DMW: Department of Migrant Workers for Filipinos Based Overseas

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) is a newly established executive agency of the Philippine government that is dedicated to safeguarding and advancing the rights and well-being of Filipino migrant workers and their loved ones. The DMW has taken over the responsibilities of nine (9) government offices that previously handled overseas labor and employment concerns.

With its consolidated efforts, the DMW aims to provide comprehensive support and protection to Filipino migrant workers, ensuring that they are treated fairly and with dignity in their places of work abroad.

department of migrant workers philippines


  • The DMW was created through Republic Act 11641, also known as the “Department of Migrant Workers Act,” which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 30, 2021.
  • The establishment of the DMW was based on previous bills that aimed to create a department specifically for overseas Filipinos.
  • The DMW is a new executive agency of the Philippine government that aims to protect and promote the welfare of Filipino migrant workers and their families.
  • The department consolidates and takes over the functions of nine existing government offices that deal with overseas labor and employment matters. These include the following:
    • Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
    • Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)
    • National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO)
    • International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
    • National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP)
    • Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs), which were under DOLE
    • All Philippine Overseas Labor Attachés (Labor Attachés)
    • Office of the Social Welfare Attaché (OSWA)
    • Secretariat of the Congressional Oversight Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs (COCOWA) and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) related to OFW affairs.
  • By consolidating these functions, the DMW aims to streamline the government’s efforts in addressing the needs and concerns of Filipino migrant workers. This includes providing assistance in securing employment overseas, ensuring their welfare and protection while working abroad, and facilitating their reintegration into Philippine society upon their return.
  • The DMW’s consolidation of these functions also aims to eliminate redundancies and overlaps in the government’s services for overseas Filipinos, making it easier for them to access the support they need. With the DMW’s establishment, Filipino migrant workers can expect a more efficient and effective government response to their concerns and needs, ensuring that their rights and welfare are upheld and protected.
  • Despite being established by law, the DMW is still under constitution and review as it awaits its budget and implementing rules and regulations.
  • The DMW’s creation is a significant step towards providing comprehensive support and protection to Filipino migrant workers, who have long been vulnerable to exploitation and abuse in their places of work abroad.
  • The department’s establishment reflects the government’s commitment to ensuring that the rights and welfare of overseas Filipinos are upheld and protected and that they are given the support they need to thrive in their chosen careers overseas.
  • The DMW’s success will depend on its ability to effectively implement its mandate and provide the necessary services and support to Filipino migrant workers and their families.

DMW Functions

  • Overseas recruitment, deployment, labor, and repatriation: The DMW is responsible for facilitating and managing the overseas employment process of Filipino workers, from pre-employment to post-employment. It also ensures the protection and promotion of their rights and welfare and assists them in case of abuse, violation, or emergency. It also coordinates with the host countries and other agencies for the repatriation of OFWs who are displaced, terminated, or deceased.
  • Training, welfare, and benefit programs: The DMW provides various programs and services for the development and well-being of OFWs and their families. These include skills training, language and culture orientation, financial literacy, social security, health and insurance benefits, legal assistance, and psychosocial counseling. It also administers the Overseas Workers Welfare Fund, which provides assistance and benefits to OFWs and their dependents.
  • Reintegration programs and services: The DMW helps OFWs who return to the country to reintegrate into the society and economy. It offers livelihood and entrepreneurship opportunities, career guidance, job placement, and referral services. It also supports the education, health, and social needs of OFWs and their families.
  • Policy and international cooperation: The DMW formulates and implements policies and programs that aim to improve the overseas labor and employment sector. It also engages in bilateral and multilateral cooperation with other countries and international organizations to promote the interests and welfare of OFWs. It also conducts research and studies on overseas labor and employment issues and trends.

