Owwa set to ‘cleanse’ PDOS industry

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Friday, July 4, 2014

THE Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) is set to "cleanse" the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) industry by eliminating providers that shall be deemed as being unqualified to serve overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

In a statement, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said she instructed Owwa Administrator Rebecca Calzado to conduct a review of all PDOS providers and, if necessary, purge those who are not fit.

"Owwa must monitor and assess the performance of the PDOS providers, rate them accordingly, and withdraw or cancel the registration or accreditation of those who are not qualified to offer it," said Baldoz.

She said Calzado was given one month to submit an evaluation report on how PDOS providers are implementing the Owwa's PDOS module and on how many are living up to the true intent of the PDOS.

"We would like to see a more improved and responsive PDOS, particularly the quality of instruction and the quality of the people who conduct it," said Baldoz.

The labor chief said the move was prompted by numerous reports they have been receiving of PDOS sessions being used as marketing outlets by private businesses.

"We have been receiving persistent complaints that some PDOS providers are allowing private banks, remittance companies, and insurance agencies to eat much time of the PDOS to promote their businesses among OFWs, with less and less time devoted to the substantial--and more important--aspects of what OFWs expect and need to do once they have been deployed to their countries of destination," said the official.

Doing so, Baldoz said, betrays the real purpose of PDOS, which is to serve as frontline learning and information providers for OFWs before they are deployed abroad.

To note, departing OFWs are required to attend the country-specific PDOS, which is aiming to address their adjustment concerns in their destination countries.

During PDOS, various topics are discussed such as travel regulations, immigration procedures, cultural differences, settlement concerns, employment and social security concerns, and rights and obligations of OFWs.

Aside from Owwa, other providers of PDOS are different agency associations, recruitment firms, and non-government organizations (NGOs). (HDT/Sunnex)

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