How to Apply OWWA Pre-Departure Education Program

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Since 1983, the Philippines through OWWA has provided overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with a Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS), which provides relevant and tailored information to help them cope with their new work environment and the culture of their destination country.

The PDOS was expanded in 2009 when a Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) for Household Service Workers was implemented (HSWs).

PDOS and CPDEP are an important part of OWWA’s knowledge and education policy, as well as the government’s overall program for the safety and welfare of OFWs.

owwa predeparture pdos and cpdep

Country Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)

The Country Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) is a one-day comprehensive orientation for OFWs on their employment contract, country profile, health and safety, financial literacy, travel tips, and other relevant information to assist them in preparing for their departure. This covers a set of seven modules aimed at providing comprehensive advice to aspiring Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

The program will be six hours long and will cover the following topics:

1. Migration realities
– Cultural Perspectives
– OFW Code of Discipline

2. Destination country profile
– Working Hours
– Multi-Cultural environment

3. Employment contract
– OFW contract rights and obligations, as well as what to do if the contract is broken.

4. Health and safety
– Health and Safety for OFW’s

5. Financial literacy
– The importance of financial planning and saving and investing.

6. Available government programs and services for OFWs
OWWA Programs and Services
– Other government agencies involved in migration

7. Travel procedures and tips
– DO’s and DONT’s

The seminars are delivered by government departments, NGOs, or private individuals acting as service providers. The Philippine Red Cross is a service provider that has hosted PDOS in cooperation with the Philippine government and recruitment agencies. In addition to the workshops, the National Society offers psychosocial support to OFWs’ families as they adjust to the changes in their family structure brought on by their overseas jobs.

In addition to PDOS, the Philippines government offers other services to OFWs. Pre-Departure Education Seminars, as well as information and assistance for migrants at the airport prior to departure, are among the services provided.

Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP)

Household Service Workers (HSWs) have their own variant of PDOS called Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Programs or CPDEP, which they use instead of PDOS. Domestic Workers (DWs) may participate in the CPDEP, which is a live-out training program.

Domestic Workers must attend a four- to six-day mandatory orientation seminar. Basic language training, cultural familiarization, and stress management are one of the Modules. Its goal is to educate and prepare them for working environments outside of their home country, where the culture, customs, and traditions, as well as the language, are drastically different.

1. Basic Language Training

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration’s Language and Culture Familiarization Course, which began in January 2007, offers Arabic language classes. In March 2009, the language course was expanded (D.O. No. 95-09 Series 2009).

The following is a list of OWWA’s current language courses.

  • Arabic-Three (3) days training
  • Cantonese- Three (3) days training
  • Hebrew- Three (3) days training
  • Italian- Three (3) days training
  • Mandarin-Six (6) days training

What are OWWA’s Current Language Courses Offers?

  • The trainees will receive extensive language training (alphabet) as well as basic household vocabulary.
  • It addresses the different forms of Arabic, Cantonese, Hebrew, Italian, and Mandarin language, history, faith, and justice system, as well as prohibitions which were implemented and included during the training to make the participants more conscious and prepared.
  • The training also provides the trainees with a proper pronunciation guide, greetings and apologies, numerals and currency, calendar, time, customs, and values.

2. Cultural Familiarization

This addresses any potential cultural barriers that workers may face when working in another country.

3. Stress Management

  • Prepare employees physically and psychologically for the pressures of working in a foreign country.
  • Workers’ current coping strategies are validated, and new coping mechanisms are created.
  • Increases understanding of the causes and effects of stress.

The seminar is a half-day program that raises awareness of the causes and consequences of stress and assists in physically and mentally preparing for the challenges of working abroad. In addition, household service workers are encouraged to create new coping mechanisms by sharing information on common coping strategies.

Requirements to attend for PDOS and CPDEP

No need to photocopy any registration document
No need to submit ID photos

  • Original passport that is valid
  • Original visa that is valid
  • One (1) valid identification card (ID) with a picture
  • Payment
    – For PDOS, PHP 400 registration fee
    – For CPDEP, there is no registration charge, but you must pay the $25 OWWA membership fee.
  • PDOS or CPDEP Attendance
  • Original of the following country-specific documents:
    • Immigrant Data Summary for US-bound emigrants (except K visa holders).
    • Emigrants heading to Canada: Permanent Residence Confirmation
    • Emigrants heading to Italy: Nulla Osta
    • Certificate of Eligibility for Emigrants to Japan
    • Letter of approval for Work to Residence visa for emigrants heading to Australia
    • Letter of approval for Work to Residence visa for emigrants heading to New Zealand

Qualifications for Online Registration of PDOS and CPDEP

  1. Filipinos who are emigrating from the Philippines (if you have been issued an immigrant visa)
  2. Adults between the ages of 20 to 59
  3. Children between the ages of 13 to 19
  4. Minors under the age of 13 and adults over the age of 59 are not eligible to take the PDOS and CPDEP.

