Friday, July 1, 2022

Placement Fee Questions for OFWs

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One of the main concerns many Filipinos who wish to work is about money. That’s because applying for job, unlike for local companies, involve payment of a middleman, more commonly called as employment/recruitment agencies. While the stipulated placement fee, the amount an applicant needs to pay to an agency, should be just the equivalent of a month’s worth of salary (excluding documentation and processing costs), this ruling is seldom followed.

So we decided to put a list of commonly asked questions for those who are planning to go abroad but are uncertain of how much, financially, such decision is going to cost.

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What is placement fee and why is it required?
Placement fee is the amount charged by employment agencies in “securing” the job for an applicant. By paying this fee, this puts responsibility in the agency in doing a number of things such as coordination with a counterpart where the job is located, facilitating in paper works or following up requirements from the applicant. The government of the Philippines also allows them to operate to help prevent illegal recruiters or human smugglers from carrying out criminal acts. The fund, ideally, is also needed to build a standby fund in case of emergency while the worker is already abroad.

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How much should a placement fee be?
POEA-licensed recruitment agencies are allowed to collect placement fees that is equivalent to the one month salary of deployed Filipino worker. Some countries such as Taiwan may charge fees more than the one month salary because of additional fees such as monthly broker’s fees required by local laws.

When should a job applicant pay the placement fee?
Applicants will only pay the placement fee — half of it, actually — once they have already signed an employment contract. The remaining amount would be paid when the agency hands out the plane ticket and other travel documents to the applicant. Recruitment agencies should not charge placement fee or any other fees to applicants prior to deployment. Any agency or recruiter collecting the supposed placement fee earlier than described above could be classified as illegal recruiter.

Why is it that some OFWs get to work outof the country without paying a placement fee?
Certain countries such as United Kingdom (UK), Australia and some parts of Canada prohibit the collection of placement fees. In other cases, other outgoing Filipino workers do not have to pay the fee if their employer is willing to shoulder the amount in behalf of the applicant.

Who are exempted from paying placement fees?
Philippine labor law prohibits sea-based recruitment agencies from charging placement fees and any other recruitment fees to seafarers.

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Jobs Abroad for Filipinos

Aside from placement fee, what other fees Filipino applicants for work abroad have to pay?
An applicant is required to shoulder the payment for the following requirements:

  1. Passport
  2. NBI/Barangay/Police Clearance
  3. Authentication
  4. BirthCertificate
  5. Medicare/Philhealth
  6. Immunization (if required by the host country)
  7. Medical Certificate

What are the fees that employers should shoulder (not the Filipino applicant)?
The fees for the following must be paid by the employer:

  1. Working visa
  2. Air ticket
  3. OWWA Membership Fee
  4. POEA Processing Fees

What are the fees that OFWs are exempted from paying?
OFWs are exempted from paying airport fees and travel tax when they depart for work abroad. They just need to present Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) or any other documents from POEA to avail this privilege.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. These thing seldom being followed by agencies. I am now being hire by a company in UAE, I ask a colleague who is already flying off the country on January, she informed me that the agency is asking a lot more higher placement compare to the salary in our contract. What can we do about this?

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