DOLE Guidelines on the Deployment of Philippine Overseas Labor Officers and Staff

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A March 28, 2011 press release by the Department of Labor and Employment
Pursuant to the 22-point agenda of President Benigno S. Aquino III and in line with the institutionalization of a One-DOLE Overseas Operations System, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz has issued DOLE Administrative Order No. 101, series of 2011, prescribing the joint guidelines on deployment of Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) officers and staff in accordance with existing rules and regulations governing foreign service personnel and the existing guidelines on career enhancement of DOLE personnel.
“I have issued the guidelines in pursuit of the One-DOLE Overseas Operations System and mindful of President Aquino’s directive to transform Philippine embassies, consular offices and POLOs into centers of care and service for OFWs by assigning more foreign service officers to Post where there are many OFWs and train them on the needs of the communities they serve”, Baldoz said.
The guidelines shall cover the deployment of Labor Attaches, Welfare Officers, and Administrative Staff for assignment in the thirty eight (38) POLO posts abroad.
Under the guidelines, officials and personnel of the Department, including its attached agencies, may be posted on overseas assignment on the basis of the following:
  • As an incumbent Labor Attaché I, II, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Director II, and Overseas Workers Welfare Officer (OWWO) III, IV or V position based on the plantilla of personnel;
  • As a designated Labor Attache I, II, or Welfare Officer under cross-posting assignment; and
  • As an Administrative Staff (AS) designated to perform support functions to POLO.
The deployment of POLO officers and staff shall be open to qualified officials and personnel of the Department and its attached agencies. Candidates for deployment must meet the following minimum requirements:
1. Incumbent of regular plantilla position with permanent appointment;
2. With at least three-year residency in government service, two years of which have been served at the DOLE or its attached agency;
3. With at least a “very satisfactory” performance rating for the last two rating periods prior to application;
4. Completed the Pre-Deployment Training Program for Overseas Labor Personnel of DOLE, including Language Training;
5. Passed the psychological and medical examination; and
6. Cleared from reportorial, financial and other accountabilities in the Department, and legal accountabilities/administrative case based on security clearances from appropriate government agencies.
The guidelines also provide for cross-posting assignment for officials and personnel with specified salary grades.
Under the guidelines, the tour of duty of officers and staff assigned in the posts, whether as regular incumbent or designate, shall not exceed a period of three (3) consecutive years commencing on the date of arrival at the post, subject to annual performance evaluation.
“Within the period of their tour of duty, and in the exigency of the service, POLO officers and staff may be transferred to another post provided the remaining period is not less than one (1) year”, the guidelines said.
The guidelines also provide that in considering the length of tour of duty rendered, the continuous period of foreign assignment, whether as regular incumbent or designate, shall be taken in totality.
“For regular incumbents who complete their tour of duty abroad, they shall be required to serve in the central office for at least 2 years before they become eligible again for foreign assignment, subject to performance evaluation in addition to such other training as may be required by the Department”, it said.
Newly appointed and designated Labor Attaches, Welfare Officers, and Administrative Staff are also required to complete the pre-deployment training program which would include classroom instructions, immersion, and on-the-job-training.
The guidelines also provide specific procedures that could further lead to the professionalization of the POLO corps of officers and staff, such as the creation of a pool of qualified and trained officers and staff ready for deployment; creation of a selection committee headed by the DOLE’s employment cluster head which shall be in charge of selection; and the alignment of benefits, allowances, and rate of service fees with the index indicated in the Philippine Foreign Service Act.
DOLE Administrative Order No. 101, series of 2011 takes effect within 30-days upon its signing and supersedes previous inconsistent issuances.