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Outside the POLO Dubai office on June 22, 2022.

PHOTO BY EXPAT MEDIA


No queue as POLO Dubai imposes online contract verification system

The long queues outside the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Dubai (POLO Dubai) in recent months were nowhere to be seen on Wednesday (June 22).

By midday, Expatmedia.net visited the compound, which also houses the adjacent Philippine Consulate General Dubai, and found only a handful of people outside the POLO Dubai entrance. This was in stark contrast to scenes from previous months where hundreds of people could be seen queueing outside the office until late in the afternoon. Watch footage here

On Wednesday, however, the lack of a queue outside the agency premises came after POLO Dubai on Monday (June 20) launched its pilot system for a partial online contract verification service, allowing applicants to submit their documents for verification via an online form.

It also came after POLO Dubai announced that it was temporarily suspending the “guaranteed entry” of walk-in clients seeking contract verification services a day ahead of their flight. Advisories on the matter were displayed on the gate to remind clients of the entry policy, which was being enforced “until further notice”. Some walk-in clients, however, said they were allowed entry.

Online contract verification

On Monday (June 20), POLO Dubai launched its pilot system for a partial online contract verification service, allowing applicants to submit their documents for verification via an online form.

ALSO READ: POLO Dubai online contract verification system: how it works

According to POLO Dubai, the partial online contract verification system was meant to reduce the daily surge of applicants unable to get an appointment. The service has so far drawn mixed reactions from Filipinos commenting on an Expatmedia.net post on the matter, with some lauding the digital service to help ease operations at the agency, while others criticized it for being “poorly planned”.

Under the new online submission system, Filipinos with approved applications for contract verification will still need to visit POLO Dubai for payment and to claim their verified contract.

“If [the] application can be done online then payment should be online too. What is the purpose of having an online application if you still have to go to the office for payment,” Arcy P. (full name withheld) commented, echoing similar sentiments from readers on an Expatmedia.net story on the subject. Another reader, Joseph Barredo, urged POLO Dubai to implement a “long term solution”.

There was yet no response from POLO Dubai on whether the online verification system will be upgraded in future to include online payment and issuance, but in a previous announcement, the agency said that the online submission system is “supplementary to our present appointment system and aims to lessen the number of applicants every Friday. This will not replace the current systems”.

ALSO READ: All you need to know about contract verification for Filipinos in UAE

No appointment, no entry at POLO Dubai

Starting on June 13, POLO Dubai suspended its “guaranteed entry” policy for walk-in clients who were not able to secure an appointment for services, but have confirmed flights. According to the agency, the new measure is “in view of home isolation and quarantine protocols imposed on frontliners who were infected with Covid-19”.

ALSO READ: How to apply for OEC, contract verification at POLO Dubai

Since the new policy was imposed, only those with appointments were allowed entry into POLO Dubai. The agency, however, said it will also continue to allow entry to authorized representatives.

“In case of no appointment but with confirmed emergency flight back to the Philippines, OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) representatives may come on their behalf,” according to POLO Dubai.

Authorized representatives of Filipinos vacationing in the Philippines can visit POLO Dubai three days before the OFW’s OEC appointment or five days before their return flight to the UAE, whichever comes earlier.

There is no need to secure an online appointment, but the representative must bring the authorization letter, with copy of his or her valid ID, a copy of the OFW’s flight ticket and the complete set of requirements for contract verification.

Getting an OEC without a verified contract

Alternatively, Filipinos who do not yet have contract verified by POLO may apply for Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) in the Philippines, according to POLO Dubai.

They can submit a valid working visa and other proof of employment upon signing an undertaking stating the submission of verified employment contract, which will be submitted to POEA upon the OFWs return to the country of work. ICA/MFD/Expat Media

Scenes at POLO Dubai on June 22, 2022


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