The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
– As directed by the DOLE Secretary has resumed processing of applications for exemption by workers hired directly by foreign employers. Secretary Silvestre Bello III, on May 16, 2017, issued Administrative Order No. 155 – A ordering the POEA and the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) to continue the processing and issuance of overseas employment certificates (OECs) subject to the requirements as set forth by the provisions of the Revised POEA Rules and Regulations Governing the Recruitment and Employment of Land-based Overseas Filipino workers of 2016.
Through Administrative Order No. 155, Secretary Bello suspended on April 25, 2017, the issuance of OECs to direct-hire workers over reports of alleged irregularities in the processing of exit clearance of the said workers. POEA rules prohibit the direct hiring of Filipino workers by foreign employers except for members of the diplomatic corps; international organizations; heads of state and government officials with the rank of at least deputy minister; and employers who are close relatives of the OFW. The issuance also exempts certain skills categories from the ban on direct hiring as permitted by the Secretary of Labor. Source: http://www.poea.gov.ph