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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

that such non-license or non-holder. contact services. promising or advertising for employment abroad. 2 SEC. in any manner. otherwise known as the Labor Code of the Philippines. (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) To give any false notice. 3. DEFINITIONS. licensee or holder of authority. 6. terminate or impose a ban on the deployment of migrant workers.For purposes of this Act. offers or promises for a fee employment abroad to two or more persons shall be deemed so engaged. . and (d) It is taking positive. TERMINATION OR BAN ON DEPLOYMENT . DEPLOYMENT SEC. declaration or resolutions relating to the protection of migrant workers. hiring. who. illegal recruitment shall mean any act of canvassing. at any time. whether committed by any persons.The State shall deploy overseas Filipino workers only in countries where the rights of Filipino migrant workers are protected. DEFINITIONS. or to make a worker pay any amount greater than that actually received by him as a loan or advance. enlisting. I. utilizing. . 5. the government. transporting. SEC. .Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4 hereof. whether a non-licensee. II. (b) To furnish or publish any false notice or information or document in relation to recruitment or employment. ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT Sec. 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. procuring workers and includes referring. 442. 4. when undertaken by a non-license or non-holder of authority contemplated under Article 13(f) of Presidential Decree No. non-holder. (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. Deployment of Migrant Workers . It shall likewise include the following acts. (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. (c) It has concluded a bilateral agreement or arrangement with the government protecting the rights of overseas Filipino workers. testimony. contracting. (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. as amended. 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. may. concrete measures to protect the rights of migrant workers. whether for profit or not. 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.For purposes of this Act: (a) "Migrant worker" refers to a person who is to be engaged. (b) It is a signatory to multilateral conventions. (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. Provided.

remittances of foreign exchange earnings. and (m) Failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the workers in connection with his documentation and processing for purposes of deployment. placement vacancies. or other government agencies involved in the implementation of this Act. or their relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. or the Department of Foreign Affairs. Provided. (h) To fail to submit reports on the status of employment. SEC. . the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. 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. The penalties shall be imposed upon them. The persons criminally liable for the above offenses are the principals. In case of juridical persons. the officers having control. 7.000. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group. separations from jobs. departures and such other matters or information as may be required by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. 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. 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.000. VENUE. 8.000. (b) The penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of not less than five hundred thousand pesos (P500. 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. (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. accomplices and accessories. 9. management or direction of their business shall be liable. 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. to engage. (l) Failure to actually deploy without valid reasons as determined by the Department of Labor and Employment.Ot shall be unlawful for any official or employee of the Department of Labor and Employment.00) nor more than one million pesos (P1. PROHIBITION ON OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES. in the business of recruiting migrant workers as defined in this Act.00).00) nor more than five hundred thousand pesos (P500. directly or indirectly. . SEC. in cases where the deployment does not actually take place without the worker's fault.00) shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes economic sabotage as defined herein. (i) To substitute or alter to the prejudice of the worker. SEC.000. (g) To obstruct or attempt to obstruct inspection by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or by his duly authorized representative.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 . or the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. however. (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. Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale shall be considered as offense involving economic sabotage.000.

. That illegal recruitment cases involving economic sabotage as defined herein shall prescribe in twenty (20) years. . the corporate officers and directors and partners as the case may be. 13. shall be answerable for all money claims or damages that may be awarded to the workers. That the court where the criminal action is first filed shall acquire jurisdiction to the exclusion of other courts. however. 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. SEC. Such mechanism must include coordination and cooperation with . 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. or (c) Dismissal from the service with disqualifications to hold any appointive public office for five (5) years. MANADATORY PERIODS FOR RESOLUTION OF ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT CASES. the Labor Arbiters of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) shall have the priginal and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide. as provided by law. moral. The performance bond to be filed by the recruitment/placement agency. PRESCRIPTIVE PERIODS. 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. FREE LEGAL ASSISTANCE. 4 the same time of the commission of the offense: Provided. or caused to be.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. 11. This provisions shall be incorporated in the contract for overseas employment and shall be a condition precedent for its approval. within ninety (90) calendar days after filing of the complaint. The liability of the principal/employer and the recruitment/placement agency for any and all claims under this section shall be joint and several.Illegal recruitment cases under this Act shall prescribe in five (5) years: Provided. Provided. .Botwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary. 10. SEC. (b) Suspension for not more than ninety (90) days. In case of termination of overseas employment without just. 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. valid or authorized cause as defined by law or contract.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. . PREFERENTIAL ENTITLEMENT UNDER THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM. plus his salaries for the unexpired portion of his employment contract or for three (3) months for every year of the unexpired term. If the recruitment/placement agency is a juridical being. exemplary and other forms of damages. Such liabilities shall continue during the entire period or duration of the employment contract and shall not be affected by any substitution. the corresponding information shall be filed in court within twenty-four (24) hours from the termination of the investigation. prosecution officer within forty-eight (48) hours from the date of receipt of the records of the case. If the preliminary investigation is conducted by a judge and a prima facie case is found to exist. Where the preliminary investigation is conducted by a prosecution officer and a prima facie case is established. SEC. amendment or modification made locally or in a foreign country of the said contract. however. the workers shall be entitled to the full reimbursement of his placement fee with interest of twelve percent (12%) per annum. MONEY CLAIMS. Provided. however. 12. SEC. withheld until the said official complies therewith. 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. shall themselves be jointly and solidarily liable with the corporation or partnership for the aforesaid claims and damages. whichever is less.

