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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

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

00) nor more than five hundred thousand pesos (P500. 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. (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. (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. or the Department of Foreign Affairs. 7. placement vacancies.000. or the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. directly or indirectly. SEC. VENUE. Provided.Ot shall be unlawful for any official or employee of the Department of Labor and Employment. The persons criminally liable for the above offenses are the principals. (g) To obstruct or attempt to obstruct inspection by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or by his duly authorized representative. 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.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. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group. in the business of recruiting migrant workers as defined in this Act. or their relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity. 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.00). and (m) Failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the workers in connection with his documentation and processing for purposes of deployment. or other government agencies involved in the implementation of this Act. (i) To substitute or alter to the prejudice of the worker. 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. to engage. in cases where the deployment does not actually take place without the worker's fault. 9. The penalties shall be imposed upon them. 8. however. 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. (l) Failure to actually deploy without valid reasons as determined by the Department of Labor and Employment. In case of juridical persons.000. accomplices and accessories.000. (h) To fail to submit reports on the status of employment. Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale shall be considered as offense involving economic sabotage. (b) The penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of not less than five hundred thousand pesos (P500. 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 (P200.00) shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes economic sabotage as defined herein. PROHIBITION ON OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES. separations from jobs.00) nor more than one million pesos (P1.000. the officers having control. . remittances of foreign exchange earnings.000. SEC.

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

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

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

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

00) to be constituted from the following sources: Fifty million pesos (P50. the OWWA and other government agencies concerned.000. Thirty million pesos (P30. in coordination with appropriate entities concerned. in order to assist him in the effective discharge of the above functions. LEGAL ASSISTANCE FUND .00) from the Contingency Fund of the President. salary and privileges equal to that of an undersecretary of said Department. herein after referred to as Legal Assistance fund. He shall have the rank. and . It shall also formulate and implement.000. 25. In the performance of this functions. . LEGAL ASSISTANT FOR MIGRANT WORKERS AFFAIRS. 24. the POEA. 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. (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. (b. in the amount of One hundred million pesos (P100. to other overseas Filipinos including the grant of legal assistance and the referral to proper medical centers or hospitals: (b.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. 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. (b) To establish close linkages with the Department of Labor and Employment. domestic or foreign. Among the functions and responsibilities of the aforesaid Legal Assistant are: (a) To issue the guidelines.000. SEC.There is hereby established a legal assistance fund for migrant workers. 8 (b) Department of Labor and Employment .1) Philippine Overseas Employment Administration . 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.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.000. the Administration shall regulate private sector participation in the recruitment and overseas placement of workers by setting up a licensing and registration system. THE LEGAL ASSISTANT FOR MIGRANT WORKERS AFFAIRS SEC. (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.The Welfare Officer or in his absence.00) from the Presidential Social Fund.000. to ensure effective coordination and cooperation in the provision of legal assistance to migrant workers.000.2) Overseas Workers Welfare Administration .Subject to deregulation and phase out as provided under Sections 29 and 30 herein. V. when necessary employment of Filipino workers taking into consideration their welfare and the domestic manpower requirements. The legal Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs shall have authority to hire private lawyers. procedures and criteria for the provisions of legal assistance services to Filipino migrant workers. and (e) To keep and maintain the information system as provided in Section 20.

