Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr during a meeting with the Filipino community in Vientiane, Laos on July 24, 2016.
PHOTO BY FAITH RUTH VILLANUEVA/EXPAT MEDIA
VIENTIANE, LAOS – Overseas Employment Certificates (OEC) may be scrapped this year if a plan endorsed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pushes through, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr revealed.
Yasay made the statement on Sunday (July 24) during a visit to Laos where he met the Filipino community there after attending the ASEAN Foreign Minister’s Meeting in the city of Vientiane.
“We are targeting to remove the mandatory OEC within this year,” Yasay said.
The OEC is required from Filipinos returning to their workplace abroad after a brief visit to the Philippines. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has made it mandatory for OFWs to apply for OEC each time they travel to the Philippines to ensure that they are properly documented and protected. Many OFWs have complained that the process of applying for OECs is cumbersome, often involving long queues at consulates, embassies or POEA offices.
Yasay also revealed that Duterte gave him “two marching orders”: to give OFWs easy access to consulate or embassy services, and to make passport processing quicker.
Yasay said that Duterte was keen on streamlining Philippine consulate or embassy services around the world to make it easier for overseas Filipino workers to avail of government services where they are.
“The DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) is already coordinating with other departments in order to streamline processes and make it easier for overseas Filipino workers,” Yasay said.
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