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

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

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

(b) To establish close linkages with the Department of Labor and Employment. 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. (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. 24. in coordination with appropriate entities concerned.000. LEGAL ASSISTANCE FUND .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. SEC. (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.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. the Administration shall regulate private sector participation in the recruitment and overseas placement of workers by setting up a licensing and registration system. (b. domestic or foreign. Among the functions and responsibilities of the aforesaid Legal Assistant are: (a) To issue the guidelines.The Welfare Officer or in his absence. 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.000. LEGAL ASSISTANT FOR MIGRANT WORKERS AFFAIRS.1) Philippine Overseas Employment Administration .000. to ensure effective coordination and cooperation in the provision of legal assistance to migrant workers. The legal Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs shall have authority to hire private lawyers.00) from the Contingency Fund of the President. 25. the OWWA and other government agencies concerned. Thirty million pesos (P30. He shall have the rank. and .00) to be constituted from the following sources: Fifty million pesos (P50.000. the POEA. salary and privileges equal to that of an undersecretary of said Department.2) Overseas Workers Welfare Administration . to other overseas Filipinos including the grant of legal assistance and the referral to proper medical centers or hospitals: (b.000.000. 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. It shall also formulate and implement. procedures and criteria for the provisions of legal assistance services to Filipino migrant workers. in the amount of One hundred million pesos (P100. In the performance of this functions.Subject to deregulation and phase out as provided under Sections 29 and 30 herein.00) from the Presidential Social Fund. and (e) To keep and maintain the information system as provided in Section 20. 8 (b) Department of Labor and Employment .There is hereby established a legal assistance fund for migrant workers. when necessary employment of Filipino workers taking into consideration their welfare and the domestic manpower requirements. in order to assist him in the effective discharge of the above functions. herein after referred to as Legal Assistance fund. V. . THE LEGAL ASSISTANT FOR MIGRANT WORKERS AFFAIRS SEC. as well as with non-governmental organizations assisting migrant workers.

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

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. and (f) Status of negotiations on bilateral labor agreements between the Philippines and the host country. 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. 33.Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary. respectively. (d) Initiative/actions taken by the Philippine foreign posts to address the problems of Filipino migrant workers. and . . ADDITIONAL MEMBERSHIPS. .00) from the unexpected Countrywide Development Fund for 1995 in equal sharing by all members of Congress. that at least one (1) of the two (2) sectoral representatives shall come from the women migrant workers sector: Provided. 32.00) shall be constituted from the following sources: (a) Fifty million pesos (P50. 10 technology to participate in. REPORT TO CONGRESS. THE CONGRESSIONAL MIGRANT WORKERS SCHOLARSHIP FUND.In order to inform the Philippine Congress on the implementation of the policy enunciated in Section 4 hereof. have three (3) members each who shall come from the women. and contribute to national development. EXEMPTION FROM TRAVEL TAX AND AIRPORT FEE. The report shall not be limited to the following information: (a) Masterlist of Filipino migrant workers.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 inventory of pending cases involving them and other Filipino nationals including those serving prison terms. REPRESENTATION IN CONGRESS. (e) Changes in the laws and policies of host countries. that all nominees must have at least two (2) years experience as a migrant worker. Any officer of the government who fails to report as stated in the preceeding section shall be subjected to administrative penalty. SEC. sea-based and land-based sectors. 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. in addition to their present composition. . 34.000.000.Pursuant to Section 3(2). . SEC. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS SEC. 37.Upon approval of this Act.All laws to the country notwithstanding. SEC. IX. all fees being charged by any government office on migrant workers shall remain at their present levels and the repatriation bond shall be established. NON-INCREASE OF FEES. 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. (c) Problems encountered by the migrant workers. further. . . ABOLITION OF REPATRIATION BOND. 36. (b) Working conditions of Filipino migrant workers. to be appointed by the President in the same manner as the other members. 35.000. specifically violations of their rights.000. SEC. the respective Boards of the POEA and the OWWA shall. POEA AND OWWA BOARD. The initial seed fund of two hundred million pesos (P200. 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.

