Suppose you are a Filipino Direct Hire processing your requirements to get the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) from the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW, formerly POEA). In that case, you will need a verified employment contract from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO). You will also need the endorsement letter from POLO to be exempt from the ban on direct hiring.
If you still need to check it, I have a blog documenting the step-by-step process on How to Get OEC from POEA (Direct Hire).
These are the additional documents that you would need to complete:
Employment Contract: Original copy of Employment Contract or Offer of Employment
Verified by the Philippines Overseas Labor Office (POLO)
Authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/Consulate for countries with no POLO
Apostille with POLO Verification (MC 8, s2019)
Apostille with Philippine Embassy Acknowledgement (MC 8, s2019)
POLO Endorsement Letter addressed to the Administrator seeking exemption from the ban on direct-hiring
I've seen forums saying they sent a letter or email to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) cabinet secretary. Others said they talked with the POEA administrator to request for exemption. But there are proper procedures for processing the required documents. So I researched further to get more information.
I was reading a related article about direct hires, and I saw someone who commented saying that he sent an email to POLO to get information. So I decided to send an email, too, and I received a good response from them. They mentioned that one of the requirements to process the OEC is a verified employment contract from POLO.
The following details are from POLO Berlin, which I hope could give you an idea of how to deal with the requirements above:
1. Original employment contract in English with Addendum, which the employer must sign on all pages.
2. Copy of the worker's passport with at least six months of validity.
3. Copy of the visa or visa approval of the worker.
4. Copy of the passport or residence ID of the employer.
5. Copy of the employer's valid commercial registration/business license translated into English.
6. Signed letter of request for exemption from the ban on direct hiring.
You can download the sample templates below:
Exemption Letter of Request:
1. The principal/employer shall email the scanned copies of the above-required documents for initial evaluation.
2. If the POLO finds the documents complete, satisfactory, and in order, they will advise the employer to send them the original/paper copy of the said documents personally or by mail/courier.
3. Wait for POLO's advice before making a deposit/payment.
4. Personally collect or arrange a pick-up service with a courier company to claim the verified documents.
Inform your employer immediately about this requirement and procedure to get your OEC. Your employer or relocation agency needs to directly coordinate with POLO to process the contract verification because sometimes POLO asks for additional requirements or updates on the documents.
The POLO from other countries might have a different procedure for coordinating and processing the contract verification. It's best to have your employer contact POLO for clarification.
Once POLO completes the verification, they will send the documents to your Philippine address. You will need them when you submit the original copy of your files to DMW.
POLO has different offices all over the world. You can check their websites to see if there is relevant information or contact them by phone or email. You can look at this POLO Directory if you need to reach out to any of them.
If your destination country doesn't have POLO, you can ask the nearest country which has POLO if they also process the contract verification to your destination country. You can also check with the Philippine Embassy in your destination country if they can authenticate your employment contract instead.
In my case, my country of destination was the Netherlands. However, when I was processing my papers, there was yet to be a POLO in the Netherlands. I learned that I must coordinate with POLO Geneva to verify an employment contract if I'm bound for Europe. A few weeks later, I discovered a new POLO in Berlin, so I sent them my questions instead. After getting the information I needed, I relayed it to my employer and my relocation agency to help me process my paperwork.
This procedure may take weeks or months because of unforeseen events like the Covid-19 pandemic, based on my experience. But generally, this would only take two to four weeks if all your requirements are complete. If in doubt, don't be afraid to ask. Be patient and be optimistic that everything will go well.
Additional Information and Contacts
For OEC and Verification of Employment Contracts of Balik-Manggagawa in Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Russia, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those in Norway and Iceland, documents may be submitted to the Philippine Embassy in Oslo for acknowledgement or to POLO London for verification.
For those in Sweden and Finland, documents may be submitted to the Philippine Embassy in Stockholm for acknowledgement or to POLO London for verification.
For those in Denmark, Faroe Islands, and Greenland, documents may be submitted to the Philippine Embassy in Copenhagen for acknowledgement or to POLO London for verification.