OWWA Pre-Departure Education Program

Since the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) was established, they have provided overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) with a Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) or a Pre-Departure Education Program. This program provides them with all the essential and tailored information relevant to help them cope with the new environment they are about to work in and learn about the culture of their destination country.

Also Read: Complete List of OWWA Programs, Benefits, and Services

Additionally, the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) was expanded overtime when the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) was implemented and these two are the basic programs of OWWA’s knowledge and education policy for the overall safety and welfare of the OFWs.

Table of Contents

What is the OWWA – Pre-Departure Education Program?

Country-Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)

Country-Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) consists of a one-day comprehensive orientation for OFWs about their employment contract, country profile, health and safety, financial literacy, travel tips, and other relevant and vital information to assist and prepare them for their departure. This one-day comprehensive orientation also covers a set of seven (7) modules aimed to provide comprehensive advice to aspiring OFWs. The orientation usually took six (6) hours long.

Topics Covered by the Country-Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)

1. Migration realities

  • Cultural Perspectives
  • OFW Code of Discipline

2. Destination Country Profile

  • Working Hours
  • Multi-Cultural environment

3. Employment Contract

  • OFW contract rights and obligations, as well as what to do if the contract is broken

4. Health and Safety

  • Health and Safety for OFWs

5. Financial Literacy

  • The importance of financial planning, saving, and investing.

6. Available government programs and services for OFWs

7. Travel procedures and tips

  • DO’s and DONTs while traveling

Agencies Conducting Seminars

  • Government Departments
  • NGOs
  • Private individuals acting as service providers
  • Philippine Red Cross – has also hosted PDOS in cooperation with the Philippine Government and recruitment agencies.
  • National Society – is also another agency that offers psychological support to OFWs’ families as they adjust to the changes in their family structure brought on by their overseas jobs.

Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP)

The Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) is another type of PDOS for Household Service Workers (HSWs) or Domestic Workers (DWs). This seminar is a four to six-day mandatory orientation seminar for Domestic Workers. This program aims to educate and prepare them for working outside the country where the culture, customs, and traditions are drastically different. The seminar orientation consists of three modules; Basic Language Training, Cultural Familiarization, and Stress Management.

1. Basic Language Training

The Basic Language Training of OWWA offers a Language and Culture Familiarization Course which began in January 2007 offering Arabic Language classes and later on expanded.

Below is the list of all the language courses offered by OWWA for the OFWs.

  • Arabic – three (3) days of training
  • Cantonese – three (3) days of training
  • Hebrew – three (3) days of training
  • Italian – three (3) days of training
  • Mandarin – six (6) days of training

Under this training course, trainees will receive extensive language training as well as basic household vocabulary. This training course also covers the different forms of Arabic, Cantonese, Hebrew, Italian, and Mandarin languages, history, culture, faith, and justice system including the prohibitions to make them more conscious and prepared. Additionally, the training program also provides the trainees with a proper pronunciation guide, greetings and apologies, numerals and currency, calendar, time, customs, and values.

2. Cultural Familiarization

This module addresses any potential cultural barriers that aspiring OFWs may face when working in another country.

3. Stress Management

This module prepares the employees physically and psychologically for any pressures brought by working in another country. This training course also aims to increase awareness and understanding of the causes and effects of stress. It also discusses workers’ current coping strategies being validated and their new coping mechanisms being created.

Additionally, this seminar is a half-day program conducted to raise awareness of the causes and consequences of stress and assist in physically and mentally preparing them for the challenges of working abroad.

OWWA Accredited Providers of PDOS and CPDEP

1. Agency Associations (AIs)

These agencies conduct PDOS for skilled, technical and professional workers of their member agencies.

2. Country Specific (CS)

3. Recruitment Agencies

They can either be sea-based or land based. They conduct PDOS for their own skilled workers.

4. NGOs

They conduct PDOS for HSWs, OPAs and workers belonging to vulnerable occupational groups.

