Etched in history, the Philippines has extensive literature of Filipinos being nomadic creatures – characterized by being in one place to another. Purposely these primitive people are in search of a vista that will suffice to meet their need for a shelter and access to primary commodities. The resumption of this primitive behavior may be inferred to as shift cultivators exemplified best by our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and migrant Filipinos.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, even amidst the pandemic there are more than 2 million immigrant workers, also known as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) across the globe. Often hailed as the Modern-Day Heroes or ‘Bagong Bayani’, migrant Filipinos are succinct to say the desirable pedigree of the international labor market.

In terms of fundamental variety of skills, Philippines holds the basin of overflowing manpower including medical practitioners, factory and manufacturing workers, teachers, administrative workers, clerks, seamans, and IT professionals hounded by affluent countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Oman, United Kingdom, Bahrain, Angola, Brunei, and other neighboring countries in Asia.

Admit it or not, the notion of having better career opportunities outside of the country attributed to OFWs and migrant Filipinos’ decision to work or live abroad. One of the feats – better compensation, often three times higher than the average wage received locally. Imagine being able to afford a house, purchase a condo, buy hectares of land, or even venture into new investments in the Philippines.

As appealing as it may sound, the hunting process of the job you wish to acquire won’t take place within just a flick of your hand. You will shuffle in between searching for the job you would like, processing credentials, it is imperative to attend to all obligations here in the Philippines before leaving, and lastly, set up your living accommodation. As these predicaments arise, you will need all the assistance you can muster, and that includes the aid of government-owned agencies you should know.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) - government agencies for ofws

Photo: Manilla Bulletin

Multiple cases of aspiring Overseas Filipino Workers defrauded by illegal recruiters with ghost job offers, soliciting placement fees, and other ways to dupe the applicants were reported. The abatement of this nuisance proved to be quite challenging as the scammers use facile methods to deceive Filipinos.

Unfortunately, there are still individuals who prefer taking the shorter route and with the absence of proper knowledge on how to prevent succumbing to this falsehood, also relies on how the government addressed these drawbacks from the roots in the first place.

Established in 1982, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or POEA is mandated to promote and monitor overseas employment of Filipino workers by considering the need for maximum employment opportunities, protecting OFWs from recurring incidents of abuse, and while adhering to egalitarian principles on employment practices. 

Conforming to the list of Modus Operandi of illegal recruiters released in an article by the former, the public should take account to wit:

  1. Escort Services – Undocumented workers are escorted at the airport or any international exit to evade checkpoints set to check on the documents of workers.
  2. Tourist–Worker Scheme – Workers leave the country purportedly as tourists but in reality, are being deployed as workers abroad.
  3. Assumed Identity – Workers particularly minors are deployed abroad under an assumed identity.
  4. Direct Hiring – Workers are hired by foreign employers without the intervention of licensed recruitment agencies and are deployed undocumented and without protection.
  5. Trainee Worker Scheme – Hired workers are deployed allegedly not for employment but for training purposes only and will return to sending company after training.
  6. Backdoor Points Scheme – Workers are sent abroad not through regular exit channels like airports but are deployed usually through cargo ships.
  7. Tie-Up System – Unlicensed recruiters with foreign principals who are usually in the blacklist use the name and offices of licensed recruiters in their illegal activity.
  8. Visa Assistance/Consultancy Scheme – Firms that offer services including the pairing of workers with foreign employers and promising applicant’s immigrant visas but are engaged in the recruitment business.
  9. Blind Ads Scheme – Workers are enticed to apply and send cash payments addressed to a Postal Office Box without the worker having the opportunity to communicate personally with the recruiter.

On the other hand, POEA regulates the participation of the private sector in the recruitment and overseas placement of workers through a systematized licensing and registration process alongside the private institutions involved. They manage a vast network of licensed recruitment and manning agencies, foreign principals, employers, or project arrangements to meet the international demand for the Filipino workforce.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)

Photo: OWWA Website

In pursuant the passage of the Republic Act 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration decreed to strengthen the implementation to wit:

  1. Under Section 15, the repatriation of workers in cases of political unrest, epidemic, a natural or man-made disaster or calamities, and other similar events without prejudice to reimbursement by the employer or the recruitment agency. In cases where the employer or the recruitment agency cannot be identified OWWA shall bear all costs of repatriation. An Emergency Repatriation Fund is created under the administration, control, and supervision of OWWA for this purpose.

Amidst the continuing onslaught of coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19), latest figures from OWWA Covid-19 Related Assistance to OFWs, more than 500,000 Filipinos successfully returned to their home regions. Upon their return, the OFWs and migrant Filipinos were accorded with airport assistance and received sufficient accommodation and quarantine facilities. On the other hand, despite the brewing tension in Israel, there are no active repatriation efforts yet. Nonetheless, should the situation call for it, the Philippine government guarantees that they will charter flights for the OFWs.

  1. Establishment of a Re-placement and Monitoring Center for returning migrant workers, wherein OWWA, together with the DOLE and the POEA, is tasked to formulate a program that will motivate migrant workers to plan for productive options, such as entry into highly technical jobs and investment of savings, among others (Section 17).

For the complete list of requirements to avail each trainings and programs, showcased by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) simply visit click here:

Pre-Departure Education Program

a. Country-Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)– A one-day compulsory orientation to OFWs consisting of modules on employment contract, country of destination, stages of the OFWs’ life abroad, health and safety, financial literacy, travel tips and airport procedures, and government programs and services. This is attended by all workers (all skills) prior to their deployment abroad.

b. Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) – A four or six-day orientation seminar attended by Domestic Workers (DWs) consisting of language training, culture familiarization, and stress management.

