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

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

Provided. 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. or the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.000. 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. accomplices and accessories. 9. Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale shall be considered as offense involving economic sabotage. (l) Failure to actually deploy without valid reasons as determined by the Department of Labor and Employment. in cases where the deployment does not actually take place without the worker's fault. The persons criminally liable for the above offenses are the principals. (i) To substitute or alter to the prejudice of the worker. in the business of recruiting migrant workers as defined in this Act.00) nor more than five hundred thousand pesos (P500.Ot shall be unlawful for any official or employee of the Department of Labor and Employment.000.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 . management or direction of their business shall be liable. or the Department of Foreign Affairs. 8. (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. SEC. 7.000. The penalties shall be imposed upon them. (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. departures and such other matters or information as may be required by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. . the officers having control. 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. (g) To obstruct or attempt to obstruct inspection by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or by his duly authorized representative. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group. remittances of foreign exchange earnings. . (h) To fail to submit reports on the status of employment.00). 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. directly or indirectly. to engage. 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. SEC. In case of juridical persons. separations from jobs. PROHIBITION ON OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES. VENUE. however. (b) The penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of not less than five hundred thousand pesos (P500.000. SEC. 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.00) shall be imposed if illegal recruitment constitutes economic sabotage as defined herein. the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.00) nor more than one million pesos (P1.000. or their relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.

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

EMERGENCY REPATRIATION FUND. 17.000. serve as a promotion house for their local employment. in cases where the principal or recruitment agency cannot be identified. SEC. and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration shall. within ninety (90) days from the effectivity of this Act. . 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. REPATRIATION OF WORKERS. in coordination ith appropriate international agencies. TRAVEL ADVISORY/INFORMATION DISSEMINATION. and other similar events without prejudice to reimbursement by the responsible principal or agency. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). any person who is a victim of illegal recruitment shall be entitled to the Witness Protection Program provided thereunder. epidemic. 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. For this purposes. However. ESTABLISHMENT OF RE-PLACEMENT AND MONITORING CENTER. natural or man-made.00). MANDATORY REPATRIATION OF UNDERAGE MIGRANT WORKERS. initially to consist of one hundred million pesos (P100. . through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). shall issue travel advisories or disseminate information on labor and employment conditions. there is hereby created and established an emergency repatriation fund under the administration control and supervision of the OWWA.Upon discovery or being informed of the presence of migrant workers whose actual ages fall below the minimum age requirement for overseas deployment.000. 14. the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. formulate a program that would motivate migrant workers to plan for productive options such as entry into highly technical jobs or undertakings. disasters or calamities. Such advisory or information shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation at least three (3) times in every quarter.To give utmost priority to the establishment of programs and services to prevent illegal recruitment. SEC. notwithstanding. fraud. SEC. the principal/employer or agency shall not in any manner be responsible for the repatriation of the former and/or his belongings. and tap their skills and potentials for national development. 16. migration realities and other facts. better wage employment. and other non-governmental organizations and volunteer groups. . SEC. all embassies and consular offices. 15. 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. Likewise. The provisions of Republic Act No. However. 5 the Department of Justice. 18. livelihood and entrepreneurial development. all costs attendant to repatriation shall be borne by the OWWA. SERVICES SEC. and exploitation or abuse of Filipino migrant workers. 6981 to the contrary. All costs attendant to repatriation shall be borne by or charged to the agency concerned and/or its principal. III. For this purpose. the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. and investment of savings. FUNCTIONS OF THE RE-PLACEMENT AND MONITORING CENTER. The Department of Labor and Employment. . . shall undertake the repatriation of workers in cases of war.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 Technology Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC).The center shall provide the following service: . the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).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. and other government agencies involved in training and livelihood development shall give priority to return who had been employed as domestic helpers and entertainers. inclusive of outstanding balances. in cases where the termination of employment is due solely to the fault of the worker.