5. Supplemental PDOS

List of OWWA Regional Offices (RWOs)

  1. RWO NCR – Pasay City
  2. RWO CAR – Baguio City, Cordillera Administrative Region
  3. RWO I – San Fernando, La Union
  4. RWO II – Carig Sur, Tuguegarao City
  5. RWO III – San Fernando, Pampanga
  6. RWO IV-A – Calamba, Laguna
  7. RWO IV-B – Malate, Manila
  8. RWO V – Legazpi City
  9. RWO VI – Ilo-Ilo City
  10. RWO VII – Cebu City
  11. RWO VIII – Tacloban
  12. RWO IX – Zamboanga City
  13. RWO X – Cagayan De Oro City
  14. RWO XI – Davao City
  15. RWO XII – Koronadal City
  16. RWO CARAGA – Butuan City
  17. RWO ARMM – Cotabato City


Below are the benefits that the trainees or aspiring OFWs may get from PDOS and CPDEP.

  • The PDOS and CPDEP aim to help OFWs adapt to their new jobs and remain at them for the first six months of their employment.
  • They also address the basic needs of OFWs for orientation and do not overburden them with details.
  • The trainees are also equipped with relevant and reliable information through country-specific orientation seminars which are sometimes as skill-specific as possible to help them in the transition to their new work environment as quickly as possible.
  • This seminar also increases the responsiveness of PDOS for HSWs to the health and security needs of this vulnerable population.
  • Additionally, this training course will prepare the HSWs to deal with the difficult job conditions and climate in international households.


Here are the eligibility requirements for the PDOS and CPDEP.

  • Emigrating Filipinos from the Philippines – those who have been issued an immigrant visa)
  • Adults between the age group of 20 to 59 years old and children between the ages of 13 to 19 years old.
  • Adults more than 59 years old and children below 13 years old are not eligible to take PDOS and CPDEP.


  • Below are the list of all the required documents that you have to prepare and secure to attend for PDOS and CPDEP.
  • Original and valid passport
  • Original and valid visa
  • One (1) valid identification card (ID) with a picture
  • Payment
  • for PDOS, a Php 400 intended for Registration Fee
  • for CDEP,  there’s no Registration Fee but you have to pay $25 OWWA membership fee
  • PDOS or CPDEP Attendance
  • An Original of the following country-specific documents:
  • Immigrant Data Summary for US-bound emigrants except for the K visa holders.
  • A Permanent Residence Confirmation for emigrants heading to Canada.
  • A Nulla Osta for emigrants heading to Italy.
  • A Certificate of Eligibility for emigrants heading to Japan.
  • For emigrants heading to Australia, a Letter of Approval for Work to Residence Visa is required.
  • A Letter of Approval for Work to Residence Visa is also required for emigrants heading to New Zealand.


Here is a step-by-step guide and instructions to make an online appointment for the PDOS and CPDEP.

Step 1: See the public notice about PDOS or CPDEP.

Step 2: Then, complete all the preliminary questions below to see if the PDOS or CPDEP is required, and then fill in your email address and click the “Submit” button.


  • How are you related to your petitioner/sponsor?
  • What is your country of destination?
  • What is your visa type/category/classification?

Step 3:  After that, check your inbox including your SPAM folder for a confirmation letter. Then, click “Confirm Email” and fill out the details on the “PERSONAL INFORMATION” tab.

Step 4: Then, you will be notified if you are expected to attend the PDOS or CPDEP.

  • To participate in PDOS, you’ll have to go to the “SET YOUR SCHEDULE” page and use the calendar to choose your desired date and time. Take note that there are limited slots available per session per day.
  • If you are exempted to attend PDOS or CPDEP, proceed to Step 5.

Step 5: You have to complete the online registration form and click the “Proceed to registration” button.

Step 6: Then, upload a recent and clear picture and fill out all the required fields on the registration form with complete and accurate details.

Step 7: After that, the barcoded confirmation form can be downloaded and printed. Then, bring this along with all other specifications to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) on the appointed date. Additionally, your Registration Form needs NOT to be printed. Also, for the Verification Phase, please arrive at CFO at least 2 hours ahead of your scheduled PDOS or CPDEP.

Important Reminders

Here are some of the important things you have to remember about the Pre-Departure Program by OWWA.