Training Programs for Filipino Seafarers

a. Seafarer’s Upgrading Program (SUP) – Job-related training assistance for upgrading courses of up to P7,500.00

 *Succeeding availments every after three (3) recorded membership contributions.


  1. Proof of OWWA membership
  2. Accomplished Application Form
  3. Seafarer’s Identification & Record Book and/or Passport (valid original copy)
  4. 2”x2” photo (2 copies)

b. Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program – A scholarship grant for prospective seafarers who are graduates of BS Mechanical Engineering (BSME) and BS Electrical Engineering (BSEE) who wish to pursue BS Marine Engineering (BSMarE) course, in the following order of priority:

Reintegration Preparedness (on-site) consists of value formation training, financial literacy, entrepreneurial development training, techno-skills, and capacity building.

Reintegration (in-country) includes job referrals, business counseling, community organizing, financial literacy seminar, Networking with support institutions and social preparation implemented by OWWA Regional Welfare Offices (RWOs).

Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program – A package of livelihood support/assistance intended to provide immediate relief to returning member-OFWs (distressed/displaced) amounting to a maximum Php 20,000.00 as start-up or additional capital for the livelihood project.

Overseas Filipino Workers – Enterprise Development and Loan Program (OFW-EDLP). Formerly known as OFW-Reintegration Program (ORP), is an enterprise development intervention and loan facility of OWWA, in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), intended to support enterprise development among OFWs and their families.

Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong PUSO) – A one-time grant assistance in the form of raw materials, equipment, tools, and jigs. and other support services, that aim to support the formation, enhancement, or restoration of livelihood projects/undertakings of OFW organizations. The amount of grant shall be based on the project requirement up to a maximum of P 1 million for OFW organizations with more than 51 members.

Here is the runner up for government agencies OFW’s should know about:

Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF)

Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF)

Photo: Philippine Information Agency

Otherwise called as PAG-IBIG Fund, was established on June 11, 1978 pursuant to the Presidential Decree No. 1530. The main functions of this office are to manage the national savings program of the country while providing affordable shelter financing for the Filipino people.

With the signing of the Republic Act of 9679, under the PAGIBIG Overseas program, migrant Filipinos are now mandated to register in HDMF as a member, regardless if employed by a foreign company. In partnership with POEA, accessible remittance facilities are available to collect PAG-IBIG membership contributions from OFW’s.

The minimum contribution amounts to Php 100.00 without charging fees, they are welcome to increase their contributions. The result of the monthly contribution earns an annual dividend accredited to the member’s account, respectively.

As for the PAG-IBIG housing loan, it is only eligible to members with following qualifications:

1.) at least 24 months savings,

2.) Not more than 65 years old (at the date of loan application and is not more than 70 years old at the date of loan maturity),

3.) Legal capacity to acquire and encumber real property,

4.) No Pag-IBIG housing loan foreclosed, cancelled, bought back, or voluntarily surrendered,

5.) If with existing Pag-IBIG Housing account or Short-Term Loan (STL), payments must be updated

One of the comical facts and perhaps known to Filipinos is that returning OFWs and migrant Filipinos went home with a substantial sum from years of working abroad. Unfortunate ones, if not abused or maltreated, they came back home with nothing. Understandably, a huge percentage of the OFW’s and migrant Filipinos may raise their eyebrows or turn skittish to sound investments.

They might even counter, why bother? We can save it in a bank where it is kept safe. Yes, you have access to it anytime you would want to make a quick rendezvous to a store. Yes, that amount you worked for will be there – untouched and with a minuscule annual return.

You see, keeping it in the bank only stagnates the alternative option of growing that hard-earned money into a long-term wealth? Who knows, it may be the reason for you not to go back to work overseas anymore. Knowing the best cash flow businesses to venture into is the trickiest part. Acquiring a property of your own seems plausible and a hot trend nowadays. Apart from the fact that prices of properties appreciate monthly, staying in a newly turnover house and watching a movie with your loved one’s sounds appealing to you? Or basking in the sun, overlooking the panoramic view from your condominium seems exhilarating too, right?

As you build your real estate assets, the market value of your properties increases as well. Therefore, you may be able to utilize what we can refer to as asset management. It is a way of cultivating the market value of the property or among other types of assets; hence there is increase in returns.

You may subject the portfolio of assets like: 1.) Residential properties, 2.) Commercial properties, 3.) Mixed-use properties, for both business and residential, 4.) retail properties such as storefronts, and 5.) Vacation properties for seasonal residence, as an investment asset by selling it to investors according to its current market value for profit or perhaps, you can have it leased out which may serve as your passive and additional income since it doesn’t require you to materially participate.

Just bear this in mind, investing goes hand in hand with saving. All we need to do is to take a risk and believe in our own judgement.

Invest at Vistaland International and become an OFW investor!

To every Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) and migrant Filipino who are looking for a house and lot or condo for sale in the Philippines, Vistaland International Marketing, Inc. (VIMI) has a diverse portfolio of OFW property investments for you.

Vistaland International Marketing, Inc. (VIMI) is the international marketing division of Vista Land. Aiming to provide OFWs and migrant Filipinos a home in the Philippines, VIMI has established long-lasting relationships with brokers and clients around the world.

Get started with your property investments! Contact us today and follow our social media accounts: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.