OFW Balik-Manggagawa now exempt from overseas employment certificate requirement

'Balik-Manggagawa' overseas Filipino workers, or those who frequently return to the country for short vacations, are exempted from oversees employment certificate requirement.

Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III yesterday announced that the Governing Board of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, of which he is the chairperson, has approved and issued GB Resolution No. 12, Series of 2016, exempting overseas Filipino workers who are returning to the same employer and jobsite from overseas employment certificate (OEC) requirement.

"The Governing Board Resolution addresses the need to simplify procedures and requirements for fast efficient processing of employment documents," said Bello, adding that during peak seasons, such as Christmas holidays and school graduations, the volume of OFWs requesting for OEC escalates to about 5,000 to 7,000 workers per day.

Under POEA GBR No. 12, the Balik-Manggagawa who are exempted from OEC requirements are those who are returning to the same employer and jobsite with existing records in the POEA database and those who are hired through the Government Placement Branch.

Bello added that OFWs who have registered at the Balik-Manggagawa Online shall also be exempted from paying travel tax and terminal fees upon the presentation of the valid work visa, work permit, valid contract, or equivalent document to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA).

The POEA processing fee is P100.00, while the travel tax and terminal fees are P1, 620.00 and P750.00, respectively.

The OFW shall use the Balik-Manggagawa (BM) online facility before his/her departure from the Philippines. The OFW shall register to validate his/her exemption from obtaining the OEC. The registered profile shall be the reference of the Bureau of Immigration in validating the exemption of the OFW from paying the processing fees.

OFWs who are not exempted from obtaining the OEC during the time of registration will be directed to the BM online web page to register and set an appointment with any POEA office/center.

The resolution was signed by Hans Leo J. Cacdac, POEA Administrator and Vice-Chairman; Milagros Isabel A. Cristobal, Women Sector Representative; Alexander E. Asuncion, Land-based Sector Representative; Felix M. Oca, Sea-Based Sector Representative; and Estrelita S. Hizon, Private Sector Representative; and Secretary Bello.

Source: Philippine Information Agency