The rumored suspension of the issuance of travel exit clearance is becoming a concern to Filipino expatriates. However, the Philippine officials in Dubai are quick to clarify the issue.
According to Labor Attaché Felicitas Bay, all Filipinos already working abroad or in UAE are exempted from this ban. They can still freely travel back to the Philippines for a vacation and still get their Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) same as before.
Watch: Clarification regarding rumours on Filipinos' Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) that are doing the rounds on social media. #Rumouralert(Video by Janice Ponce De Leon/Gulf News)
Posted by Gulf News on Thursday, April 27, 2017
What is an OEC?
Overseas Employment Certificate is a requirement by the Philippine government for overseas workers going home to take a quick vacation. This certification will prove that they are legally hired abroad and they are bound to return to the same employer.
“We would like to clarify that there is no suspension in the issuance of OEC for workers who would like to take their vacation — or (what we call as) returning workers.
“So long as they have a valid visa, valid passport, and a valid employment contract, they can secure their OEC or OEC exemption (see box) and take their vacation and return to Dubai or UAE,” said Labor Attaché Felicitas Bay.
The said clarification is in line with the recent rumors involving the total ban of OEC, which are spread all over social media.
This ban nearly affects approximately 10 percent of the total number of OFWs leaving the country. It can be recalled that Bello announced the suspension order in the hopes of eliminating the illegal activities by which, employees of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) were involved.
Who Are Affected By This Ban?
As of April 25, direct hires or those employees who are not under any accredited Philippine agency are the ones affected by this ban. Also, employment applications currently under process will also get affected.
However, Filipinos under tourist visa who came to UAE but later got employed are not affected by this order. They can still acquire their OECs online through www.bmonline.ph. Other exemptions for direct bans include the following:
- Employees hired by close relatives
- Diplomatic corps members
- Members of foreign mission
- Heads of state
- Other employers as per the advice of the Labor Secretary
- International Organisations
The exemption for OEC are still applicable to OFWs returning to their previous employer. They can check the POEA database for the list of exempted OFWs.