreements between the Philippines and the host country. sea-based and land-based sectors.000. IX. The initial seed fund of two hundred million pesos (P200.All laws to the country notwithstanding. two (2) sectoral representatives for migrant workers in the House of Representatives shall be appointed by the President from the ranks of migrant workers: Provided. Article VI of the Constitution and in line with the objective of empowering overseas Filipinos to participate in the policy-making process to address Filipino migrant concerns. in addition to their present composition. REPORT TO CONGRESS. 10 technology to participate in. SEC. (d) Initiative/actions taken by the Philippine foreign posts to address the problems of Filipino migrant workers. 32.00) shall be constituted from the following sources: (a) Fifty million pesos (P50. 37. 36.000. . ABOLITION OF REPATRIATION BOND. SEC. the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Labor and Employment shall submit to the said body a semi-annual report of Philippine foreign posts located in countries hosting Filipino migrant workers. to be appointed by the President in the same manner as the other members. all fees being charged by any government office on migrant workers shall remain at their present levels and the repatriation bond shall be established. . . The report shall not be limited to the following information: (a) Masterlist of Filipino migrant workers.000. SEC. 34. have three (3) members each who shall come from the women. . and . Any officer of the government who fails to report as stated in the preceeding section shall be subjected to administrative penalty.In order to inform the Philippine Congress on the implementation of the policy enunciated in Section 4 hereof. . EXEMPTION FROM TRAVEL TAX AND AIRPORT FEE. SEC. ADDITIONAL MEMBERSHIPS. . (e) Changes in the laws and policies of host countries. NON-INCREASE OF FEES. (c) Problems encountered by the migrant workers.00) from the unexpected Countrywide Development Fund for 1995 in equal sharing by all members of Congress. POEA AND OWWA BOARD. that at least one (1) of the two (2) sectoral representatives shall come from the women migrant workers sector: Provided. (b) Working conditions of Filipino migrant workers.Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary. further. THE CONGRESSIONAL MIGRANT WORKERS SCHOLARSHIP FUND.

The day of signing by the President of this Act shall be designated as the Migrant Workers Day and shall henceforth be commemorated as such annually. SEC. IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS. SEC. SEPARABILITY CLAUSE. 38. . SEC.000.If. APPROPRIATION AND OTHER SOURCES OF FUNDING. . 43. The Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Fund as herein created shall be administered by the DOLE in coordination with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). SEC. 41. .The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be provided for in the General Appropriations Act of the year following its enactment into law and thereafter. 11 (b) The remaining one hundred fifty million pesos (P150. .All laws. MIGRANT WORKERS DAY. the DOLE and the DOST shall formulate the necessary rules and regulations. REPEATING CLAUSE. To carry out the objectives of this section. rules and regulations. within ninety (90) days after the effectivity of this Act. 42. formulate the necessary rules and regulations for its effective implementation.000. . the other sections or provisions hereof shall not be affected thereby.The departments and agencies charged with carrying out the provisions of this Act shall.00) shall be funded from the proceeds of Lotto. SEC. EFFECTIVITY CLAUSE. or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. any section or provision of this Act is held unconstitutional or invalid. . for any reason. executive orders. decrees. 40.This Act shall take effect after fifteen (15) days from its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation whichever comes earlier. SEC. 39. .

Ltd. On April 6. Divina filed her Position Paper4 claiming that under her original one-year contract and the 2-year extended contract which was with the knowledge and consent of Sunace. Second Division. vs. INC.. 12 G.00 NT36. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION.1 The deployment was with the assistance of a Taiwanese broker. NLRC. deployed to Taiwan Divina A. Montehermozo (Divina) as a domestic helper under a 12-month contract effective February 1. quoted verbatim: COMPLAINANT IS NOT ENTITLED FOR THE REFUND OF HER 24 MONTHS SAVINGS 3. Arbitration Branch. President of Jet Crown International Co. 2000.5 and while the amounts deducted in 1997 were refunded to her. those deducted in 1998 and 1999 were not. 2000.. 2006 SUNACE INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES. furnishing it with a copy of Divina’s complaint and directing it to appear for mandatory conference on February 28. . a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines. filed its Verified Answer and Position Paper. ERNESTO S. Edmund Wang. the following amounts representing income tax and savings were deducted: Year Deduction for Income Tax Deduction for Savings 1997 NT10. The scheduled mandatory conference was reset. in his capacity as Labor Arbiter. one Adelaide Perez. Divina filed a complaint2 before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) against Sunace.500. 2000.00 NT36. Divina continued working for her Taiwanese employer.00 NT23.Petitioner. Labor Arbitration Associate Regina T. 161757 January 25. J. a xerographic copy of which is herewith attached as ANNEX "2" hereof. MONTEHERMOZO. Sunace. Sunace International Management Services (Sunace).100. DECISION CARPIO MORALES. 1997. 1998.00. No.00 1999 NT13.6 claiming as follows.450. after which she returned to the Philippines on February 4. 2000.R. Ltd. however. by its Proprietor/General Manager Maria Luisa Olarte.000. Complainant could not anymore claim nor entitled for the refund of her 24 months savings as she already took back her saving already last year and the employer did not deduct any money from her salary. the Taiwanese broker.Respondents.: Petitioner. Gavin issued Summons3 to the Manager of Sunace. 2000. Hang Rui Xiong. After her 12-month contract expired on February 1. in accordance with a Fascimile Message from the respondent SUNACE’s employer. Shortly after her return or on February 14. On even date. HON. NCR.00 1998 NT9. for two more years.300. Quezon City and DIVINA A. Jet Crown International Co. The following day or on February 15.000. and the employer-foreign principal alleging that she was jailed for three months and that she was underpaid. DINOPOL. It appears to have been concluded.

