What Is DMW? A Comprehensive Overview To the Department of Migrant Worker

What Is DMW? A Comprehensive Overview To the Department of Migrant Worker


What is DMW

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), part of the Philippine government, is a commitment in action, dedicated to safeguarding the rights and welfare of our kababayans working abroad. 

In the past, responsibilities were scattered among various agencies, causing fragmented efforts and a complex web of challenges for OFWs. Agencies like POEA, OUMWA, ILAB, POLO, NMP, NRC, and OSWA operated independently, adding layers of difficulty.

The new department emerges as a comprehensive solution, absorbing the powers and functions of these seven merged agencies. 

The integration of these agencies into DMW is tangible proof of our commitment to providing a stronger, more unified support system for our modern-day heroes.

In this article we will be exploring DMW – the problems it addresses, the solutions it provides, and the tangible proof of its unwavering commitment to the rights and well-being of our kababayans working beyond our shores.

History of DMW

Establishment of the Department:

The Department of Migrant Workers came into existence through the Department of Migrant Workers Act, also known as Republic Act No. 11641. 

This act was signed into law by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on December 30, 2021. It officially started functioning on February 3, 2022, when it was created and established. 

The Department replaced and combined the powers and functions of seven previously existing agencies responsible for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), including the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA).

Evolution of DMW over the years:

The Department’s role is to safeguard the rights and well-being of OFWs. It has evolved by consolidating various agencies, streamlining their functions, and emphasizing OFW empowerment and protection. 

Additionally, the Department aims to facilitate OFWs’ overseas employment and reintegration while aligning with the national development programs of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). 

It also focuses on continuous training and knowledge development to enhance the capabilities of OFWs and ensure their welfare.

Roles and Responsibilities of DMW

The Department of Migrant Workers in the Philippines has several important roles and responsibilities to fulfill in its mission to protect and promote the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Here are the key functions and responsibilities:

  • Overseas Employment Facilitation: The Department facilitates the overseas employment of Filipino workers. This involves ensuring that OFWs have access to legitimate and safe job opportunities abroad.
  • Reintegration Support: The department helps OFWs reintegrate into Philippine society when they return home. This includes providing assistance in finding employment, starting businesses, or pursuing further education.
  • Consular and Welfare Services: The department offers consular services to OFWs, including assistance with legal matters, documentation, and access to healthcare while they are abroad.
  • Empowerment and Protection: The department is committed to empowering and protecting OFWs. This involves initiatives like providing training and knowledge development programs to enhance their skills and ensuring their rights are upheld and welfare is safeguarded.
  • Policy Development: The department plays a role in developing policies and regulations related to overseas employment and the welfare of OFWs. This includes working with other government agencies to create laws that protect the rights of Filipino workers abroad.
  • Coordination with Partner Agencies: The department collaborates with various government agencies, both in the Philippines and in host countries, to ensure the well-being of OFWs. This includes working with embassies, labor offices, and other relevant bodies.
  • Monitoring and Assistance: The department monitors the conditions of OFWs abroad and provides assistance when needed. This can involve responding to emergency situations, resolving labor disputes, and helping OFWs in distress.
  • Data Collection and Research: The department gathers data and conducts research to better understand the needs and challenges faced by OFWs. This information is used to develop policies and programs that address these issues effectively.
  • Advocacy and Awareness: The Department advocates for the rights and welfare of OFWs, both within the Philippines and internationally. They raise awareness about the contributions of OFWs to the Philippine economy and society.
  • Compliance and Regulation: The Department ensures that recruitment agencies and employers adhere to ethical and legal standards in the recruitment and employment of OFWs. They take action against those who violate these standards.

The Department plays a crucial role in supporting Filipino workers who seek employment opportunities abroad. Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of activities, all aimed at ensuring the well-being, rights, and empowerment of overseas Filipino workers.

Career Opportunities

The Department of Migrant Worker (DMW) offers a range of career opportunities dedicated to supporting overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). 

Job roles within DMW encompass diverse areas, including legal affairs, consular services, data management, policy development, and outreach programs. 

