Illegal Recruitment in the Philippines

The PH government has put in place the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to ensure that workers are protected from unscrupulous recruiters. If you’re looking for employment overseas, it’s important to remember that not every recruiter is out to do good and there may be risks involved with taking a job offer without knowing what you’re getting into.

One way of protecting yourself against illegal recruitment is by making sure any company you work with through POEA is legitimate; this will also help prevent fraud on their part as well since they’ll need an agent or employer who can produce proper documents.

Education about how to avoid becoming a victim of fraudulent activity like illegal recruitment should be shared among your community so that everyone knows what steps they need to take when considering working overseas.

what is illegal recruitment in philippines


The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) was founded in 1982. This agency is the main government agency assigned to monitor and supervise overseas recruitment and manning agencies in the Philippines. The POEA’s office is located at EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong, Philippines.

The goals of this organization are to improve working conditions abroad for Filipino workers; promote awareness of opportunities for employment outside the country; provide information about job placement services available; administer scholarship grants for students who wish to pursue higher studies abroad; establish guidelines on employment contracts between employers and employees both locally or abroad; coordinate with other international organizations that share common objectives as well as those that protect migrant workers’ rights.

How to Get Hired Legally for Overseas Jobs

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration is a government agency that helps Filipinos work abroad. The POEA has been helping Filipinos get jobs from overseas employers and it helps people find those jobs. You can apply for those jobs with the POEA, but you need to do your best on them so you can get one.

You need to work for a company that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has approved. You also need to have a proper employment visa before you travel abroad. POEA-accredited agencies make sure the job order is legal and you don’t travel outside the country under a ‘tourist visa’.

Benefits of Going through an Accredited Agency

Many Filipino workers are currently using accredited agencies for jobs abroad. These jobs are done by recruiting agencies, but the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration is the one who approves their recruitment process. The benefits of hiring through an accredited agency are that

  • applicants are screened, which makes sure only qualified people are hired.
  • accredited agencies also make sure they abide by all guidelines and regulations set by POEA.
  • Safety from scammers and frauds
  • Guaranteed a job abroad

What is illegal recruitment and How does it work?

Illegal recruitment is the act of recruiting, hiring, or procuring workers for overseas employment without proper authorization from the POEA. It is a serious offense that can result in deportation from the Philippines.

There are cases wherein the worker had signed up for one job, but when they get to the other country, they find out that they have to do something different than what they were promised.

The government doesn’t like these because it makes it impossible for workers to know if their jobs are real or not before they leave. That could be very dangerous for them if things go wrong when they are in a foreign land with no way home.

POEA helps in ensuring that workers get the protection they need in case of these unforeseen incidents take place.

How to avoid becoming a victim of illegal recruitment via POEA

There are a few ways that you can avoid becoming a victim of illegal recruitment via the POEA. First, make sure that you only deal with accredited agencies. Secondly, be aware of what you’re signing up for and what the job entails. Finally, make sure that you have all the proper documentation in order before you leave for your job interview or placement.

Why are there illegal recruitments even if there are risks involved?

One of the reasons why people hire illegally is because sometimes they’re not qualified. They might have been rejected from other jobs, and when they’re in need, they’ll take any job they can get.

For some people who don’t know a lot about employment regulations in the Philippines, it’s hard to know if a recruitment company is legal or not. They might think that if a company has an office in Manila, it must be legal, but there are cases where recruitment companies do illegal things because there’s no law that punishes them for it.

Also, there are fees and document requirements involved in going through POEA agencies. This might be too much for the employers and want to bypass this process. They might find someone who is illegally connected to a foreign employer and use them as an agent.

The risks are high for both the worker and the recruiter, but the lure of a job overseas is too strong for some people to resist.

What are the consequences of illegal recruitment?

The recruiter might face a heavy fine, imprisonment or both. If you’re a foreign employer and you break the law by hiring people illegally, you might be deported from the Philippines.

How can an Overseas Filipino worker file a complaint against illegal recruitment?

If someone is trying to recruit you for work abroad through illegal means, they’re breaking the law. You need to report it to your local police department or your nearest POEA office as soon as possible. Any other fraudulent activities regarding overseas job placements shall also be reported directly at any Philippine diplomatic mission abroad within five days from receiving the knowledge of such breach of contract.

As long as there are people looking for work abroad, there will be people who try to take advantage of others. The best way to protect yourself from being a victim of illegal recruitment is to make sure that you’re dealing with a legitimate recruitment agency and do your research about working in the country where you’re going.

If you suspect someone of doing something dishonest, report it immediately so that it can be stopped before anyone else gets hurt.

Objectives to Avoid Illegal Recruitment

In an effort to reach the goals of avoiding illegal recruitment goals, the POEA has implemented some services and objectives

1) monitoring and supervision of recruitment agencies both locally and abroad;

2) investigation on illegal recruiters or manning agencies;

3) implementation of reintegration programs to reduce the number of OFWs returning home unemployed;

4) acquisition of basic data from government agencies, institutions, employers and other relevant sources for statistical analysis;

5) public awareness program such as seminars and workshops on employment opportunities in foreign countries;

6) provision of legal assistance through its legal division including representation in court proceedings when necessary;

7) accreditation and registration of recruitment agencies that comply with the law;

8) issuing of job orders and acceptance of applications for overseas employment on behalf of the government and private institutions:

9) regulation and registration of contract workers, regularization and legalization program on illegal workers.

10) coordination with other government agencies that have similar objectives as well as those that protect migrant workers’ rights.


The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration can assist you in finding a job from an overseas employer and making sure that the agency that you will work with is accredited by the POEA to make your process of getting a job abroad fool-proof. It also looks after Filipino workers by giving them legal jobs so they have nothing to worry about while working for companies abroad since all their documents are handled by POEA accredited agencies.

If you’re looking for a job abroad, be sure to work with an accredited agency that is recognized by the POEA. This way, your process of getting a job abroad will be fool-proof and you’ll also know that all documents are handled correctly. If someone tries to recruit you illegally or through fraud, report it right away so no one else gets hurt.

After all, you don’t want to use your time and resources for a job that turns out to be not legitimate. Work with the POEA and other government agencies to protect yourself from illegal recruitment.

If you’re thinking of working abroad, be sure to do your research and work with an accredited agency to make sure everything goes smoothly. If you suspect someone of doing something dishonest, report it immediately so that it can be stopped before anyone else gets hurt.

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