Handbook for OFWs Act of 2018

Publishing the Republic Act No. 11227, the law mandating the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to develop, publish, disseminate and update a Handbook on the Rights and Responsibilities of Migrant Workers, amending for the purpose the Republic Act No. 8042, otherwise known as the “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995”, as amended by Republic Act No. 10022. See the copy below for your information:

S. No. 192
H. No. 8110

Republic of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
Metro Manila

Seventeenth Congress
Third Regular Session

Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-third day of July, two thousand eighteen.

Republic Act No. 11227

An Act Mandating the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to Develop, Publish, Disseminate and Update a Handbook on the Rights and Responsibilities of Migrant Workers, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 8042, Otherwise Known as the “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995”, as Amended By Republic Act No. 10022

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

Section 1. Title.— This Act shall be known as the “Handbook for OFWs Act of 2018”.

Section 2. Creating a Handbook for Overseas Filipino Workers.— The handbook for overseas Filipino workers, known in this Act as “Handbook”, shall be created and issued to every land-based and sea-based worker free of charge. It shall serve as a ready reference for migrant workers when they need to assert their rights and responsibilities. It shall also deal with key issues that they need to know in order to maintain decent employment conditions overseas.

The contents of the Handbook shall be written in English with translations in local languages as may be necessary.

Section 3. Objectives of the Handbook.— The objectives of creating a Handbook are as follows:

(a) To empower every overseas Filipino worker (OFW) by making them fully aware of their rights and responsibilities;

(b) To complement the worker education program of various agencies;

(c) To provide a basic information on the labor and living conditions in the country of their destination;

(d) To make the workers well aware of the benefits and drawbacks of working overseas; and

(e) To provide necessary information for their reintegration into the Philippine society.

Section 4. Amendment.— Subparagraph (b.l) of paragraph (b) of Section 23 of Republic Act No. 8042, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

“Section 23. Role of Government Agencies.— The following government agencies shall perform the following to promote the welfare and protect the rights of migrant workers and, as far as applicable, all overseas Filipinos:

“(a) Department of Foreign Affairs – x x x

“(b) Department of Labor and Employment – 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, to other overseas Filipinos including the grant of legal assistance and the referral to proper medical centers or hospitals;

“(b.1) Philippine Overseas Employment Administration – x x x

“In addition to its powers and functions, the Administration shall inform migrant workers not only of their rights as workers but also of their rights as human beings, instruct and guide the workers how to assert their rights and provide the available mechanism to redress violation of their rights.

“The Administration is hereby mandated to develop, publish, disseminate and update periodically a Handbook on the rights and responsibilities of migrant workers as provided by Philippine laws and the existing labor and social laws of the countries of destination that will protect and guarantee the rights of migrant workers. The Handbook shall be written in simple words that can be easily understood with translation in local language as may be necessary.

“It shall also be responsible for the implementation, in partnership with other law enforcement agencies, of an intensified program against illegal recruitment activities. For this purpose, the POEA shall provide comprehensive gender-sensitive Pre-employment Orientation Seminars (PEOS) that will discuss topics not only on the prevention of illegal recruitment but also on the content of the Handbook on the rights and responsibilities of migrant workers.

“x x x.”

Section 5. Implementing Agencies.— The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), is mandated to implement this Act.

Section 6. Appropriations.— The amount necessary for the continuous publication, distribution and update of the Handbook shall be taken from the appropriations of the POEA. Thereafter, 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.

Section 7. Repealing Clause.— All laws, rules or regulations that are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or amended accordingly.

Section 8. Separability Clause.— If any provision of this Act is held unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect other provisions not affected thereby.

Section 9. Effectivity.— This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette and in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation.


(Original Signed)
Speaker of the House of Representatives

(Original Signed)
President of the Senate

This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 192 and House Bill No. 8110 was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on December 11, 2018 and December 12, 2018, respectively.

(Original Signed)
Acting Secretary General
House of Representatives

(Original Signed)
Secretary of the Senate

Approved: February 22, 2019.

(Original Signed)
President of the Philippines


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