.If. 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). REPEATING CLAUSE. 11 (b) The remaining one hundred fifty million pesos (P150. SEC. 38. IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS.000.000.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. 41. SEC. decrees.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. 43. for any reason. EFFECTIVITY CLAUSE. SEC. . formulate the necessary rules and regulations for its effective implementation. any section or provision of this Act is held unconstitutional or invalid. 39. SEC. APPROPRIATION AND OTHER SOURCES OF FUNDING. .All laws. To carry out the objectives of this section. . within ninety (90) days after the effectivity of this Act.The departments and agencies charged with carrying out the provisions of this Act shall. .00) shall be funded from the proceeds of Lotto. . executive orders. SEC. MIGRANT WORKERS DAY. SEPARABILITY CLAUSE. the DOLE and the DOST shall formulate the necessary rules and regulations. rules and regulations. or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. the other sections or provisions hereof shall not be affected thereby. . 40. 42.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.

a xerographic copy of which is herewith attached as ANNEX "2" hereof.100. 2000. 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. Ltd.00 NT36. MONTEHERMOZO. Montehermozo (Divina) as a domestic helper under a 12-month contract effective February 1.000. Hang Rui Xiong. No. Arbitration Branch. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION. for two more years. . On April 6. Shortly after her return or on February 14. by its Proprietor/General Manager Maria Luisa Olarte. DINOPOL. quoted verbatim: COMPLAINANT IS NOT ENTITLED FOR THE REFUND OF HER 24 MONTHS SAVINGS 3. It appears to have been concluded. in accordance with a Fascimile Message from the respondent SUNACE’s employer. 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. Sunace International Management Services (Sunace). The following day or on February 15. 1997. Quezon City and DIVINA A.R.300. furnishing it with a copy of Divina’s complaint and directing it to appear for mandatory conference on February 28. Divina filed a complaint2 before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) against Sunace. in his capacity as Labor Arbiter. INC. Divina continued working for her Taiwanese employer. 2000. ERNESTO S.500.00 1998 NT9. Sunace. 2000. On even date. Jet Crown International Co. after which she returned to the Philippines on February 4.00. J. filed its Verified Answer and Position Paper. 12 G. Ltd.: Petitioner.00 NT23.Respondents. those deducted in 1998 and 1999 were not. 161757 January 25. the Taiwanese broker.5 and while the amounts deducted in 1997 were refunded to her.450. NCR. The scheduled mandatory conference was reset.Petitioner. Labor Arbitration Associate Regina T. however. the following amounts representing income tax and savings were deducted: Year Deduction for Income Tax Deduction for Savings 1997 NT10. and the employer-foreign principal alleging that she was jailed for three months and that she was underpaid.00 NT36. President of Jet Crown International Co. 1998. After her 12-month contract expired on February 1. 2000.00 1999 NT13.6 claiming as follows.. DECISION CARPIO MORALES. NLRC. a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines. Gavin issued Summons3 to the Manager of Sunace. 2000. deployed to Taiwan Divina A. vs.000.1 The deployment was with the assistance of a Taiwanese broker.. 2006 SUNACE INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES. one Adelaide Perez. Edmund Wang. HON.

