If you are an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) you have to know and understand this: you have the right to be properly documented and protected. That is why the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), under their rules and regulations, required every OFW an Overseas Employement Certificate (OEC). This is to help them ensure OFWs documentation and protection.
Sometimes called the “exit pass”, the OEC is required to be presented to international ports of exit in the Philippines as proof that the holder is a bona fide OFW. OEC also exempts OFWs from travel tax and terminal fees normally charged to travelers.
Now, getting an OEC has never been easier and hassle-free. You can register online as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration held a soft launch of its Balik Manggagawa online processing system. Visit http://bmonline.poea.gov.ph/.
Print out the OEC either at the comfort of your home or wherever you are conducting the on-line transaction.
The OEC print-out containing a special bar code will be presented to the immigration officer at the airport upon departure. As soon as the immigration officer opens the POEA database and finds the balik-manggagawa’s “new record”, the OFW will be cleared for exit.
According to POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, around 70 percent, or approximately 500,000 returning OFWs are expected to benefit from the BM on-line initiative.
The appointment system (personal processing at the POEA Central Office), Baldoz said, will only apply to the following:
- Returning OFWs who are changing employers (match could not be found in the POEA database)
- OFWs who have not passed through POEA (e.g. visit visa holders or ASEAN tourists)
- Household service workers