< All Topics

G. Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995


a. Illegal recruitment

1st Mode

For purposes of R.A. 8042, illegal recruitment shall mean:

1) Any act of: (a) canvassing, (b) enlisting, (c) contracting, (d) transporting, (e) utilizing, (f) hiring, or (g) procuring workers – and includes referring, contract services, promising or advertising for employment abroad;

2) When undertaken by non-licensee or non-holder of authority contemplated under Article 13(f) of the Labor Code; and,

3) Whether for profit or not. (Section 6, R.A. 8042, As amended by R.A. 10022)

2nd Mode

1) Any such non-licensee or non-holder who, in any manner, offers or promises for a fee employment abroad to two or more persons shall be deemed so engaged. (Ibid.)

3rd Mode

1) Illegal recuitment likewise include the following acts, whether committed by any person, whether a non-licensee, non-holder, licensee or holder of authority:

a) To charge or accept directly or indirectly any amount greater than that specified in the schedule of allowable fees prescribed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, or to make a worker pay or acknowledge any amount greater than that actually received by him as a loan or advance;

b) To furnish or publish any false notice or information or document in relation to recruitment or employment;

c) To give any false notice, testimony, information or document or commit any act of misrepresentation for the purpose of securing a license or authority under the Labor Code, or for the purpose of documenting hired workers with the POEA, which include the act of reprocessing workers through a job order that pertains to nonexistent work, work different from the actual overseas work, or work with a different employer whether registered or not with the POEA;

d) To include or attempt to induce a worker already employed to quit his employment in order to offer him another unless the transfer is designed to liberate a worker from oppressive terms and conditions of employment;

e) To influence or attempt to influence any person or entity not to employ any worker who has not applied for employment through his agency or who has formed, joined or supported, or has contacted or is supported by any union or workers’ organization;

f) To engage in the recruitment or placement of workers in jobs harmful to public health or morality or to the dignity of the Republic of the Philippines;

g) To obstruct or attempt to obstruct inspection by the Secretary of Labor and Employment or by his duly authorized representative;

h) To fail to submit reports on the status of employment, placement vacancies, remittance of foreign exchange earnings, separation from jobs, departures and such other matters or information as may be required by the Secretary of Labor and Employment;

i) To substitute or alter to the prejudice of the worker, employment contracts approved and verified by the Department of Labor and Employment from the time of actual signing thereof by the parties up to and including the period of the expiration of the same without the approval of the Department of Labor and Employment;

j) For an officer or agent of a recruitment or placement agency to become an officer or member of the Board of any corporation engaged in travel agency or to be engaged directly or indirectly in the management of travel agency;

k) To withhold or deny travel documents from applicant workers before departure for monetary or financial considerations, or for any other reasons, other than those authorized under the Labor Code and its implementing rules and regulations;

l) Failure to actually deploy a contracted worker without valid reason as determined by the Department of Labor and Employment;

m) Failure to reimburse expenses incurred by the worker in connection with his documentation and processing for purposes of deployment, in cases where the deployment does not actually take place without the worker’s fault. Illegal recruitment when committed by a syndicate or in large scale shall be considered an offense involving economic sabotage; and

n) To allow a non-Filipino citizen to head or manage a licensed recruitment/manning agency. (Ibid.)

b. Illegal recruitment by a syndicate

Illegal recruitment is deemed committed by a syndicate if carried out by a group of three (3) or more persons conspiring or confederating with one another. It is deemed committed in large scale if committed against three (3) or more persons individually or as a group. (Paragraph 2, Section 6, Ibid.)

c. Prohibited acts

In addition to the acts enumerated above, it shall also be unlawful for any person or entity to commit the following prohibited acts:

1) Grant a loan to an overseas Filipino worker with interest exceeding eight percent (8%) per annum, which will be used for payment of legal and allowable placement fees and make the migrant worker issue, either personally or through a guarantor or accommodation party, postdated checks in relation to the said loan;

2) Impose a compulsory and exclusive arrangement whereby an overseas Filipino worker is required to avail of a loan only from specifically designated institutions, entities or persons;

3) Refuse to condone or renegotiate a loan incurred by an overseas Filipino worker after the latter’s employment contract has been prematurely terminated through no fault of his or her own;

4) Impose a compulsory and exclusive arrangement whereby an overseas Filipino worker is required to undergo health examinations only from specifically designated medical clinics, institutions, entities or persons, except in the case of a seafarer whose medical examination cost is shouldered by the principal/shipowner;

5) Impose a compulsory and exclusive arrangement whereby an overseas Filipino worker is required to undergo training, seminar, instruction or schooling of any kind only from specifically designated institutions, entities or persons, except fpr recommendatory trainings mandated by principals/shipowners where the latter shoulder the cost of such trainings;

6) For a suspended recruitment/manning agency to engage in any kind of recruitment activity including the processing of pending workers’ applications; and

7) For a recruitment/manning agency or a foreign principal/employer to pass on the overseas Filipino worker or deduct from his or her salary the payment of the cost of insurance fees, premium or other insurance related charges, as provided under the compulsory worker’s insurance coverage. (Paragraph 3, Section 6, Ibid.)


The persons criminally liable for the above offenses are the principals, accomplices and accessories. In case of juridical persons, the officers having ownership, control, management or direction of their business who are responsible for the commission of the offense and the responsible employees/agents thereof shall be liable. (Paragraph 4, Section 6, Ibid.)

ALIEN: If the offender is an alien, he or she shall, in addition to the penalties herein prescribed, be deported without further proceedings. (Paragraph 2, Section 7, Ibid.)

LICENSE REVOCATION: In every case, conviction shall cause and carry the automatic revocation of the license or registration of the recruitment/manning agency, lending institutions, training school or medical clinic. (Section 7, Ibid.)

PRESCRIPTION Illegal recruitment cases shall prescribe in five (5) years: Provided, however, That illegal recruitment cases involving economic sabotage as defined herein shall prescribe in twenty (20) years. (Section 12, Ibid.)

Previous F. Swindling by Syndicate
Next H. Anti-Illegal Numbers Games Law
Table of Contents