What You Need To Know About OFW OEC
One of the essential documents required from an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) applicant is the Overseas Employment Certificate or the OEC.
Whether you are an aspiring or a returning overseas worker also known as Balik-Manggagawa in our native term, you need to secure an OEC duly issued by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
What is an OEC for?
This is a requirement by the Philippine government to recognize you as a legitimate Filipino overseas worker.
An OEC is a legal document of a registered OFW secured by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), which serves as a travel exit clearance, allowing you to work abroad
It permits you to travel abroad, not as a tourist, but an overseas worker. OEC is processed separately from your work visa therefore, demands a separate set of documents prepared.
More so, it serves also as a proof of your Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Pag-IBIG and PhilHealth membership.
This is presented at the airport on your departure, which has a validity of 60 days upon issuance or until the expiration of the work permit.
The OEC also exempts the overseas worker from travel tax payment and airport terminal fee.
This also benefits the OFW for withholding a legal status proof, that shall ensure government protection and assistance.
Should an OFW need to apply for a housing loan in the Philippines or other personal loans, the OEC also purposes as a supporting document.
How to acquire an OEC?
In the case of being hired under an overseas employment agency, you still need to apply for an OEC by yourself via walk-in application which takes time to process but can be reduced by setting an online appointment at www.bmonline.ph and look for the registration procedure.
Once you set your schedule and chosen venue for your OEC processing, make sure to bring your documents needed for submission along with two copies of filled-up BM information sheet.
Where to process and obtain OEC?
It is not necessary for the Palayan City locals and other Nueva Ecijanos living nearby to travel to Manila to process their OEC with the POEA office now operating at OSSCO-PCBH for their convenience.
Also, you may check on the BM online processing site whichever is closest to you. You may visit POEA regional offices and Philippine Overseas Labor Offices or POLO.
What are the documents necessary to comply for OEC issuance?
A print-out of your online appointment information sheet (Balik-Manggagawa information sheet).
Valid work visa/employment or any equal document.
Valid passport (with a validity of more than six months at the date of filing.)
Valid verified employment contract.
Still, a release letter from former employer and a sworn statement relating to the deployment are additional document requirements for the returning worker that has changed their employer.
What are the fees for getting an OEC?
For the POEA processing fee, a charge of P100 for an e-receipt.
P1,317 for OWWA membership fee.
A minimum of P100 per month Pag-IBIG contribution.
PhilHealth contribution of P2,400 for one year coverage.
Once POEA approved your application and you paid the required fees, you may wait for the release of your new OEC.
Who are the OFWs exempted from OEC?
An OFW is exempted from obtaining an OEC if they meet all of the following conditions:
Returning to the same employee.
Returning to the same job site.
Has existing record in the POEA database/registered BM Online Processing System users who had been previously issued an OEC.
Upon logging into their account, the system will indicate if the OFW is exempted by displaying a confirmation message indicating that they are exempted from securing an OEC and payment of processing fee.
Who are the OFWs not exempted from OEC?
Workers who are not exempted from applying for OEC include, among others, the following:
Workers who are not previously registered with the POEA. – Workers with no existing record of deployment with the POEA or POLO. This may include those who left the Philippines as tourists, student, dependent, etc.
Workers who changed employment on site – Workers who transferred or entered into a new employment contract from one employer to another.
Non-OEC exempted workers are advised to take the foretold steps when applying for OEC.
What to do with lost/expired OEC?
The OEC or more commonly known as “travel exit clearance” is not to be overlooked and must be secured at all times.
However, if you lost your OEC, there will be no need for a reissuance but you must issue a certification of the particulars of your previously applied or lost OEC and an affidavit of loss.
A lost OEC may cause you to be a non-exemption to travel tax and airport terminal fee, so keep it secured at all cost.
If your OEC expired before you had a chance to use it, go to an OEC processing center and present your previous OEC along with your latest OWWA or PhilHealth payment receipts.
Multiple OECs for OFWs (Multiple Travel Exit Clearance/MTEC)
If your job requires you to travel to and from the country, you may secure multiple OECs.
It is a set of two or more exit travel clearance documents that will allow you to travel multiple times within a one year period of time.
Make sure that you complete and prepare the documents required and have them copied, along with preparation for the corresponding fees to save more time.