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(NAR) VOL. 5 NO. 2/APRIL-JUNE 1994

[ POEA MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 041-94, June 13, 1994 ]


Guidelines Towards the Operationalization of Measures to Further Improve Protection IN THE Deployment of Household Workers

Pursuant to DOLE D.O. 13 Series of 1994, prescribing measures to further improve the protection mechanisms in the deployment of household workers, the Household Workers Center (HWC) is hereby established in POEA under the following guidelines:

Definition of Terms

A.        Household Workers — shall refer to all persons male or female, who shall render domestic or household service abroad under contract for compensation. They shall include, among others, domestic helpers, maids, houseboys, nannies, babysitters, caregivers, caretakers, tutors, governesses, au pairs, cooks, sewer, beauticians, masseurs, masseuses, drivers and gardeners.

B.        Household Workers Center (HWC) — shall refer to the office in POEA which shall be in charge of the operations in the mobilization, deployment and  monitoring of all household workers.

Qualification of Licensed Agencies and Entities in The Deployment of Household Workers

A. Subject to compliance with other operational recruitments as hereinafter provided, only those licensed agencies and entities who meet the following standards shall be qualified to deploy household workers overseas:

1.         Agency has been in active operation for at least one (1) year with a minimum deployment record of at least fifty (50) overseas contract workers.

2.         Agency is able to show proof of actual market prospects or approved job orders for at least fifty (50) household workers.

3.         Agency track record of recruitment violations cases for the last two (2) years.

no more than three (3) pending recruitment violation cases involving not more than ten (10) workers; provided that where the violation charged constitutes an offense for which the penalty imposable is cancellation of license, the three (3) case rule shall not apply and the applicant is automatically deemed not qualified.
no record of suspension/payment of fine imposed in recruitment violation cases

4.         Agency's track record of employer-employee relationship cases for the last two (2) years:

a)    no more than five (5) pending employer-employee relationship cases

b)    no more than two (2) decisions rendered against the agency arising from employer-employee relationship cases

5.         Agency's track record of welfare cases for the last two (2) years

a)    no record of documentary suspension arising from agency's non-cooperation in the resolution of welfare case

b)    no more than five (5) validated reports on stranded/distressed workers; provided that the 5 validated report rule shall not apply where the number of OCWs affected exceed ten (10).

6.         Track record of accredited principals

No record of watchlisted/blacklisted principals resulting from violations of the employment contract of default in the discharge of obligations to the hired worker.

B.        Submission of Application/Issuance of Certificate of Qualification - Licensed agencies and entities who are interested to participate in this program shall submit their application for qualification to the Licensing and Regulation Office for evaluation.

Upon approval of the application a certificate of qualification shall be issued to the qualified agency, subject to compliance with the operational requirements as hereafter provided.

C.        Agencies found to be qualified shall comply with the following operation requirements:

1.         Submission of a cash deposit in the amount of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P100,000.00) under a duly executed escrow agreement to answer for valid claims which may be adjudged in favor of a household worker recruited and/or deployed by the agency, including refund of placement fee. It is understood that the escrow deposit shall be on a per market/country basis.

2.         Affidavit of Undertaking by the agency indicating the following additional responsibilities over its deployed household workers and ensuring compliance by its employer/principal of the requirements of this special scheme:

2.1.      Agency responsibility
2.1.1    In sourcing and deployment of duly registered/certified household workers only;

2.1.2    For the authenticity of documents being presented such as passport, medical certificate and others.

2.2       Agency commitment to set up liaison/welfare office in areas where there is concentration of their hired workers.

Performance Assessment and Disqualification

A.        After one (1) year following the grant of eligibility in deploying household workers, qualified agencies and entities shall be subjected to a performance assessment to determine their continued participation in this activity. Only those agencies who meet the following review standards shall be allowed to continue to deploy household workers:

1.         No recruitment violations cases;

2.         No employer-employee relationship cases;

3.         No report on non-cooperation in the resolution of welfare cases;

4.         No Validated report of employer violation of the contract or default in the discharge of obligations to the workers;

5.         Proof of deployment of at least fifty (50) household workers;

6.         Proof of additional job orders;

7.         Compliance with Section II C (2) of this Circular

B.        Disqualification from the Hiring Program - Violations of any of the conditions set forth in this Order shall, after due investigation, result in the disqualification of the agency and/or principal in this Hiring Program and a suspension of the license of the erring agency for three (30 months.

