All About Placement Fees and Other Required Fees of OFWs

Many Filipinos who want to work abroad are usually concern about the amount of money they would need to be able to process their working documents.  Usual question revolves around the placement fees and how much should it be. Some are wondering if the plane ticket and other traveling fees should also be shouldered by the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

To shed light on these important concerns, here are some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the fees that an OFW have to deal with and the answers.

What is placement fee and why is it required? Recruitment agencies are allowed by law to collect placement fees from deployed OFWs. This fee is necessary because the business of recruiting workers is so risky that agencies need a fund that they can use just in case something happens to the deployed worker. This also means that the responsibility of the deploying agencies to the applicants extends up to the time when the OFW is already working abroad.

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

When should one pay the placement fee? Applicants will only pay the placement fee once they have already signed an employment contract. They are required to pay only half of the placement fee at this point. The other half would be paid when the agency gives the plane ticket and other travel documents of the OFW. Recruitment agencies should not charge placement fee or any other fees to applicants prior to deployment. Applicants should remember that any agency/recruiter who asked for payment right away is most probably illegal.

Why is it that some OFWs get to work out of the country without paying a placement fee? Some deploying countries such as United Kingdom (UK), Australia and some parts of Canada prohibit collection of placement fees. Also, other OFWs are fortunate enough not to pay placement fees because their agency has found an employer that is willing to shoulder the amount for the applicant.

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

Aside from placement fee, what other fees should be shouldered by the OFW? The OFW is required to shoulder the payment for the following:

    NBI/Barangay/Police Clearance
    Birth Certificate
    Trade Test if needed
    Immunization (if required by the host country)
    Medical Certificate

What are the fees that must be shouldered by the employer and not the OFW? The fees for the following must be paid by the employer:

    Airplane Ticket
    OWWA Membership Fee
    POEA Processing Fees

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

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