answer to complainant’s position paper. ." Divina filed a 2-page reply. Sunace filed on April 25. . . it had no liability attaching to any claim arising therefrom. Furthermore. does not deserve to be compensated for whatever kind of damages. and Divina in fact executed a Waiver/Quitclaim and Release of Responsibility and an Affidavit of Desistance. . 6. was not illegally dismissed by her employer. the tax deducted from her salary is in compliance with the Taiwanese law." To Sunace’s ". Complainant did not suffer injury. . refuting Sunace’s disclaimer of knowledge of the extension of her contract and without saying anything about the Release. That respondent SUNACE respectfully reserves the right to file supplemental Verified Answer and/or Position Paper to substantiate its prayer for the dismissal of the above case against the herein respondent. The sovereign power of taxation of a state is recognized under international law and among sovereign states. Hence. hence. The rationales behind the award of tax refund and payment of attorney’s fees is not to enrich the complainant but to compensate him for actual injury suffered. AND BY WAY OF - x x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Reacting to Divina’s Position Paper. Waiver and Quitclaim and Affidavit of Desistance. copy of each document was annexed to said ". hence. Sunace and Edmund Wang have not stopped communicating with each other and yet the matter of the contract’s extension and Sunace’s alleged non-consent thereto has not been categorically established. considering that she has been totally paid of all the monetary benefits due her under her Employment Contract to her full satisfaction. 2000 an ". however. There is no basis for the grant of tax refund to the complainant as the she finished her one year contract and hence. 7. The Labor Arbiter. 13 COMPLAINANT IS NOT ENTITLED TO REFUND OF HER 14 MONTHS TAX AND PAYMENT OF ATTORNEY’S FEES 4. What Sunace should have done was to write to POEA about the extension and its objection thereto. which respondent SUNACE has no control and complainant has to obey and this Honorable Office has no authority/jurisdiction to intervene because the power to tax is a sovereign power which the Taiwanese Government is supreme in its own territory. Edmund Wang. .8 without. rejected Sunace’s claim that the extension of Divina’s contract for two more years was without its knowledge and consent in this wise: We reject Sunace’s submission that it should not be held responsible for the amount withheld because her contract was extended for 2 more years without its knowledge and consent because as Annex "B"9 shows. She could only lay claim over the tax refund or much more be awarded of damages such as attorney’s fees as said reliefs are available only when the dismissal of a migrant worker is without just valid or lawful cause as defined by law or contract. . copy furnished the complainant herself. answer to complainant’s position paper"7 alleging that Divina’s 2-year extension of her contract was without its knowledge and consent. her foreign employer. Hang Rui Xiong and the Taiwanese broker. the complainant has NO cause of action against respondent SUNACE for monetary claims. answer to complainant’s position paper.

the same shall be reduced to writing and signed by the parties and their respective counsel (sic). both in their personal capacities and as agent of Hang Rui Xiong/Edmund Wang to jointly and severally pay complainant DIVINA A. complainant had to engage the services of counsel. MONTEHERMOZO the sum of NT91. and public policy.17 . morals. if after confronting the parties. by decision of October 9. SO ORDERED. Montehermozo. The settlement shall be approved by the Labor Arbiter after being satisfied that it was voluntarily entered into by the parties and after having explained to them the terms and consequences thereof. the NLRC. if any. It is undisputed that petitioner was continually communicating with private respondent’s foreign employer (sic). it is presumed to have consented to the extension and should be liable for anything that resulted thereform (sic). before the Labor Arbiter. we strike them down as contrary to law. 2002. As agent of the foreign principal.00 in its peso equivalent at the date of payment. The petition failed to allege facts constitutive of grave abuse of discretion on the part of the public respondent amounting to lack of jurisdiction when the NLRC affirmed the Labor Arbiter’s finding that petitioner Sunace International Management Services impliedly consented to the extension of the contract of private respondent Divina A.15 Sunace elevated the case to the Court of Appeals which dismissed it outright by Resolution of November 12. 12 the dispositive portion of which reads: Wherefore. the act of the principal extending complainant (sic) employment contract necessarily bound it. 14 And because it did not.950. Via petition for certiorari. A compromise agreement entered into by the parties not in the presence of the Labor Arbiter before whom the case is pending shall be approved by him. he is satisfied that they understand the terms and conditions of the settlement and that it was entered into freely voluntarily (sic) by them and the agreement is not contrary to law. the petition is hereby DENIED DUE COURSE and DISMISSED. ACCORDINGLY. and public policy. morals. by Resolution of April 30. 14 affirmed the Labor Arbiter’s decision.16 the full text of which reads: The petition for certiorari faces outright dismissal. Observed the Labor Arbiter: Should the parties arrive at any agreement as to the whole or any part of the dispute. 2000." Grave abuse of discretion is not present in the case at bar. particularly the complainants. judgment is hereby rendered ordering respondents SUNACE INTERNATIONAL SERVICES and its owner ADELAIDA PERGE. 2002.11 He accordingly decided in favor of Divina. as refund for the amounts which she is hereby adjudged entitled to as earlier discussed plus 10% thereof as attorney’s fees since compelled to litigate.13 (Underescoring supplied) On appeal of Sunace. "petitioner cannot profess ignorance of such extension as obviously. And because no consideration is indicated in the documents.10 (Underscoring supplied) The Labor Arbiter rejected too Sunace’s argument that it is not liable on account of Divina’s execution of a Waiver and Quitclaim and an Affidavit of Desistance.

