May 29, 2024

Wherever we go in the world, we would likely find a Filipino community. Working hand-in-hand with these Filipino communities abroad are non-government organizations, the various government agencies such as the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).
The POLO is the Department of Labor and Employment’s link to the world. It is directly under the Office of the Secretary and acts as DOLE’s operating arm for the administration and enforcement of its policies and programs applicable to overseas Filipino workers. It serves as DOLE’s operating arm for the protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare and interests of overseas Filipino workers and assist them on all problems arising out of employer-employee relationship.
The office is also tasked to promote and implement DOLE’s overseas employment program, consistent with the overall policy thrust of the government; verify employment contracts and other employment-related documents; monitors and reports situations and policy development in the host country that may affect Filipino migrant workers and Philippine labor policies; supervises and coordinates the operations of the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Resource Center; pursues 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 performs other functions as may be directed by the DOLE secretary.
The POLO operates under the “One-Country Team” approach 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 policies and programs of international labor affairs and act as the representative abroad of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and upon request, 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.
It is tasked to 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.
The POLO assists 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, design model contracts of employment suitable to their areas of assignment, and assists 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 keeps the agency informed on significant development in 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.
There are 34 POLOs around the world – 24 of which are in Asia, seven in Europe, and three in America.