THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has issued an order to standardize seminars for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to help them adjust to their host countries.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III issued Administrative Order No. 532, Series of 2018 that showcased the Post-Arrival Orientation Seminar (PAOS) Content Framework to be used by Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs)abroad in establishing social integration of Overseas Filipino Workers.
In the order obtained by BusinessWorld on Thursday, the PAOS aims “to prepare the OFWs on understanding cultural diversity and dealing with cultural differences, and provides them information on their working and living conditions, their rights and obligations, including the Philippine government’s programs and services on-site.”
The PAOS system is authorized by Section 224 of the Revised POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Employment of Land-Based Overseas Filipino Workers which requires POEA, Philippine Overseas Labor Offices and other concerned entities to “provide effective orientation to principals/employers on the requirements, standards, laws and regulations in the recruitment and employment of Filipino workers. The POLO, in coordination with the principals/employers, shall conduct a PAOS for Overseas Filipino Workers.”
PAOS is a “follow through” to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas’ (CFO) Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) which is required for OFWs and emigrants prior to arriving in their host country.
The PAOS Content framework’s objectives seek to provide OFWs with the following:

• Relevant information on the customs, culture, and traditions in their new work environment.

• Strategies to be able to relate and adapt to their new work environment;

• Information on their rights and obligations, including remedies available to them in case their rights are deemed to be disregarded; and

• Information on the Philippine Government’s programs and services for OFWs.

The PAOS will cover customs, culture, and tradition; the labor and immigration political and regulatory framework; the employment contract; the Philippine government’s role; Emergency services availments; Health and safety benefits; Training initiatives; Social support systems services; and Filipino Community (FilCom) initiatives.
AO 532 requires POLOs to conduct seminars for newly-arrived OFWs “ideally within one month from the date of their arrival in their host country.”
It added that the POLOs are also “directed to compel employers and foreign recruitment agencies (FRAs) to allow OFWs, especially the domestic workers, to attend the seminar.”
POLOs will also work with the International Labor Affairs Service to produce an online version of the PAOS that is country-specific to supplement the on-site PAOS. — Gillian M. Cortez