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. copy of each document was annexed to said ". Sunace filed on April 25. . Hang Rui Xiong and the Taiwanese broker. refuting Sunace’s disclaimer of knowledge of the extension of her contract and without saying anything about the Release. however. Complainant did not suffer injury. There is no basis for the grant of tax refund to the complainant as the she finished her one year contract and hence. . . copy furnished the complainant herself. answer to complainant’s position paper. hence. 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. answer to complainant’s position paper. 7. AND BY WAY OF - x x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Reacting to Divina’s Position Paper." To Sunace’s ". Edmund Wang. 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. the complainant has NO cause of action against respondent SUNACE for monetary claims. the tax deducted from her salary is in compliance with the Taiwanese law. 13 COMPLAINANT IS NOT ENTITLED TO REFUND OF HER 14 MONTHS TAX AND PAYMENT OF ATTORNEY’S FEES 4. 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. The sovereign power of taxation of a state is recognized under international law and among sovereign states. and Divina in fact executed a Waiver/Quitclaim and Release of Responsibility and an Affidavit of Desistance. 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. Waiver and Quitclaim and Affidavit of Desistance. answer to complainant’s position paper"7 alleging that Divina’s 2-year extension of her contract was without its knowledge and consent." Divina filed a 2-page reply. it had no liability attaching to any claim arising therefrom. 2000 an ". What Sunace should have done was to write to POEA about the extension and its objection thereto. Furthermore. does not deserve to be compensated for whatever kind of damages. The Labor Arbiter. 6. . 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. considering that she has been totally paid of all the monetary benefits due her under her Employment Contract to her full satisfaction. Hence. her foreign employer.8 without. . . was not illegally dismissed by her employer. .

Via petition for certiorari. 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. ACCORDINGLY. "petitioner cannot profess ignorance of such extension as obviously. 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. and public policy. 2002. Montehermozo.17 . we strike them down as contrary to law. if any. complainant had to engage the services of counsel.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. particularly the complainants. 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. judgment is hereby rendered ordering respondents SUNACE INTERNATIONAL SERVICES and its owner ADELAIDA PERGE.16 the full text of which reads: The petition for certiorari faces outright dismissal.11 He accordingly decided in favor of Divina. As agent of the foreign principal.00 in its peso equivalent at the date of payment. morals. it is presumed to have consented to the extension and should be liable for anything that resulted thereform (sic). 2002. the act of the principal extending complainant (sic) employment contract necessarily bound it. morals. the NLRC. Observed the Labor Arbiter: Should the parties arrive at any agreement as to the whole or any part of the dispute.13 (Underescoring supplied) On appeal of Sunace. by decision of October 9. 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. by Resolution of April 30. 2000. 14 affirmed the Labor Arbiter’s decision. before the Labor Arbiter." Grave abuse of discretion is not present in the case at bar. and public policy. 14 And because it did not. the petition is hereby DENIED DUE COURSE and DISMISSED. And because no consideration is indicated in the documents. SO ORDERED. 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.950. MONTEHERMOZO the sum of NT91. 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. if after confronting the parties.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 is undisputed that petitioner was continually communicating with private respondent’s foreign employer (sic).

’" Contrary to the Court of Appeals finding.) Edmund Wang President19 The finding of the Court of Appeals solely on the basis of the above-quoted telefax message. it is safe to assume that it was sent to enlighten Sunace who had been directed. the only basis of a finding of continuous communication. 21 Parenthetically. It contains nothing about the extension or the petitioner’s consent thereto. Respecting the Court of Appeals following dictum: . (Sgd. not with the foreign employer Xiong. she did not say anything about her saving in police station. ‘petitioner cannot profess ignorance of such extension as obviously. since the telefax message is dated February 21." It thus concluded that "[a]s agent of the foreign principal. 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. 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. 2000. to appear on February 28. And they did not deduct any money from her salary. (Emphasis on words in capital letters in the original. As Sunace points out in its Reply20 filed before the Court of Appeals. 2000 for a mandatory conference following Divina’s filing of the complaint on February 14. by Summons issued on February 15. The February 21. the act of the principal extending complainant (sic) employment contract necessarily bound it. The message does not provide evidence that Sunace was privy to the new contract executed after the expiration on February 1.18Sunace filed the present petition for review on certiorari. 2000. 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. 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. 2000 telefax message from the Taiwanese broker to Sunace. Thank you and best regards. 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. 1998 of the original contract. the alleged continuous communication was with the Taiwanese brokerWang. she took back her saving already last years. 2004. 2000. As can be seen from that letter communication. 15 SO ORDERED. 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. reads verbatim: xxxx Regarding to Divina. Or she will call back her employer to check it again. As we contact with her employer.

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

17 .