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Wherever we go around the world, we would likely find a filipino community. Working hand in hand with these filipino communites abroad non-government organizations (NGOs) the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) link to the world. It is directly under the Office of the Secretary of Labor and  acts as the operating arm of DOLE for the administration and enforcement of its policies and programs applicable to the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). It serves as DOLE’s overseas operating arm for the protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare and interests of Filipinos working abroad and assist them on all problems arising out of employer-employee relationship.

The office is also taasked to promote and implement the DOLE’s overseas employment program, consistent with the overall policy thrust of the government; verify employment contracts and other employment-related documents; monitor and report to Home Office (HO) situations and policy development in the host country that may affect Filipino migrant workers in particular and Philippine labor policies, in general; and supervise and coordinate the operations of the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Resource Center (MWOFRC); pursue need-based community development and relations program and engage in socio-cultural activities organized by the Philippine government, host country, Filipino communities and other entities; and perform other functions as may be directed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.  

The POLO operates under the One-Country Team Approach (OCTA) wherein all officers, representatives, and personnel of the Philippine Government posted abroad shall, in each host country, act as one-country team with a mission under the leadership of the Ambassador, who shall act as team leader.

It also acts as the operating arm of DOLE in their respective geographical areas for the administration and enforcement of duly adopted policies and program international labor affairs and also act as the representative abroad of the Philippine Obverseas Employment Administration (POEA), upon request, to serve as marketing agents of the DOLE with the authority to enter into contracts with foreign employers as established in the negotiating rules of the POEA.

Promote understanding and support between the host government and the Philippines and between Filipino workers and management in the country of assignment through, among others, information dissemination concerning Philippine policies and programs on labor and employment.

Assist Filipino Workers in the preparation of contracts and all documents relating to employment, to certify or attest the same, and whenever authorized, to collect fees therefor, design model contracts of employment suitable to their areas of assignment and assist in implementing the foreign exchange remittance program of the government from OFWs to their respective families/beneficiaries in the Philippines.

As DOLE’s operating arm abroad it keep the DOLE informed on significant development in the field of labor, including political, cultural, social, and economic aspects and policy innovations that may be relevant to Philippine labor needs and assists the diplomatic mission or consular mission abroad towards achieving and maintaining cordial relationship and goodwill between the Philippines and the host country. 

To date, there are thirty-four (34) POLOs around the world – 11 of which are in Asia, 13 in the Middle East, 7 in Europe, and 3 in the Americas.

END/Patrick Rillorta 

Dir.Exequiel Guzman
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