Services Provided by the DMW

  • Recruitment and Deployment: The department ensures that Filipino migrant workers are recruited and deployed overseas in a safe and legal manner and that they are protected from exploitation and abuse while working abroad.
  • Repatriation: The DMW plays a crucial role in facilitating the repatriation of Filipino migrant workers who have been displaced or have encountered problems in their places of work.
  • Labor Assistance: The DMW provides training, welfare, benefits, and reintegration programs and services for overseas Filipino workers and their qualified dependents.
    • These programs and services are designed to help Filipino migrant workers and their families cope with the challenges of working and living abroad and to ensure that they are able to reintegrate into Philippine society upon their return.
  • The DMW also coordinates with the Bangsamoro Ministry of Labor and Employment on matters related to overseas Bangsamoro workers.
    • This partnership is crucial in ensuring that the rights and welfare of Bangsamoro workers are protected and upheld and that they are given the support they need to thrive in their chosen careers overseas.
  • The DMW’s functions and services are essential in ensuring that Filipino migrant workers are able to work and live abroad with dignity and respect and that they are given the support they need to succeed in their chosen careers.
  • The department’s establishment is a significant step towards providing comprehensive support and protection to Filipino migrant workers and reflects the government’s commitment to upholding their rights and welfare.

DMW Officials

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) has appointed officials for its various offices and bureaus. These officials are responsible for overseeing the department’s functions and services, and ensuring that they are carried out effectively and efficiently.

At the helm of the DMW is Secretary Bernard P. Olalia, who was formerly the administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). Secretary Olalia brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise in overseas labor and employment matters and is committed to upholding the rights and welfare of Filipino migrant workers.

In addition to Secretary Olalia, the DMW has seven undersecretaries and eight assistant secretaries for its different functions and services. These officials are responsible for overseeing the department’s various programs and initiatives, and ensuring that they are implemented in a timely and effective manner.

Video: Full cycle reintegration program ng DMW para sa returning OFWs | Newsroom Ngayon

In a recent initiative championed by the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are being welcomed with renewed hope and opportunities to rebuild their lives. The program, aptly named “Bagong Buhay, Bagong Pag-asa” (New Life, New Hope), focuses on providing these individuals with the necessary support to ensure their successful reintegration into Philippine society.

The DMW has established a framework that aids in job placement, offers entrepreneurial guidance, and conducts financial management workshops. The department’s efforts are directed at equipping OFWs with the skills and knowledge required to achieve financial independence and secure a stable future.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW)?

The DMW is a governmental body in the Philippines established to specifically address the needs and concerns of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families.

2. Why was the DMW created?

The DMW was formed to centralize and streamline the functions of several agencies dealing with overseas employment to provide more efficient services and support to OFWs.

3. Which government offices’ functions have been consolidated into the DMW?

The DMW consolidates the functions of nine government offices, including the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), among others.

4. What services does the DMW provide?

The DMW provides a range of services such as processing overseas employment certificates, handling workers’ welfare cases abroad, offering legal assistance, facilitating reintegration programs, and managing training and benefit programs for OFWs and their dependents.

5. How can OFWs access the services provided by the DMW?

OFWs can access DMW services through their website, via hotline numbers, or by visiting their regional offices and Philippine embassies and consulates abroad.

6. Does the DMW offer reintegration programs for returning OFWs?

Yes, the DMW offers reintegration programs that include livelihood training, financial literacy workshops, and job placement assistance for OFWs returning to the Philippines.

7. What kind of assistance can OFWs expect from the DMW if they encounter problems abroad?

The DMW can provide legal assistance, rescue and repatriation services, and coordinate with foreign governments and international bodies to address the concerns of OFWs.

8. Can the DMW assist in the deployment of OFWs?

Yes, the DMW, through the POEA, is responsible for ensuring that the deployment of OFWs is in accordance with the law and that their employment is secured and their rights are protected. They oversee the recruitment process and the accreditation of foreign employers as well.


In conclusion, the establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers marks a significant stride forward in the Philippine government’s commitment to the millions of its citizens working overseas. By combining the functions of nine prior entities, the DMW sets a new standard for streamlined and efficient service delivery, ensuring that Filipino migrant workers receive the comprehensive support and advocacy they deserve.

This unified approach underscores the government’s recognition of the critical role these workers play in both the national and global economy and their entitlement to work in conditions that respect their rights and dignity. As the DMW continues to evolve, it has become a source of strength for Filipino migrants and their families, embodying the nation’s dedication to their welfare wherever they may be in the world.

Contact Information

Address: Blas F. Ople Building, Ortigas Ave., Cor. EDSA Ave., Mandaluyong City
Telephone numbers: +632 8722-1144, +632 8722-1155
Facebook Page:

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MWO: Migrant Workers Office

The Migrant Workers Office (MWO) is a dedicated office of the Department of Migrant Workers that serves as a crucial resource and support center for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). It aims to address the various needs and concerns of OFWs, providing them with assistance and guidance throughout their employment abroad.