Registration, Training and Trade Testing of Household Workers

A.        In coordination with the regional offices of the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), the POEA shall maintain a national pool of household workers pre-qualified on the basis of the following:

1.         the minimum age required by each country in accordance with visa issuance requirements; and

2.         can read, write, and speak in English

B.        Each registered household worker will be issued a registration card by POEA's Manpower Registry Division or in the case of provincial applicants, by POEA's regional offices or BLE's Public Employment Services Offices (PESOS). Only registered household workers shall be eligible to apply with duly qualified agencies for placement abroad.

C.        All household workers shall be required to undergo trade testing with NMYC and/or its duly accredited trade-testing centers after being pre-selected by employers. The trade test certificate shall be a requirements for contract processing. Household workers who have not been pre-selected may, at their option, undergo training and/or trade testing.

D.        Household workers who fail the trade test shall be required to undergo special, training and certification with NMYC before taking a repeat trade test.

E.        Training and trade test shall not be required for household workers bound for countries which provide more superior and institutionalized pre-departure training schemes and facilities.

Accreditation of Foreign Placement Agencies (FPAs)/Principals

In order to be accredited, foreign placement agencies/principals hiring household workers shall submit the following documents to the HWC:

1.         Pre-Qualification Certificate (PQC) issued by the Office of the Labor Attache based on the following submissions:

  1. Appropriate license issued by the host government;

  2. Manpower request and wage schedule from client employer and/or proof of ongoing negotiation with prospective employer;

  3. Master Employment Contract;

  4. Agency mechanism for the promotion of welfare and protection of hired workers.

  5. Affidavit of Undertaking assuming responsibility over their hired workers, including the faithful implementation of their employment contract and compliance with additional recruitments as may be prescribed by the Office of the Labor Attache.

The PQC shall be valid for not more than one year and co-terminus with the agency's license issued by the host government.

The Labor Attache may revoke the PQC at any time for violation of existing rules and regulations on overseas employment.

2.         cash bond in escrow deposited in a Philippine bank in favor of POEA in the amount of P 100,000.00 for every hiring of not more than 50 workers

Appointment of Philippine Agents

Accredited foreign placement agencies/principals shall be allowed to appoint more than one Philippine agent, subject to compliance with the rules prescribed for this purpose.

Processing of Employment Contracts

A.        Documentary Recruitments for Hiring Through Philippine Licensed Agencies:

Licensed agencies authorized to deploy household workers shall submit the following requirements to the HWC for contract processing:

A.1.          Authenticated Special Power of Attorney (SPA)/ Service Agreement;

A.2           Verified Manpower Request;

A.3           Requests for processing;

A.4.          Verified POEA prescribed individual employment contract (EC) which shall contain the following specific features and provisions:

A.4.1    Employer's particulars to include his complete address/location. A separate employer's index form shall be attached to the EC specifying the following details: House number, street, district, city province, office address, telephone/fax numbers (both residential and business), telex number, civil status, number of children/household members, passport number, citizenship, occupation/profession.

A.4.2    Contract Verification/Confirmation

HWC shall require employment contract verification by the POLOS in accordance with bilateral arrangements with host countries. Where such verification facility is not available, an employer registration system shall be instituted by the POLOS who shall provide HWC a list of employer registrants as regularly as possible.

A.4.3    The EC shall be signed by the worker, the employer, the local agent and the foreign placement agent, where applicable.

A.5      Joint Affidavit of Undertaking by the foreign placement agency and Philippine agency:

  1. That the EC shall be implemented faithfully:

  2. That the foregoing placement agency, within two (2) days of arrival of the worker, shall allow the latter to advise the nearest Philippine Embassy/Consulate of his/her arrival;

  3. That the foregoing placement agency shall allow the POLOs or Appropriate Philippine Embassy staff regular visitation of the worker at the employer's residence, where applicable;

  4. That the foregoing placement agency shall allow the worker to participate in skills enhancement and other programs for household workers at the Philippine Embassy, where applicable.