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

.00) from the unexpected Countrywide Development Fund for 1995 in equal sharing by all members of Congress. SEC. 33. . 32. (e) Changes in the laws and policies of host countries. .In order to inform the Philippine Congress on the implementation of the policy enunciated in Section 4 hereof. all fees being charged by any government office on migrant workers shall remain at their present levels and the repatriation bond shall be established. sea-based and land-based sectors. 36. The initial seed fund of two hundred million pesos (P200. further.000. SEC. ABOLITION OF REPATRIATION BOND. SEC. 34. REPRESENTATION IN CONGRESS. the respective Boards of the POEA and the OWWA shall. (c) Problems encountered by the migrant workers. 37. 10 technology to participate in. EXEMPTION FROM TRAVEL TAX AND AIRPORT FEE. NON-INCREASE OF FEES.Upon approval of this Act. (b) Working conditions of Filipino migrant workers. SEC. The report shall not be limited to the following information: (a) Masterlist of Filipino migrant workers. . and contribute to national development.000. 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. (d) Initiative/actions taken by the Philippine foreign posts to address the problems of Filipino migrant workers. POEA AND OWWA BOARD. SEC. REPORT TO CONGRESS. that all nominees must have at least two (2) years experience as a migrant worker. 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. .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.000. 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.00) shall be constituted from the following sources: (a) Fifty million pesos (P50. specifically violations of their rights. 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. respectively. ADDITIONAL MEMBERSHIPS. IX. and . . have three (3) members each who shall come from the women.All laws to the country notwithstanding.Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS SEC. that at least one (1) of the two (2) sectoral representatives shall come from the women migrant workers sector: Provided. 35. THE CONGRESSIONAL MIGRANT WORKERS SCHOLARSHIP FUND. and inventory of pending cases involving them and other Filipino nationals including those serving prison terms. 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. Any officer of the government who fails to report as stated in the preceeding section shall be subjected to administrative penalty.000. to be appointed by the President in the same manner as the other members.Pursuant to Section 3(2). and (f) Status of negotiations on bilateral labor agreements between the Philippines and the host country.

All laws.If. 43. 41.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. To carry out the objectives of this section. 42. SEC. or parts thereof inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. 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).000. MIGRANT WORKERS DAY.000. for any reason.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. SEC. decrees. . SEC. rules and regulations. . . APPROPRIATION AND OTHER SOURCES OF FUNDING.The departments and agencies charged with carrying out the provisions of this Act shall. EFFECTIVITY CLAUSE. formulate the necessary rules and regulations for its effective implementation. SEC. SEC. 40.00) shall be funded from the proceeds of Lotto. within ninety (90) days after the effectivity of this Act. SEPARABILITY CLAUSE. the other sections or provisions hereof shall not be affected thereby. . .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. executive orders. . REPEATING CLAUSE. 11 (b) The remaining one hundred fifty million pesos (P150. any section or provision of this Act is held unconstitutional or invalid. IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS. 38. 39. . the DOLE and the DOST shall formulate the necessary rules and regulations. SEC.

1997.300. It appears to have been concluded. in accordance with a Fascimile Message from the respondent SUNACE’s employer. Jet Crown International Co. 2000. DECISION CARPIO MORALES. MONTEHERMOZO. 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.00 NT23. Divina continued working for her Taiwanese employer. NCR. Shortly after her return or on February 14. Ltd. 1998. Edmund Wang.00 NT36. .00 NT36. Montehermozo (Divina) as a domestic helper under a 12-month contract effective February 1. The scheduled mandatory conference was reset. vs. the Taiwanese broker.00 1998 NT9. deployed to Taiwan Divina A. by its Proprietor/General Manager Maria Luisa Olarte. one Adelaide Perez. in his capacity as Labor Arbiter.6 claiming as follows.. 12 G. the following amounts representing income tax and savings were deducted: Year Deduction for Income Tax Deduction for Savings 1997 NT10. those deducted in 1998 and 1999 were not. Divina filed a complaint2 before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) against Sunace. Hang Rui Xiong. Sunace. filed its Verified Answer and Position Paper.450. Arbitration Branch.. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION.000.R. HON.1 The deployment was with the assistance of a Taiwanese broker. 2006 SUNACE INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES.Respondents. for two more years. Gavin issued Summons3 to the Manager of Sunace. 2000. 161757 January 25. No.000. a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines.100. 2000. quoted verbatim: COMPLAINANT IS NOT ENTITLED FOR THE REFUND OF HER 24 MONTHS SAVINGS 3.00 1999 NT13. After her 12-month contract expired on February 1. INC. a xerographic copy of which is herewith attached as ANNEX "2" hereof. J. President of Jet Crown International Co. after which she returned to the Philippines on February 4. DINOPOL. 2000.500. The following day or on February 15.Petitioner.: Petitioner.00. Sunace International Management Services (Sunace). On April 6.5 and while the amounts deducted in 1997 were refunded to her. Ltd. Labor Arbitration Associate Regina T. Second Division. however. Quezon City and DIVINA A. NLRC. ERNESTO S. 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. furnishing it with a copy of Divina’s complaint and directing it to appear for mandatory conference on February 28. On even date. and the employer-foreign principal alleging that she was jailed for three months and that she was underpaid. 2000.

