Pilot project to exempt certain OFWs from OEC requirement to begin on September 15


DUBAI – The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Monday (August 8) announced a new resolution exempting a group of overseas Filipino workers from the overseas employment certificate (OEC) requirement on an experimental basis starting on September 15.

Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III made the announcement, saying that the POEA governing board, of which he is the chairperson, has issued a resolution on the issue.

The resolution was signed by Bello, POEA Administrator and Governing Board Vice-Chairman Hans Leo J. Cacdac, and members Felix M. Oca, Estrelita S. Hizon, Alexander E. Asuncion, and Milagros Isabel A. Cristobal.

Bello said the POEA board issued the resolution following the directive of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to streamline processes in the deployment of OFWs, to afford them facility and ease in transactions before government offices.

Who are exempted from OEC requirement?

Bello said those exempted on a pilot basis are workers who are returning to the same employer and job site, and listed in the POEA database of OFWs; or 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.

The POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 12, series of 2016, states that an OFW Balik- Manggagawa (BM) or worker returning to the same employer or job site shall, prior to departure, register at, and provide personal and employment particulars to validate if the worker is indeed exempted from obtaining the OEC.

The worker’s updated profile will be forwarded to the Bureau of Immigration to serve as basis for clearance to exit the country without payment of processing fees.

Bello said 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.

A worker who proceeds to the airport without prior registration with the BM Online System will be referred by the Bureau of Immigration to the POEA’s Labor Assistance Counter for evaluation to determine if the worker may be cleared for departure or be subjected to further completion of travel documents.

One month after the pilot or experimental period, POEA Administrator Cacdac shall report to Bello and the POEA Governing Board about implementation of the stated Balik-Manggagawa OEC exemptions. Read the full POEA announcement here


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