  • After you have completed the PDOS or CPDEP, you’ll be given a Certificate of Completion.
  • The Certificate of Completion will be then submitted to the POEA for processing.
  • Additionally, you have to present your Certificate of Completion upon departure.
  • Aside from the PDOS and CPDEP, it is also essential that you will stay updated about the country you’ll be visiting.
  • More importantly, take note that CFO will only approve PDOS or CPDEP applications that meet all of the registration criteria.
  • If you have additional questions, you may contact your nearest OWWA Regional Office (RWO) through their respective Facebook page or here – https://facebook.com/OWWAofficial

Video: Pre-Departure Education Program – PDOS and CPDEP

This video is very helpful and insightful as it will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS). This video tackles the important things you need to know about the PDOS program such as the financial benefits you may get from the said program as well as some helpful tips when applying for the PDOS program.

Additionally, it was also discussed in the video the things you have to avoid when you are attending the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS). Aside from that, you will also get an overview of what to expect to learn during the orientation seminar. There are still other important things you can learn from this video about the PDOS program hence; it is advised that you try to watch the full video.

Another video can be accessed here below:

This video will provide you with more information on how to apply for the Pre-Departure Education Program. This is only a short video but it is very insightful. Here, you will get an overview of the topics of discussion included in the orientation seminars. You will also learn here how to reserve a seat to attend the orientation seminar. Aside from that, you will be taught what documents to secure for registration.

Additionally, you will learn who are the ones exempted to attend the orientation seminar. Thus, it is also recommended for you watch this video to broaden your understanding of the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)  of OWWA before attending the seminar.

If you wish to know more about the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP), you may watch this video here:

This video discusses OWWA training tips and reminders for Domestic workers or caregivers. Hence, it is also helpful and a great advantage to learn these things and tips before attending the seminar.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) the same?

The Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) have the same objective – that is to provide the aspiring overseas Filipino workers with all the essential and tailored information relevant to help them cope with the new environment they are about to work in and learn about the culture of their destination country. However, the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) is only intended for Household Service Workers (HSWs).

2. Who is exempted from attending the Pre-Departure Education Program?

Children below 13 years old and adults more than 59 years old are exempt from attending the Pre-Departure Education Program.

3. Do I need to bring my PDOS certificate to the airport?

You have to bring your PDOS or CPDEP certificate at the airport upon departure if you are a first-timer. However, if you are a Balik Manggagawa, there is no need to bring it.

4. I’m a student, do I still need to attend PDOS even if I have a student visa?

If you are a student pursuing studies abroad, you also have to attend a Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar intended for international or exchange students for this is a requisite.

5. How about the tourist visa holders, do they still need to attend the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar?

Tourist visa holders also need to attend the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) since this is a requirement when you exit the country and visit, work, or move to another foreign country.

6. Are there any fees I have to pay when I intend to attend the PDOS for Domestic Workers abroad?

For Domestic Workers, you don’t have to pay any fees to attend the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) because it will be paid by your agency. You are just required to attend the orientation seminar and learn more about the things you have to remember when working in another country.

7. How much is the registration fee to attend the Pre-Departure Education Program?

There is a Php 400 registration fee to attend the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS). For the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP), there is no required registration fee but you must be an active member of OWWA.

8. Are PDOS and CPDEP mandatory for overseas Filipino workers?

PDOS and CPDEP are mandatory orientation seminars that are conducted for all emigrants that are departing for the first time regardless of work classifications. However, CPDEP is specifically intended for Household Service Workers (HSWs) such as caregivers and domestic workers.

9. Do I need to renew my OWWA membership to attend the PDOS or CPDEP?

It is advised and highly recommended to renew your OWWA membership before registering for any of their grants, seminars, or other programs to ensure that you can get the most from them. Inactive OWWA members can not register for the program.


Hence, this is the process of applying for the Pre-Departure Education Program by OWWA. Just keep in mind to secure all the documentary requirements before applying for the Pre-Departure Education Program and follow the application procedures mentioned above. Additionally, visit the official website of OWWA or the Commission on Filipinos Overseas to stay updated on their announcements and other public notice here – https://cfo.gov.ph/.

If you have some concerns or questions, you may use their contact them on their Facebook page here – https://facebook.com/OWWAofficial.

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