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

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

in order to assist him in the effective discharge of the above functions. as well as with non-governmental organizations assisting migrant workers.Subject to deregulation and phase out as provided under Sections 29 and 30 herein. SEC. V. and . LEGAL ASSISTANT FOR MIGRANT WORKERS AFFAIRS. . (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.000. The legal Assistant for Migrant Workers Affairs shall have authority to hire private lawyers. In the performance of this functions. 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.000. domestic or foreign. in coordination with appropriate entities concerned.There is hereby established a legal assistance fund for migrant workers. the POEA.000. LEGAL ASSISTANCE FUND . 24.000.00) to be constituted from the following sources: Fifty million pesos (P50. THE LEGAL ASSISTANT FOR MIGRANT WORKERS AFFAIRS SEC. the Administration shall regulate private sector participation in the recruitment and overseas placement of workers by setting up a licensing and registration system. (b) To establish close linkages with the Department of Labor and Employment. herein after referred to as Legal Assistance fund. the OWWA and other government agencies concerned. and (e) To keep and maintain the information system as provided in Section 20. to ensure effective coordination and cooperation in the provision of legal assistance to migrant workers.1) Philippine Overseas Employment Administration . 8 (b) Department of Labor and Employment .The Welfare Officer or in his absence.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. (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 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. It shall also formulate and implement. to other overseas Filipinos including the grant of legal assistance and the referral to proper medical centers or hospitals: (b. (b.2) Overseas Workers Welfare Administration . salary and privileges equal to that of an undersecretary of said Department. Thirty million pesos (P30. procedures and criteria for the provisions of legal assistance services to Filipino migrant workers. 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. in the amount of One hundred million pesos (P100. He shall have the rank. 25.00) from the Presidential Social Fund. Among the functions and responsibilities of the aforesaid Legal Assistant are: (a) To issue the guidelines.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.00) from the Contingency Fund of the President.000.000. when necessary employment of Filipino workers taking into consideration their welfare and the domestic manpower requirements.

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

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

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

a xerographic copy of which is herewith attached as ANNEX "2" hereof. . by its Proprietor/General Manager Maria Luisa Olarte.00. Quezon City and DIVINA A. Hang Rui Xiong. Ltd. furnishing it with a copy of Divina’s complaint and directing it to appear for mandatory conference on February 28. DECISION CARPIO MORALES. Shortly after her return or on February 14. in his capacity as Labor Arbiter. J. a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the Philippines. quoted verbatim: COMPLAINANT IS NOT ENTITLED FOR THE REFUND OF HER 24 MONTHS SAVINGS 3. in accordance with a Fascimile Message from the respondent SUNACE’s employer. 161757 January 25. ERNESTO S. and the employer-foreign principal alleging that she was jailed for three months and that she was underpaid. The scheduled mandatory conference was reset.00 1999 NT13. Divina filed a complaint2 before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) against Sunace. Labor Arbitration Associate Regina T.R. for two more years. deployed to Taiwan Divina A. On even date. 12 G. DINOPOL..500. however.00 NT23..00 1998 NT9. the following amounts representing income tax and savings were deducted: Year Deduction for Income Tax Deduction for Savings 1997 NT10. filed its Verified Answer and Position Paper. The following day or on February 15.00 NT36. 2000.Petitioner. MONTEHERMOZO.100.1 The deployment was with the assistance of a Taiwanese broker. 2000.000. 1997. the Taiwanese broker. vs. 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. 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. after which she returned to the Philippines on February 4. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION.Respondents. those deducted in 1998 and 1999 were not. After her 12-month contract expired on February 1. one Adelaide Perez.450.00 NT36. Edmund Wang. Ltd.000.: Petitioner. 1998. President of Jet Crown International Co. INC. Arbitration Branch. Divina continued working for her Taiwanese employer. Sunace International Management Services (Sunace). Montehermozo (Divina) as a domestic helper under a 12-month contract effective February 1. Jet Crown International Co. HON. Gavin issued Summons3 to the Manager of Sunace. Sunace. NLRC. On April 6.5 and while the amounts deducted in 1997 were refunded to her. 2006 SUNACE INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES. 2000. 2000. Second Division.6 claiming as follows.300. It appears to have been concluded. No. NCR.