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

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. And because no consideration is indicated in the documents. MONTEHERMOZO the sum of NT91. Montehermozo. Observed the Labor Arbiter: Should the parties arrive at any agreement as to the whole or any part of the dispute." Grave abuse of discretion is not present in the case at bar. both in their personal capacities and as agent of Hang Rui Xiong/Edmund Wang to jointly and severally pay complainant DIVINA A.16 the full text of which reads: The petition for certiorari faces outright dismissal. morals. 2002. morals. 14 And because it did not. if after confronting the parties. the NLRC. particularly the complainants. 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. by decision of October 9. 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. "petitioner cannot profess ignorance of such extension as obviously. we strike them down as contrary to law. judgment is hereby rendered ordering respondents SUNACE INTERNATIONAL SERVICES and its owner ADELAIDA PERGE.17 . 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. the act of the principal extending complainant (sic) employment contract necessarily bound it. by Resolution of April 30. and public policy.00 in its peso equivalent at the date of payment.11 He accordingly decided in favor of Divina. the petition is hereby DENIED DUE COURSE and DISMISSED. 2000. It is undisputed that petitioner was continually communicating with private respondent’s foreign employer (sic). 12 the dispositive portion of which reads: Wherefore. Via petition for certiorari. and public policy. ACCORDINGLY. As agent of the foreign principal. complainant had to engage the services of counsel. before the Labor Arbiter. it is presumed to have consented to the extension and should be liable for anything that resulted thereform (sic). 2002. if any.950. 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. the same shall be reduced to writing and signed by the parties and their respective counsel (sic). 14 affirmed the Labor Arbiter’s decision.15 Sunace elevated the case to the Court of Appeals which dismissed it outright by Resolution of November 12.13 (Underescoring supplied) On appeal of Sunace. 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 message does not provide evidence that Sunace was privy to the new contract executed after the expiration on February 1. it is safe to assume that it was sent to enlighten Sunace who had been directed. 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. ‘petitioner cannot profess ignorance of such extension as obviously. 2000 for a mandatory conference following Divina’s filing of the complaint on February 14. 21 Parenthetically. to appear on February 28. (Sgd. 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. 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. (Emphasis on words in capital letters in the original. since the telefax message is dated February 21. the act of the principal extending complainant (sic) employment contract necessarily bound it. If her employer said yes! we will get it back for her. 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. 15 SO ORDERED. 1998 of the original contract. 2000. the only basis of a finding of continuous communication.18Sunace filed the present petition for review on certiorari. she took back her saving already last years. As Sunace points out in its Reply20 filed before the Court of Appeals. As can be seen from that letter communication.) Edmund Wang President19 The finding of the Court of Appeals solely on the basis of the above-quoted telefax message. the alleged continuous communication was with the Taiwanese brokerWang. 2004.’" Contrary to the Court of Appeals finding. Or she will call back her employer to check it again. 2000 telefax message from the Taiwanese broker to Sunace. 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. The February 21. 2000." It thus concluded that "[a]s agent of the foreign principal. not with the foreign employer Xiong. Respecting the Court of Appeals following dictum: . 2000. Thank you and best regards. As we contact with her employer. It went on to state that "It is undisputed that [Sunace] was continually communicating with [Divina’s] foreign employer. It contains nothing about the extension or the petitioner’s consent thereto. reads verbatim: xxxx Regarding to Divina. she did not say anything about her saving in police station. And they did not deduct any money from her salary. by Summons issued on February 15.

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

17 .