Qualifications and skills required may vary depending on the specific role, but a commitment to serving the welfare of OFWs, strong communication skills, and the ability to work effectively within a team are often essential. 

Working in DMW provides the satisfaction of contributing to a noble cause, protecting the rights of OFWs, and ensuring their well-being. It offers a chance to make a meaningful impact, engage in international relations, and promote social justice, making it a fulfilling career choice for those passionate about helping others.

Sub-departments and agencies

  • Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
  • Undersecretary for Internal Management and Administration (from POEA)
  • Undersecretary for Foreign Employment and Welfare Services (from POEA, OUMWA, NRCO)
  • Undersecretary for Licensing and Adjudication (from POEA)
  • Undersecretary for Policy and International Cooperation (from ILAB)
  • Migrant Workers Office (MWO)
  • Migrant Workers Resource Center (MWRC)
  • National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP)
  • Maritime Industry Tripartite Council (MITC)
  • Overseas Land-based Tripartite Consultative Council (OLTCC)
  • Office of the Social Welfare Attaché (OSWA)
  • Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank), in association with Department of Finance
  • Overseas Filipino Hospital (OFH), in association with Department of Health

Challenges Faced by DMW

The Department of Migrant Worker (DMW) in the Philippines faces challenges such as labor exploitation, illegal recruitment, and human trafficking. It also deals with issues like abuse, repatriation during crises, and lack of awareness among OFWs. Language barriers, document authentication, and access to legal assistance pose additional difficulties.

 The DMW must address these challenges while promoting financial literacy and ensuring accurate data management. Political relations with host countries can also impact its efforts. 

To overcome these obstacles, the DMW employs a comprehensive approach involving collaboration, awareness campaigns, and policy enforcement to protect the welfare of overseas Filipino workers.

Achievements and Future Goals of DMW

The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) in the Philippines was created to protect the rights and promote the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). 

Since its establishment, the DMW has been working towards consolidating all OFW-related services into one department and ensuring that OFWs are protected from exploitation and abuse.

In terms of achievements, the DMW has recently launched a digital app called the OFW Pass, which is a digital alternative to the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). The DMW has also signed an agreement with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to help OFWs start their own businesses. 

Additionally, the DMW has inked a deal with the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and Pag-ibig Fund to provide socialized housing programs for OFWs and their families.

As for future goals, the DMW plans to establish 16 regional offices and hire 1,000 new personnel. Overseas Filipino workers in Bangkok, Guam, and two more to-be-determined areas can also expect new Migrant Workers Offices in their host countries. 

The DMW is also committed to protecting OFWs from online romance swindling schemes specifically targeting them.


From the scattered responsibilities of multiple agencies to the streamlined efficiency of a united DMW, the journey has been one of significant positive change. 

DMW stands not just as a guardian but as a testament to the unwavering commitment of the Philippine government to the rights and well-being of our kababayans working beyond our shores.

Top 3 Tips for Aspiring Job Applicants at DMW:

  • Understand the Mission: Before applying, take the time to thoroughly understand DMW’s mission and the challenges faced by OFWs. A deep understanding of the department’s goals will not only strengthen your application but also empower you to contribute meaningfully to the cause.
  • Embrace Collaboration: DMW’s strength lies in the consolidation of efforts from various agencies. Showcase your ability to collaborate and work effectively in a team. Highlight instances where you’ve successfully worked with diverse groups to achieve common goals.
  • Stay Updated: The landscape of migrant work is dynamic, with policies and challenges constantly evolving. Demonstrate your commitment to the cause by staying updated on the latest developments, both locally and globally. This proactive approach will set you apart as a candidate who is not just seeking a job but is genuinely invested in the well-being of OFWs.


  1. Department of Migrant Workers Act”. Republic Act No. 11641 of December 30, 2021 (PDF). Congress of the Philippines.
  2.  “Duterte OKs creation of Department of Migrant Workers”. ABS-CBN News. December 30, 2021. Retrieved December 30, 2021
  3. DMW | Department of Migrant Workers. (n.d.). Www.dmw.gov.ph. https://www.dmw.gov.ph/