Where to find job opportunities abroad

Job Opportunities abroad for Teachers can be accessed from the following areas:

  1. Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA): an arm of the government and agency attached to the Department of Labour and Employment that manages migration of Filipino overseas.
  2. Recruitment agencies licensed with the POEA often advertise through the media, at schools / universities, and at job fairs. 

Conditions of service

The government of Philippines through the MIGRANT WORKERS AND OVERSEAS FILIPINOS ACT OF 1995 ensures and guarantees that migrant Filipino Workers are only deployed to overseas countries where migrant workers’ rights are protected. The Filipino government seeks the following bases for guarantee:

  1. Existing social and labour laws protect migrant workers, especially teachers 
  2. The country is a signatory to international conventions, declaration or resolutions related to workers’ protection rights 
  3. The country has concluded bilateral agreements with governments on the protection of workers’ rights 

Recognition and transferability of Qualifications

As stated in the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act, (1995), the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is the sole government agency responsible for managing the process of international recruitment of migrant teachers in the country. In collaboration with overseas employers or employment agencies, POEA systematically delivers all the necessary services for the recruitment and deployment of Filipino workers overseas. 

Employment regulations governing resignation

Resignation is governed by Republic Act No. 4670 (1966), also known as the “Magna Carta for Public School Teachers.” Teachers hired to work abroad are usually allowed to apply for (study) leave of absence for one (1) year only, and after working for seven service years. During this period, a teacher is entitled to at least 60% monthly salary. 

 If after one year, a teacher decides to pursue working abroad, they have to come back and file for resignation. If the concerned teacher does not come back after one year, then he/she is automatically removed from the service.

A teacher who has less than 15 years-experience in the teaching profession may resign and his/her personal contribution to the government insurance system shall be refunded without interest but he/she will lost his/her security of tenure. Teachers who have been in service for at least 15 years may opt for an early retirement from the service and make use of the early retirement scheme and wait until he/she reaches the age of 60 to avail him/herself for pension. 

Transferring Benefits (Salary, Pensions)

Social security benefits are paid to teachers/non-teaching personnel based on the number of years of rendered service and the total contributions, usually given in a lump sum amount. 

Article 22 of the Philippine Labour Code legally mandates overseas teachers to remit a portion of their Foreign Exchange Earnings to their families, dependents or beneficiaries.

Regulations of Re-engagement

Public schools teachers in the Philippines who wish to come back to teach may retain their positions if they are given an approved leave of absence of one year. Exceptions may be granted for teachers who need an additional semester to finish graduate study.

Section 10 of the MIGRANT WORKERS AND OVERSEAS FILIPINOS ACT OF 1995 legally mandates the Department of Labour and Employment through its agency, the National Reintegration Centre for Overseas Filipino workers (NRCO), to re-integrate returnee teachers into the country. The agency has developed mechanisms and programmes designed to motivate and reintegrate returnee Filipino Teachers to the Philippine society. The NRCO is tasked to work with diverse stakeholders promotes local employment, tapping the potential skills and experiences of returnees for national development, and conducting capacity development where appropriate.

Support structures for teachers intending to migrate

Teachers’ Unions

National Alliance of Teachers and Office Workers (SMP-NATOW) 

Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) 

Philippine Public School Teachers' Association (PPSTA) 

Teachers' Organisation of the Philippine Public Sector (TOPPS)

Federation of Free Workers - Trade Federation VIII (FFW)

Basic Education Sector Teachers Federation (BESTFED)

Recruitment Agencies

There is no recruitment agency specifically in-charge of overseas teacher placement. Instead, several agencies post opportunities. Only those licensed/accredited by the Department of Labour & Employment and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) can legally recruit teachers for employment abroad. 

Aspiring migrants can verify that their recruiter is licensed through a search by name at http://poea.gov.ph/cgi-bin/agsearch.asp 

However, as in the case of Isidro Rodriguez and the “Great Service Provider” agency, professionals contracted with POEA-licensed recruiters have also experienced problems. Independent research is encouraged. The POEA has compiled resources and information to avoid predatory recruiters, available at http://www.poea.gov.ph/air/air.htm