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The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, or POEA, is a branch of the Philippine government. Working closely with the Department of Labor and Employment, the POEA recruits Filipino workers to jobs in other countries. The need to send Filipino workers out of the country arose from the lack of work for them in their own country. Many international companies look for Filipino employees and even hire them through the POEA for labor and skilled worker positions for many reasons, not the least of which is the cost of Filipino employment through the POEA and the availability of the people and their willingness to take on any job. While this may not sound fair or morally acceptable, it is often the reasoning behind a company hiring Filipino workers.
In order for an international or foreign company to employ Filipino workers, many complex steps need to be followed. Filipino workers cannot move to another country to work without the permission and assistance of the Philippine government. So hiring companies must seek workers through the government’s POEA branch. The POEA regulates the workers leaving the country not only by keeping close track of them, but also by having government-sanctioned medical facilities check the workers before they leave the country. The medical inspection is both necessary and required by the Philippine government. Though the medical inspections are sanctioned by the POEA, it is often the agencies from the accredited POEA list of land based recruitment agencies or manning agencies that oversee them.
In order for a company to find workers through the POEA, they must go through the accredited POEA list of land based recruitment agencies. The accredited POEA list of land based recruitment agencies is a group of recruitment agencies that have been pre-approved by the Philippine government.
These companies must be licensed by the POEA to recruit Filipino workers, and they can only operate through the POEA. These agencies are the only recruiters who can approach the POEA on behalf of a foreign company to enlist the services of Filipino workers. The accredited POEA list of land based recruitment agencies only deals with workers for companies that have their businesses on land.
For companies that have their businesses off-shore, like cruise ships and shipping companies, they cannot utilize the accredited POEA list of land based recruitment agencies. Instead of the accredited POEA list of land based recruitment agencies, these companies must refer to a list of POEA manning agencies. While this may not sound like a very important division for the POEA, in fact more companies utilize Filipino labor off-shore than they do on shore.
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