How to make an online appointment?

1. Please see the public notice.

2. Complete all preliminary questions to see if the PDOS or CPDEP is required. Fill in your email address and hit the “Submit” button.

– How are you related to your petitioner/sponsor?
– What is your country of destination?
– What is your visa type/category/classification?

3. Check your inbox (including the SPAM folder) for a confirmation letter. Click “Confirm Email” and fill out the details on the “PERSONAL INFORMATION” tab.
– Last name
– First name
– Middle Name
– Suffix
– Birthdate
– Sex
– Civil Status

4. If you are expected to attend PDOS/ CPDEP or if you are exempted, you will be notified:

a. To Participate in PDOS/ CPDEP
– You will be led to the “SET YOUR SCHEDULE” page if you are expected to attend the PDOS. To join the PDOS/PEER session, use the calendar to pick your desired date and time. Note: There are a limited number of slots available per session and per day

b. Exempted (Proceed to Step 5)

5. Complete the online registration form, click the “Proceed to registration” button.

6. Upload a recent clear picture and fill in all required fields on the registration form with accurate and complete details.

7. The barcoded confirmation form can be downloaded and printed. Bring this paper, along with all other specifications, to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) on the appointed date. YOUR REGISTRATION FORM DOES NOT NEED TO BE PRINTED. For the verification phase, please arrive at CFO at least 2 hours prior to your scheduled PDOS/ CPDEP session.

Benefits of PDOS and CPDEP

  • PDOS and CPDEP aims to help OFWs adapt to their new jobs and remain at them for the first six months of their employment.
  • They address the basic needs of OFWs for orientation and do not overburden them with details.
  • The orientation seminars are country-specific and, in some cases, skill-specific, with the goal of providing OFWs with as much relevant and reliable information as possible to help them to transition into their new work environment as quickly as possible.
  • To increase the responsiveness of PDOS for HSWs to the health and security needs of this vulnerable population.
  • HSWs would be better prepared to deal with the difficult job conditions and climate in international households.

Providers of PDOS and CPDEP who are OWWA Accredited

  1. Agency Associations (AIs)
    – Conduct PDOS for skilled, technical and professional workers of their member’s agencies.
  1. Country Specific (CS)
  2. Recruitment Agencies
    – Either sea-based or land based, conduct PDOS for their own skilled workers
  1. NGO’s
    – Conduct PDOS for HSW’s, OPA’s and workers belonging to vulnerable occupational groups
  1. Supplemental PDOS

List of OWWA Regional Welfare OFFICES (RWO’s)

RWO NCR Pasay City
RWO CAR Baguio Cty, Cordillera Administrative Region
RWO I San Fernando, La Union
RWO II Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City
RWO III San Fernando, Pampanga
RWO IVA Calamba, Laguna
RWO IVB Malate, Manila
RWO V Legazpi City
RWO VI Ilo-Ilo City
RWO VII Cebu City
RWO VIII Tacloban
RWO IX Zamboanga City
RWO X Cagayan De Oro City
RWO XI Davao City
RWO XII Koronadal City
RWO CARAGA Butuan City
RWO ARMM Cotabato City


Video: Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar for OFWs in the Middle East

Please check out this video clip below which showcases a pre-departure orientation for Filipinos planning to travel and work in the Middle East:

Other Important Things to Know about Pre-Departure Program by OWWA

  • After completing the PDOS/CPDEP, you will be given a Certificate of Completion.
  • The Certificate of Completion along with other documents must be submitted to the POEA for processing.
  • You must present the Certificate of Completion at the airport upon departure.
  • Keep all your documents complete and well organized to save yourself from delays or trouble at the airport.
  • More than the PDOS/CPDEP, it’s important that you stay updated about the country you’ll be visiting.
  • CFO will only approve PDOS/CPDEP applications that meet all of the registration criteria.

For additional questions:

You may contact your nearest OWWA regional office through their respective Facebook page or here:

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