A.6      Affidavit of Undertaking from the Philippine agency guaranteeing compliance of the worker with the prescribed minimum age for female household workers.

A.7      Verified Visa/NOC/Work Permit or equipment documents, where applicable

A.8      PDOS Certificate

The Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) for household workers shall be in accordance with POEA Memorandum Circular No. 18, Series of 1993. The PDOS Certificate of Attendance shall bear the registration number of the appellant household worker.

A.9      Trade Test Certificate

A.10    Letter of Endorsement from the Secretary of Labor

Every PDOS Certificate issued shall be accompanied by a letter addressed to the employer from the Philippine Secretary of Labor entrusting the worker to the employer. It shall be the responsibility of the worker to deliver said letter to his/her employer.

A.11    Valid Medical Certificate

A.12    Repatriation Bond Certificate

A.13    Worker's Information Sheet

A.14    OCW ID Sheet

B.        Name Hire Processing

B.1      Coverage - Name hire household workers shall be processed by the HWC only for the following:

  1. Hiring by immediate members of the family of heads of state/government;

  2. Hiring by Ministers, Deputy Ministers and other senior government officials of the host country;

  3. Hiring by senior officials of the diplomatic corps and duly recognized international organizations

B.2.     Documentary Requirements

a.      Employment Contract, duly verified and authenticated by the Labor Attache/Philippine Embassy/Consulate

b.      Verified Visa/NOC/Work Permit, where applicable

c.       PDOS Certificate

d.      Trade Test Certificate

e.      Valid Medical Certificate

f.        Repatriation Bond Certificate

g.      Other documents as may be deemed necessary

C. Host-Country Specific Documents - Other documents currently required for employer accreditation and contract processing which are peculiar to specific host countries shall continue to be submitted.

Regional/Nationwide Application

The special mobilization scheme for household workers covered by this Circular shall invoice implementation by all regional offices and regional extension units of POEA in coordination with the DOLE, NMYC and OWWA regional offices and POEA's HWC at the home office.

Post-Deployment Welfare Assistance

In pursuit of the continuing effort to protect household workers deployed abroad, the HWC shall monitor closely the welfare conditions of the workers in coordination with the Philippine Overseas Labor Officers (Labor Attaches, Welfare Officers and Center Coordinators). Further, the HWC shall extend the following assistance to the household workers and/or their families concerning their welfare:

A.        Enforce mandatory agency participation in the settlement of disputes;

B.        Blacklist/Watchlist erring principals;

C.        Coordinate with the agency's liaison office onsite whenever necessary;

D.        Prepare quarterly monitoring report on the whereabouts and conditions of the household workers

Transitory Provision

In order to provide smooth transition towards this new operational scheme in the deployment of household workers, the Administration shall continue to process employment documents in the pipeline under the old operational system.

Pipeline Accounts

1.         Accredited foreign placement agencies shall be regarded as pipeline account under any of the following circumstances:

  1. The employment contracts f their selected household are in process at the Philippine Embassy upon effectivity of this Circular;

  2. The hired household workers have approved and/or valid visas at the effectivity date of this Circular.

2.         Philippine agencies who will not qualify to deploy household workers under this program shall be allowed to process their pipeline accounts with POEA within one (1) month from this Circular's effectivity. Additional/new job orders will not be accepted within the aforementioned one (1) month grace period.

3.         The following shall apply to Philippine agencies qualified to deploy household workers under the following circumstances:

  1. Agencies shall comply with the requirements for qualification within three (3) months from the Circular's effectivity for their existing employers/principals;

  2. Accreditation requirements prescribed in this Circular shall be applied to new principals immediately;

  3. Additional/new job orders for existing principals may be allowed upon full compliance with the new accreditation requirements.

All foreign placement agencies hiring household workers shall have undergone new accreditation in accordance with Section V of this Circular not later than 3 months from the effectivity of the same.

Repeal Clause

All provisions of preceding Orders, Circulars and other issuances inconsistent with his Circular are hereby repealed.

This Memorandum Circular shall take effect on 1 July 1994.

Adopted: 13 June 1994

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