On August 7, the Governing Board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) issued the Governing Board Resolution No. 12, Series of 2016.
Beginning September 15 this year, this board resolution will exempt approved Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from the required Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).
The board of resolutions states that those employed through the Government Placement Branch as well as an OFW Balik Manggagawa (BM) who will be returning to the same employer or job location, will need to register online through the BM Online Facility.
Through this registration which is free of charge, they will need to provide details about their profile and employment. These will aid the POEA in determining whether the OFW is eligible for exemption from the OEC.
Once the OFW’s registration has been processed, and their information stored in the POEA database, their profile will then be studied by the assigned Immigration Officer at the Bureau of Immigration. This officer will be in charge of approving the application.
In the event that the OFW is not exempted from acquiring the OEC, they will be assisted for re-application at the BM website, where they may register again and set an appointment at the POEA branch of their choice.
An OFW that goes directly to the Bureau of Immigrations at the airport without applying for an exemption will be directed to the Labor Assistance Counter where they will first assessed.
Another provision in the resolution exempts the BM from any travel taxes and terminal fees as long as they present the necessary documents to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA). The documents may be any of the following:
- Valid Work Visa
- Valid Company ID
- Valid Employment Contract
- Work Permit
- Recent Payroll Slip
The resolution was signed by the Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III, along with the POEA Administrator and Governing Board Vice-Chair Hans Leo J. Cacdac, and members Alexander E. Asuncion, Milagros Isabel A. Cristobal, Estrelita S. Hizon, and Felix M. Oca.
This was issued in accordance with President Duterte’s directive for the streamlining of government processes.