POLO Office in UAE, Temporarily Closed Because of COVID-19
Instead of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) was tasked by Labor Attaché John Rio A. Bautista to issue Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs) to vacationing Filipinos so they can still return to the United Arab Emirates.
The situation was brought about by the staffing shortage at the POLO Dubai caused by the surge in COVID-19. The labor office was closed for 2 days. Meanwhile, infected POLO employees had to undergo a 10-day isolation period and won’t be able to report to their office during those days.
“Due to the limited number of personnel uninfected by COVID-19, POLO Dubai has requested the POEA to accommodate and allow affected OFWs who [have] failed to get their [employment] contracts verified onsite to be issued an OEC,” says Bautista.
When applying for an OEC, there needs to be a verification of employment contracts. OEC is needed by returning OFW so they can board their flights going back to the UAE. This document is like a travel tax and terminal fee exemption in one. This also ensures that they were processed by POEA.
“What is being required by POLO for contract verification, they [OFWs] should bring with them when securing OEC at POEA,” says the labor attaché.
OECs are made up of the employment contract of the OFW, a copy of the residence visa which was stamped on the passport’s page.
Bautista also related the provisions of POEA Memorandum Circular 23.
“Based on this POEA Memorandum Circular, it is possible for OFWs not in possession of verified contracts to be allowed to process their OECs in the Philippines provided they present the complete requirements and follow the procedures…,” says Bautista.
POLO opened its office last June 13 but will only accept OFWs with appointments.