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OFWs who will be returning to their former employer, or "Balik Manggagawa," will no longer be required to secure an overseas employment certificate (OEC) starting middle of next month, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said Monday.
In a statement, the POEA said this is in accordance with POEA Governing Board Resolution No. 12, Series of 2016, issued following President Rodrigo Duterte's directive to streamline the processes in deploying OFWs.
The implementation of the resolution "on an experimental basis" will start on September 15, 2016, the POEA said. Covered by the OEC exemption are returning workers who are:
returning to the same employer and job site, and listed in the POEA database of OFWs; or
hired through POEA’s Government Placement Branch
Meanwhile, to elimate long lines in its offices, the POEA is implementing the Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing System. It, however, said there is a growing demand to enhance the system for workers returning to the same employer and job site.
The newly issued resolution states that a Balik-Manggagawa shall, prior to departure, register at bmonline.ph and provide personal and employment particulars to validate if the worker is indeed exempted from obtaining the OEC.
The worker’s updated profile will then be forwarded to the Bureau of Immigration, to serve as basis for clearance to exit the country without payment of processing fees.
Workers who are not exempted from getting the OEC during the time of registration will have to set an appointment with any POEA office or processing center.
A worker who proceeds to the airport without prior registration with the BM Online System will be referred by the Bureau of Immigration to the POEA’s Labor Assistance Counter (LAC) for evaluation, to determine if the worker may be cleared for departure or be subjected to further completion of travel documents.
One month after the pilot or experimental period, POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac shall report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and the POEA Governing Board about implementation of the stated Balik-Manggagawa OEC exemptions. —KBK, GMA News