Article 18 of the Philippine Labor Code prohibits any foreign employer from directly hiring a Filipino worker for overseas employment in order to curb if not to entirely eradicate the nefarious practice of foreigners exploiting Filipino migrant workers. Exceptions to this general prohibition exist making direct hiring possible, namely, 1) name hires or individuals who were able to acquire foreign employment through their own efforts without the assistance of local employment agencies; and 2) members of diplomatic corps, international organizations and employers who have been previously allowed by the Department of Labor and Employment in the Philippines to conduct direct hiring under the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Rules governing overseas employment.
Any interested foreign employer not falling within the exceptions stated may still hire Filipino workers provided they follow the process outlined by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration below:
First, the potential foreign employer must choose a private recruitment agency from a list provided by the administration. This is available in all Philippine embassies and consulates; or he or she may opt to download the list from the agency’s website instead.
Second, after having chosen a particular agency, the employer must then submit recruitment documents to the nearest Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) at the Philippine Embassy or Consulate for verification. This process shall determine both the individual or corporate existence of the employer and its need for Filipino labor. In the absence of an overseas labor office at the jobsite the employer, it shall instead undergo the POEA accreditation process wherein a local agent must submit the required documents to the POEA.
For employers in land-based occupations, the following documents should be submitted: