The Overseas Employment Certificate.


Make OEC free for Filipinos, Philippine president orders

The Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) could soon be obtained free of charge following the launch of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) app.

DMW Secretary Maria Susana ‘Toots’ Ople said Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued a directive to make the OEC free of charge for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

“He told the department to make sure that migrant Filipinos, our OFWs, don’t need to pay for anything to use the mobile app and to download the OFW Pass,” Ople said in Filipino.

The official said that the DMW Mobile App is in its final stages and awaiting the approval of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to ensure its cybersecurity features before its public release. She said that the app may launch this week.

The app contains the OFW Pass, a digital and secure version of the OEC, which serves as the digital identity of OFWs. After a two- to three-month transition period upon activation, the OFW Pass will completely replace the OEC. Ople said the app is free.

Ople said Marcos was happy that the mobile app can provide a simple yet effective digital solution to the OEC problems encountered by the OFWs when seeking jobs abroad. “He said make it free because it is one way for us to honour our modern-day heroes,” she said.

During his State of the Nation Address last year, Marcos directed the DMW and the DICT to
automate the verification of contracts, and issue OECs that can be stored on smartphones.

What is the OFW Pass?

The OFW Pass is QR-code generated and can be acquired only through the app. It is valid until the expiration of the OFW’s work contract, compared to the 60-day validity for the OEC.

Those who can avail of OFW Pass are first-time OFWs; Balik Manggagawa OFWs or OFWs going to the Philippines temporarily, but will be returning to the same employer; and OFWs who have transferred to a different employer or whose contracts need to be registered and verified by the Office of the Labor Attaché.

The app is expected to be integrated with the BI’s eTravel and e-Gate systems, and eventually link it to DICT’s eGov PH Super App. It will be available for download on Google Play and Apple App Store. ICA/Expat Media

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