Sunday, July 14, 2024

8 Ways to Make PDOS More Helpful for OFWs

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The Philippine government’s Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) aims to assist Filipinos migrating or working abroad in better understanding the country in which they will live or work.

Many Filipinos, especially those who are unaware of the benefits of PDOS, have expressed doubts about its usefulness and often complain about the added procedures on their way to moving to another country.

With PDOS conducted prior to their departure, Filipinos get to learn more about the laws, culture, and things that are not often observed and practiced in the Philippines. In a way, PDOS helps ease that feeling of culture shock which brings anxiety for many newcomers.

Still, many are not impressed with how this orientation program is conducted. For instance, some who have experienced working abroad in the past, applying for a new job in the same country subjects them to attend the seminar as they did before. Others claim to have more knowledge than those conducting the seminar, having worked and lived in that country while classifying some topics as already irrelevant and outdated.

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So how do we make PDOS more helpful to OFWs without having to initiate a call to abolish it?

PDOS: 8 ways to make it more useful for Filipinos abroad

Talk about the airport procedure

Filipinos need to consider how they will deal with arrangements at international airports in the Philippines before traveling abroad. Offloading, extra charges, and misbehaving airport employees are likely to be familiar to them.

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We have provided some guidance for first-time travelers abroad, but we are aware that it is not sufficient. A person pays for PDOS to have a worthwhile time and to leave the session with knowledge of the dos (bring passport, photocopy documents, luggage limits) and don’ts (liquids in cabin luggage, turn off cell phones when taking off or landing).

Talk about settlement concerns

Filipinos are known to easily adapt to changing environments, according to the folk saying “kung maikli ang kumot, matutong mamaluktot“. However, Filipinos moving abroad need to be aware of what awaits them in their destination countries. What will the weather be when I arrive? How do I find my first job? Where do I find a Filipino community? What is the meaning of jet lag? Answering these questions will help ease anxiety and provide a great head start on living in that new environment.

Discuss cultural differences

In the Philippines, people are known for their tardiness, littering, and urinating in vacant lots. We all know that’s not acceptable everywhere. However, these reminders should be included in PDOS, and more. Saudi Arabia, for example, places much tighter restrictions on interaction between male and female workers, or a Catholic is forbidden to carry a rosary in public. During a conversation with a local in Russia, you may feel embarrassed because they barely make positive gestures.

Discuss opportunities

Filipinos often travel abroad in search of opportunities. For immigrants, one of the first things they’d like to know is how can they find jobs and what requirements are usually asked during the hiring process.

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These topics need to be included in the outline of the PDOS. Filipinos working abroad may wonder how to enter another country legally. If a domestic helper wants to work in Canada but first chooses to work in Hong Kong, does she need to return to the Philippines before moving from Hong Kong to Canada?

Warn about possible risks and dangers

OFWs or migrant Filipinos need to understand the common scams to avoid becoming victims of them. Is there a protocol when dealing with police or people claiming to be authorities who ask for your identification? This is also the case when kababayans befriend you at Singapore’s Lucky Plaza or Hong Kong’s Worldwide House offering you membership in their networking groups. In hot Middle Eastern weather, how can laborers avoid heat stroke and other ailments? Can employers keep passports? Filipinos abroad feel more confident and guided by these types of questions.

Discuss the benefits provided to new immigrants

As new immigrants, Filipino migrants often ask about the benefits they are entitled to receive. Do they qualify for home mortgage assistance? In the event that a family member is hospitalized, how much health insurance is provided? How long does it take for the immigration ministry to approve a petition for parents or younger siblings?
While these topics may be discussed during orientation seminars in these host countries, having that necessary knowledge helps migrants have that peace of mind.

Discuss responsibilities

Filipinos who are leaving the Philippines should talk about what to expect in the countries they will soon depart from. What is the amount of tax deducted from my personal income tax? What adjustments should domestic helpers make during Ramadan? As we agree that ignorance of the law excuses no one, being knowledgeable about Filipinos living abroad hinges on how PDOS is delivered to them. This hinges on their responsibilities to their employers and the country as a whole.

Topics should be arranged according to first-time and returning Filipinos

While Filipinos complain that PDOS are not updated, they are still required to join upon moving from the Philippines and taking a new job abroad. This is after a period of hiatus. To add value to repeat attendees, PDOS should at least be relevant to veterans abroad. This is because attendees should not assume that they have zero knowledge of the country they’re about to move into.

Share information on how to seek help from Philippine consulates and embassies

Filipinos should have enough information about where to go in case of emergency, or who to contact in case of emergency. Embassies, POLO offices, and labor attaches, along with their phone numbers, need to be readily available. They could be useful in places that are currently experiencing problems. If the PDOS of OFWs working in such places were comprehensive enough, they would be glad they attended the seminar.

Conclusion

In order for PDOS to be helpful to its intended audience, it must have the following characteristics:

  1. A seminar topic should be relevant to the audience’s needs and interests, providing them with practical information and insights that they can apply to their workplace or personal lives.

  2. The speaker should be an expert in the field and be able to communicate their knowledge and experience clearly and concisely.

  3. Participants should be encouraged to interact with the speaker, ask questions, and exchange ideas during the seminar.

  4. It is paramount that the speaker presents the information in a clear and easy-to-understand manner, using visuals, examples, and other aids when appropriate.

  5. There should be a clear structure and a smooth flow of information in the seminar.

  6. The seminar should start on time and end on time, showing respect for the audience’s time and attention.

  7. The seminar should provide the audience with practical and actionable takeaways that can be applied to their work or personal lives.

Using these elements, a seminar can provide the audience with new knowledge, insights, and ideas that they can use to enhance their skills and achieve their goals.

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  1. yes me of the agency here in jordan asking placement fee 3 months salary.. u wrk w/ out salary w/ in 3monts. mr. ehab and darlyn has no license agency but they can take person from any country. the name of there agency is NATION. TELEPON NUMBER 079528770. AND they didn’t give my passport. now I want to renue my passport cause it is already expired but they didn’t give. I asked help to the emmbassy but the agency asked money again.. how I can get my passport can you help me please, I’m temporary work w/ the aerican family. but they try to fix my papers MR. EHAB ASKING BIG MONEY..

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