One of the primary functions of the MWO is to serve as a platform for OFWs to file complaints and seek resolution for any issues they may have encountered while working overseas. It serves as a go-to office where OFWs can voice their concerns and receive the necessary support to address their problems effectively.

migrant workers office mwo

What is the Migrant Workers Office (MWO)?

  • The Migrant Workers Office (MWO) is a vital support system for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), handling complaints and issues encountered abroad.
  • The MWO is dedicated to ensuring OFWs have a platform to address and resolve their concerns efficiently.
  • Key services include processing Overseas Employment Certificates (OEC) for legal employment departure from the country.
  • Assists with OWWA membership for OFWs, providing access to benefits and assistance programs.
  • Facilitates contract verification and processes labor-related documents for OFW employment readiness.
  • Conducts Pre-Departure Orientation Seminars (PDOS) to educate OFWs on rights, responsibilities, contracts, compensation, and repatriation.
  • Empowers OFWs with knowledge to protect their rights and to be well informed on their overseas employment journey.
  • Acts as the primary office for OFWs for assistance, document processing, and preparedness for working abroad.

The Migrant Workers Office (MWO) and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) serve distinct but complementary roles within the Philippine government’s structure to support Overseas Filipino Workers.

Migrant Workers Office (MWO):

  • The MWO is a specialized office that deals directly with the individual concerns of OFWs.
  • Its services often include handling specific issues like processing Overseas Employment Certificates (OEC), assisting with OWWA membership, contract verification, conducting orientation seminars, and helping with labor-related document processing.
  • The MWO is a place where OFWs can file complaints and seek resolutions for problems encountered with employers abroad.
  • It operates as a resource and support center providing frontline assistance to OFWs.

Department of Migrant Workers (DMW):

  • The DMW is likely a higher-level government department or agency tasked with overseeing and coordinating all government policies related to migrant workers.
  • It may have a broader mandate than the MWO, encompassing policy-making, regulation, and coordination with other agencies and international bodies involved in overseas employment.
  • The DMW would typically supervise various offices like the MWO, ensuring consistency in the implementation of programs for the welfare of OFWs.
  • Its role may extend beyond individual case management to include shaping the strategic direction of labor migration, negotiating with foreign governments, and advocating for OFWs’ rights on a global stage.

In essence, the DMW would formulate policies and frameworks that govern migrant labor, while the MWO would implement these policies at a more operational level, dealing with individual OFWs and their specific needs and problems. The exact differences may vary based on the specific mandates and structures established by the Philippine government.

Services Offered by MWO

The Migrant Workers Office (MWO) is dedicated to providing comprehensive support to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). This guide outlines the essential services offered by the MWO, ensuring that the welfare and interests of OFWs are upheld and that assistance is readily available for various employment-related issues.

1. Processing of Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs)

The OEC is a vital document that signifies the legitimacy of an OFW’s overseas employment. The MWO processes these certificates, which are necessary for:

  • Departure from the Philippines
  • Exemption from travel tax and airport terminal fees
  • Proof of legal status as an OFW

To obtain an OEC, workers must provide the necessary documentation and comply with the MWO’s procedures.

2. OWWA Membership

Membership in the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is crucial for OFWs as it provides:

  • Insurance benefits
  • Educational assistance for dependents
  • Social services
  • Training and skills development

The MWO facilitates the registration and renewal of OWWA membership, helping workers gain access to these benefits.

3. Contract Verification

Contract verification is a safeguard for OFWs, confirming that employment terms are fair and comply with legal standards. The MWO verifies contracts to:

  • Ensure that the terms are as agreed upon by both the OFW and the employer
  • Confirm that the employment contract meets the labor laws of the host country and the Philippines

4. Seminars

The MWO offers seminars to educate OFWs on:

  • Their rights and responsibilities
  • Cultural do’s and don’ts in the host country
  • Financial literacy
  • Legal and health issues

These seminars are designed to prepare OFWs for life and work overseas and to empower them with knowledge.

