Department of Migrant Workers (DMW): What It Is & What It Does

by | Last updated Nov 24, 2023 | Resources | 0 comments

The Department of Migrant Workers is a newly created agency dedicated to our modern heroes. It is the government’s arm for protecting the rights and welfare of OFWs and their families.

This department was realized when PRRD signed the Department of Migrant Workers Act or Republic Act No. 11641.

DMW consolidates the organization and functions of government agencies related to overseas employment and migration.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed this act last December 30, 2021. It will start its operation by 2023.

Functions of DMW

The Department of Migrant Workers will absorb all the powers, functions, and mandates of the POEA. After a transition period of two years, the POEA will cease to operate.

The Blas F. Ople Building, where the POEA resides, will also be the office of the new DMW

Here are some of the functions and powers of DMW.

  1. Formulate, recommend, and implement national policies, plans, programs, and guidelines that will ensure the protection of OFWs.
  2. Provide for their safe, orderly, and regular migration, promotion of interests, and timely and effective resolution of their problems.
  3. Effective reintegration into Philippine society in case the OFW or seafarer wants to retire from working abroad.
  4. Regulate the recruitment, employment, and deployment of OFWs.
  5. Investigate, initiate, sue, pursue, and help prosecute illegal recruitment and human trafficking.
  6. Protect and promote the welfare, well-being, and interests of the families of OFWs.
  7. Support and assist in bilateral and multilateral agreements, initiatives, and programs, including intergovernmental processes concerning labor migration.
  8. Provide training aimed at promoting the global competitiveness of OFWs.

DMW’s core is to help OFWs and their families. Thus, they centralize the system into one department while cooperating with other government agencies.

Consolidation and Merger

The POEA remains the cornerstone of DMW’s functions.

Currently, there are seven offices serving OFWs under the umbrella of DOLE and DFA.

We will learn below how the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) interact with DMW.

Under R.A. No. 11641, some agencies will consolidate and/ or merge under the Department of Migrant Workers.

These are the following:

  1. The POEA, as created under Executive Order No. 247 and Republic Act No. 8042, as amended;
  2. Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA) of the DFA;
  3. All Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) under the DOLE;
  4. International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) under the DOLE;
  5. National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) under the OWWA;
  6. Office of the Social Welfare Attaché (OSWA) under the DSWD; and
  7. The National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) under the DOLE.
Overseas Filipino Bank Davao Branch
OFBank Davao Branch

Attached Agency

Another agency serving our OFWs is the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration or OWWA.

However, it will not merge under the new department. OWWA will serve as an attached agency for the purpose of policy and program coordination.

OFWs and Seafarers can still avail of the benefits and financial programs from OWWA. You just have to coordinate with them.


Since there could be an overlapping of mandates, not all agencies will shelter under the wings of DMW. Sub-departments that will work hand in hand with DMW are the following;

  • Migrant Workers Resource Center (MWRC)
  • Overseas Land-based Tripartite Consultative Council (OLTCC)
  • Maritime Industry Tripartite Council (MITC)
  • Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank), in association with the Department of Finance
  • Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO)
  • Overseas Filipino Hospital (OFH), in association with the Department of Health

Is there an eRegistration V3?

The new Department will absorb the current POEA. Thus, our online eRegistration account will integrate into the new system as well.

For those who were early in the online platform, we witnessed the birth of the original POEA eReg system. A year after that, eReg Version 2 was born. We then imported our account to the new version which many found a challenge.

Now, this newly-created department will absorb the online registration as well. Actually, they didn’t specify its new name but I’m calling it DMW eRegistration Account.

Otherwise, we can call it eReg Version 3.

The registration process is easy to do. The problem that you most probably will encounter is the reception of the confirmation email. That, as well, is easily solved.

I made a tutorial on how to create your DMW eReg Account. Included in that article are the methods I used to recover my confirmation email. 

You may also encounter DMW eReg problems along the way. Luckily, I solved most of them as well.

Sign up now for free to the latest updates.

May the winds be in your favor.



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