Returning OFWs soon to be exempted from OEC

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 08 2016 06:12 PM

Starting September 15, overseas Filipino workers (OFW) returning to the same employer or job site will no longer have to secure the overseas employment certificate (OEC) requirement, at least on an experimental basis.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Monday said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has issued Governing Board Resolution No. 12, Series of 2016 following President Rodrigo Duterte's mandate "to streamline processes in the deployment of OFWs, to afford them facility and ease in transactions before government offices."

POEA said the OEC exemption "on an experimental basis" covers returning workers who are: (1) returning to the same employer and job site, and listed in the POEA database of OFWs; or (2) hired through POEA’s Government Placement Branch.

"Bello said the POEA is already implementing the Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing System which has eliminated the long lines at its offices, but emphasized a further need and growing demand to enhance the system for workers returning to the same employer and job site," it said.

Prior to their departure, the returning workers will have to register at, and provide personal and employment particulars to validate if they are indeed exempted from obtaining the OEC.

After which, the worker’s updated profile will be forwarded to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to serve as basis for clearance to exit the country without payment of processing fees.

If a worker proceeds to the airport without prior registration, the BI will refer the worker to POEA’s Labor Assistance Counter (LAC) for evaluation to be able to determine if the worker may be cleared for departure sans the fees or be subjected to further completion of travel documents.

Workers who are not exempted from getting the OEC during the time of registration will have to set an appointment with any POEA office or processing center.

After a month of experimental period, POEA Administrator and Governing Board Vice-Chair Hans Leo J. Cacdac shall report to Bello and the board about the implementation.