it was just an information given to the petitioner that the private respondent had t[aken] already her savings from her foreign employer and that no deduction was made on her salary. 21 Parenthetically. The February 21. that Sunace continually communicated with the foreign "principal" (sic) and therefore was aware of and had consented to the execution of the extension of the contract is misplaced. (Sgd. Respecting the Court of Appeals following dictum: . 2000. the alleged continuous communication was with the Taiwanese brokerWang. the only basis of a finding of continuous communication. 1998 of the original contract. she took back her saving already last years. (Emphasis on words in capital letters in the original. she did not say anything about her saving in police station. the act of the principal extending complainant (sic) employment contract necessarily bound it. And they did not deduct any money from her salary.18Sunace filed the present petition for review on certiorari. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Labor Arbiter and NLRC’s finding that Sunace knew of and impliedly consented to the extension of Divina’s 2-year contract. As Sunace points out in its Reply20 filed before the Court of Appeals. Thank you and best regards. It contains nothing about the extension or the petitioner’s consent thereto. The message does not provide evidence that Sunace was privy to the new contract executed after the expiration on February 1. 2000 telefax message from the Taiwanese broker to Sunace. since the telefax message is dated February 21.) Edmund Wang President19 The finding of the Court of Appeals solely on the basis of the above-quoted telefax message. emphasis on words in small letters and underscoring supplied) Its Motion for Reconsideration having been denied by the appellate court by Resolution of January 14. not with the foreign employer Xiong. 2000. ‘petitioner cannot profess ignorance of such extension as obviously. 2004. Or she will call back her employer to check it again. If her employer said yes! we will get it back for her. It went on to state that "It is undisputed that [Sunace] was continually communicating with [Divina’s] foreign employer. That Sunace and the Taiwanese broker communicated regarding Divina’s allegedly withheld savings does not necessarily mean that Sunace ratified the extension of the contract. 2000. As can be seen from that letter communication. 2000 for a mandatory conference following Divina’s filing of the complaint on February 14. by Summons issued on February 15. reads verbatim: xxxx Regarding to Divina. it is safe to assume that it was sent to enlighten Sunace who had been directed." It thus concluded that "[a]s agent of the foreign principal.’" Contrary to the Court of Appeals finding. 15 SO ORDERED. As we contact with her employer. to appear on February 28.

their assigns. a misapplication of the theory of imputed knowledge. Montehermozo against petitioner isDISMISSED. the foreign principal directly negotiated with Divina and entered into a new and separate employment contract in Taiwan.24 Furthermore. SO ORDERED. As such. it and its "owner" cannot be held solidarily liable for any of Divina’s claims arising from the 2-year employment extension. except in case where the rights and obligations arising from the contract are not transmissible by their nature. the act of its principal extending [Divina’s] employment contract necessarily bound it. In light of the foregoing discussions. the petition is GRANTED. Article 1924 of the New Civil Code reading The agency is revoked if the principal directly manages the business entrusted to the agent. There being no substantial proof that Sunace knew of and consented to be bound under the 2-year employment contract extension. after the termination of the original employment contract.not the other way around. . 16 As agent of its foreign principal. dealing directly with third persons. Contracts take effect only between the parties. to the principal.23 The knowledge of the principal-foreign employer cannot. The challenged resolutions of the Court of Appeals are herebyREVERSED and SET ASIDE. The complaint of respondent Divina A. WHEREFORE. therefore. be imputed to its agent Sunace. Sunace. or by stipulation or by provision of law. it cannot be said to be privy thereto. As the New Civil Code provides. as Sunace correctly points out. [Sunace] cannot profess ignorance of such an extension as obviously. 22 it too is a misapplication. The theory of imputed knowledge ascribes the knowledge of the agent. employer Xiong. there was an implied revocation of its agency relationship with its foreign principal when. and heirs. thus applies. consideration of the validity of the Waiver and Affidavit of Desistance which Divina executed in favor of Sunace is rendered unnecessary.

17 .