. 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. The sovereign power of taxation of a state is recognized under international law and among sovereign states. 13 COMPLAINANT IS NOT ENTITLED TO REFUND OF HER 14 MONTHS TAX AND PAYMENT OF ATTORNEY’S FEES 4." To Sunace’s ". the tax deducted from her salary is in compliance with the Taiwanese law. . hence. hence. the complainant has NO cause of action against respondent SUNACE for monetary claims. 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 Labor Arbiter. 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 ". 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. 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. 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. . answer to complainant’s position paper. however. was not illegally dismissed by her employer. Waiver and Quitclaim and Affidavit of Desistance. What Sunace should have done was to write to POEA about the extension and its objection thereto. and Divina in fact executed a Waiver/Quitclaim and Release of Responsibility and an Affidavit of Desistance. . her foreign employer. 6. Edmund Wang. Complainant did not suffer injury. 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. . Furthermore. AND BY WAY OF - x x x x (Emphasis and underscoring supplied) Reacting to Divina’s Position Paper. Hang Rui Xiong and the Taiwanese broker. 2000 an ". . 7. Sunace filed on April 25.8 without. refuting Sunace’s disclaimer of knowledge of the extension of her contract and without saying anything about the Release. 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. copy furnished the complainant herself. does not deserve to be compensated for whatever kind of damages. considering that she has been totally paid of all the monetary benefits due her under her Employment Contract to her full satisfaction. it had no liability attaching to any claim arising therefrom. Hence. answer to complainant’s position paper.

MONTEHERMOZO the sum of NT91. if after confronting the parties.16 the full text of which reads: The petition for certiorari faces outright dismissal. morals.13 (Underescoring supplied) On appeal of Sunace. both in their personal capacities and as agent of Hang Rui Xiong/Edmund Wang to jointly and severally pay complainant DIVINA A. It is undisputed that petitioner was continually communicating with private respondent’s foreign employer (sic). 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. Via petition for certiorari.950." Grave abuse of discretion is not present in the case at bar. ACCORDINGLY. 14 affirmed the Labor Arbiter’s decision. 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 NLRC. the same shall be reduced to writing and signed by the parties and their respective counsel (sic). the act of the principal extending complainant (sic) employment contract necessarily bound it. 12 the dispositive portion of which reads: Wherefore. 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. 2000. before the Labor Arbiter. we strike them down as contrary to law. the petition is hereby DENIED DUE COURSE and DISMISSED. 2002.15 Sunace elevated the case to the Court of Appeals which dismissed it outright by Resolution of November 12.17 . "petitioner cannot profess ignorance of such extension as obviously. Observed the Labor Arbiter: Should the parties arrive at any agreement as to the whole or any part of the dispute. 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. complainant had to engage the services of counsel. and public policy.00 in its peso equivalent at the date of payment.11 He accordingly decided in favor of Divina. 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. As agent of the foreign principal. SO ORDERED. particularly the complainants. 14 And because it did not. And because no consideration is indicated in the documents. morals. judgment is hereby rendered ordering respondents SUNACE INTERNATIONAL SERVICES and its owner ADELAIDA PERGE. if any.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 public policy. 2002. Montehermozo. it is presumed to have consented to the extension and should be liable for anything that resulted thereform (sic). by Resolution of April 30.

to appear on February 28. ‘petitioner cannot profess ignorance of such extension as obviously. 2000 telefax message from the Taiwanese broker to Sunace. by Summons issued on February 15. And they did not deduct any money from her salary.18Sunace filed the present petition for review on certiorari. Or she will call back her employer to check it again. The February 21. It contains nothing about the extension or the petitioner’s consent thereto. 21 Parenthetically. 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. 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 is safe to assume that it was sent to enlighten Sunace who had been directed. 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. the only basis of a finding of continuous communication. 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. Respecting the Court of Appeals following dictum: . the alleged continuous communication was with the Taiwanese brokerWang. Thank you and best regards. 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.) Edmund Wang President19 The finding of the Court of Appeals solely on the basis of the above-quoted telefax message. (Sgd. since the telefax message is dated February 21. (Emphasis on words in capital letters in the original. 1998 of the original contract. As can be seen from that letter communication. she took back her saving already last years. 2000 for a mandatory conference following Divina’s filing of the complaint on February 14. 2000. It went on to state that "It is undisputed that [Sunace] was continually communicating with [Divina’s] foreign employer. not with the foreign employer Xiong. 2004.’" Contrary to the Court of Appeals finding. 2000." It thus concluded that "[a]s agent of the foreign principal. As Sunace points out in its Reply20 filed before the Court of Appeals. 2000. 15 SO ORDERED. As we contact with her employer. If her employer said yes! we will get it back for her. the act of the principal extending complainant (sic) employment contract necessarily bound it. she did not say anything about her saving in police station. The message does not provide evidence that Sunace was privy to the new contract executed after the expiration on February 1.

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

17 .