POEA exec tells OFWs: Get exit clearance early

Date Posted: 12/6/2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

THE Philippine Overseas Employment Administration is urging overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to have their overseas employment certificate (OEC) or travel exit clearance processed early.

POEA Administrator Carlos Cao Jr. said: “to avoid long lines at the Balik-Manggagawa Processing Center, overseas Filipino workers should get their OECs as soon as they arrive instead of flocking to the POEA main office immediately after Christmas and New Year’s Day.”

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“Returning OFWs could (also) secure their exit clearance at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Polo) nearest their jobsite even before their flight to the Philippines,” he said in Monday advisory as the agency prepares for the arrival of thousands of OFWs this holiday season.

Workers going to the provinces may also have their exit clearance at the POEA regional offices nearest their residence. POEA offices are located in the cities of Bacolod, Iloilo, Baguio, Tuguegarao, San Fernando in La Union, Clark Field in Pampanga, Calamba, Legazpi, Tacloban, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Zamboanga.

OFWs may also use the OEC courier system that is available online at http://www.citizenservices.com.ph/poea.

Cao said considered as “balik-maggagawa” are workers on vacation or on leave from employment under valid and existing employment contract/s and are returning to the same employer/s regardless of any change in jobsite to finish the remaining unexpired portion of the contract; a worker who was rehired by the same employer after finishing his/her contract and who is returning to the same employer regardless of a change in jobsite; and a returning worker whose employment contract was not processed with the POEA but was subsequently verified and registered with the Polo in the jobsite and who is returning to the same employer either as a worker-on-leave or rehire, regardless of any change in jobsite.

Meanwhile, Cao dismissed as exaggerated some comments from recruiters that job orders may be cancelled due to the delay in the processing of OFW employment at the POEA.

He said while “there was a slight delay in the processing time of documents after the reassignment of some frontline employees, the lag did not stretch to 15 days as reported to cause lost employment opportunities.”

He also attributed the delay to the four-day-long weekend from October 29 to November 1, 2011 and the three-day-long weekend from November 5-7 due to holidays. “A special task force formed has already decongested the processing backlog.” (CGC)