Beginning September 15, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returning to the same employer or job site will no longer have to secure the overseas employment certificate (OEC) requirement. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has issued Governing Board Resolution No. 12, Series of 2016 following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to streamline the processes in deploying OFWs, and to afford them facility and ease in transactions before government offices.
However, POEA said the OEC exemption is only on an experimental basis for the meantime. It will cover returning 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 applying the Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing System, which has removed the long lines at its offices, but there is a further need and growing demand to improve the system for workers returning to the same employer and job site.
Before their departure, the returning workers will have to register at bmonline.ph, and give personal and employment particulars to authenticate if they are indeed exempted from getting 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 paying processing fees.
If a worker continues to the airport without previous registration, the BI will refer the worker to POEA’s Labor Assistance Counter (LAC) for assessment to be able to determine if the worker may be cleared for departure without the fees or be subjected to further completion of travel documents. Workers who are not excused from getting the OEC during the time of registration will have to set an appointment with any POEA office or processing center.