5. Other Related Labor Documents

In addition to OECs, the MWO assists in the processing of other essential labor documents that OFWs may require, such as:

  • Work permits
  • Visa applications
  • Notarization of documents

The MWO ensures that OFWs have all the necessary paperwork completed correctly and promptly.

6. Assistance in Filing Complaints

Should an OFW encounter any form of dispute or grievance with their employer, the MWO provides:

  • Guidance on the steps to file a formal complaint
  • Legal assistance in the preparation of documents
  • Mediation services to resolve issues

7. Resolution of Problems Encountered by OFWs While Working Abroad

OFWs who face issues such as contract violations, non-payment of wages, illegal dismissal, or other employment concerns can seek the MWO’s intervention. The MWO offers:

  • Legal advice and representation
  • Negotiation with employers
  • Coordination with local authorities

The MWO’s Commitment

The MWO operates with the principle of protecting the well-being of OFWs. It ensures that:

  • The promotion and protection of OFW interests are paramount
  • Assistance is provided for any problems arising from employer-employee relationships
  • There is strict enforcement against any form of exploitation or abuse

By turning to the MWO, OFWs can be assured that they have a steadfast ally in navigating the complexities of working abroad. The MWO remains an accessible and reliable resource for all Filipinos working overseas, offering guidance, protection, and support throughout their employment journey.

Video: Migrant Workers Dept. to assume OFW services abroad

This video describes the recent changes in the services provided to overseas workers and how the DMW will work with the DFA to ensure that our kababayans abroad continue to receive the services they need. It will also provide an overview of the DMW’s mandate and how it will expand the assistance provided to overseas workers.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Migrant Workers’ Office (MWO)?

The Migrant Workers’ Office is a government entity responsible for promoting and protecting the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). It provides a range of services including documentation processing, contract verification, legal assistance, and more, to ensure the rights and benefits of OFWs are safeguarded.

2. How do I obtain an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) through MWO?

To obtain an OEC, OFWs must apply through the MWO, providing necessary documents such as a valid work visa, employment contract, and personal identification. The MWO will review the application and issue the OEC upon successful verification of the worker’s employment details.

3. What benefits does OWWA membership provide?

OWWA membership, facilitated by the MWO, offers numerous benefits including insurance coverage, educational scholarships for dependents, social services, and skills training. It aims to provide support and assistance to OFWs throughout their employment period overseas.

4. Why is contract verification important and how can the MWO assist?

Contract verification ensures that employment contracts are legitimate and compliant with labor laws. The MWO assists by examining the contracts to verify their authenticity and that they adhere to the standards of both the Philippines and the host country, safeguarding OFW rights.

5. What type of seminars does the MWO offer to OFWs?

The MWO offers pre-departure orientation seminars that educate OFWs on their rights and responsibilities, the culture and laws of the host country, financial management, and address health and legal concerns. These seminars aim to equip OFWs with knowledge and skills for their welfare and protection.

6. Can the MWO help if I have issues with my labor documents?

Yes, the MWO provides assistance in processing and ensuring the correctness of various labor documents such as work permits, visas, and notarization. The office guides OFWs on the proper procedures and requirements for these documents.

7. How do I file a complaint through the MWO?

If you need to file a complaint, the MWO can guide you through the process, provide the necessary forms and legal assistance, and offer mediation services. You can contact the MWO directly for support and to initiate the complaint process.

8. What should I do if I face employment problems abroad, such as contract violations or illegal dismissal?

In cases of employment issues, you should contact the MWO immediately. They offer legal advice, may negotiate with your employer on your behalf, and can coordinate with local authorities to resolve the matter. The MWO is committed to providing assistance to OFWs in distress and will take steps to address and rectify such problems.


In summary, the Migrant Workers Office (MWO) stands as an essential pillar of support for Overseas Filipino Workers. It is an institution dedicated to serving the multifaceted needs of OFWs, offering vital services such as employment certificate processing, membership management, contract verification, educational seminars, and document assistance. Above all, the MWO provides a reliable avenue for OFWs to file complaints and seek justice for workplace issues.

The commitment of the MWO to safeguard the interests of OFWs reinforces the Philippines’ dedication to its global workforce. By ensuring that its citizens are protected, empowered, and given due assistance regardless of where they are in the world, the MWO upholds the dignity of labor and the spirit of resilience inherent in the Filipino community.

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