Expecting the surge of returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) this Christmas, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has issued an advisory to prevent congestion in its Balik-Manggagawa Processing Division for those applying for travel exit clearances or OECs.
From the usual 1,000 applicants per day, the number usually doubles during the Christmas peak season, the POEA said, resulting to problems of congestion and security at the POEA headquarters in Ortigas, Mandaluyong City.
“Complicating this situation is the number of OFW applicants who have immediate flights,” POEA said.
Thus, the agency advised returning OFWs to observe the following procedures in order to pace, declog, or deload the processing of OECs:
1. OFWs who have just arrived are encouraged to apply for their OECs early either at the POEA Main Office or at the nearest POEA Regional Offices and Extension Units, or avail themselves of the OEC delivery service to avoid last minute problems prior to their return flights.
2. Departing OFWs who will return during the Christmas season are encouraged to apply for their OECs at the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) in their host countries prior to returning to the Philippines. Or, apply for OECs at the POEA Main or Regional Offices early prior to their return flights to their host countries.
3. Regular processing of OECs has been discontinued at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Labor Assistance Center (LAC) except for weekends or emergency exit within five days from entry. OFWs must apply for their OECs with the POEA Main or Regional Offices prior to their return flights.
4. OFWs who have not yet registered with the POEA are advised to bring their contract and or certificate of employment, and other proofs of employment in order to be documented and be issued an OEC.
By: JC Bello Ruiz> Tempo