News flash for OFWs vacationing for the holidays:
“Avoid the rush. Avoid the long lines”.
Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac advised balik manggagawa or overseas Filipino workers spending the holiday season in the Philippines to get their overseas employment certificate or exit clearance early and not get caught with the last-minute dash to return to their jobs abroad.
Cacdac said that the POEA, for several weeks now, have been gearing up for the anticipated arrival of thousands of OFWs this December and their subsequent departure after Christmas and New Year’s Day.
“The POEA has been improving its systems and expanding its facilities for the workers’ convenience, but still, we warn our OFWs not to wait for the last day of their vacation to get the exit clearance,” Cacdac said.
Cacdac advised OFWs to avoid the week after December 25 and January 1 when thousands of them troop to the POEA main office to have their travel documents processed.
He said the satellite processing units Trinoma, Quezon City; SM Manila near the Manila City Hall; and the Duty Free store in Parañaque City are now operational and are ready to accept applications for exit clearance during shopping hours.
OFWs going to their provinces may also acquire their exit clearance from the POEA’s offices in Baguio City; San Fernando City, La Union; Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark Field, Pampanga; Calamba City; Legaspi City; Tacloban City; Iloilo City; Bacolod City; Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro City; Butuan City; Davao City; and Zamboanga City.
However, Cacdac said the most convenient way especially for those with tight schedule or little time to spare for the exit document, is to use the POEA’s balikmanggagawa appointment system which is free and available at bmappointment.poea.gov.ph. With the appointment service, the worker may choose the time, date, and processing unit most suitable to him or her.
Cacdac said OFWs may also get their exit clearance or OEC at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) nearest their jobsite before their departure to the Philippines.
The POEA also issues to OFWs a multiple travel exit clearance (MTEC), co-terminus with the validity of their employment contracts, but which shall not exceed two (2) years. The worker has the option to secure a maximum of 2 travel exit clearance during the validity of her or his existing contract depending on the provisions of the contract allowing frequent vacations.
According to Cacdac, the following are considered balik-maggagawa:
1). a worker who is on vacation or on leave from employment under a valid and existing employment contract and who is returning to the same employer regardless of any change in jobsite, to finish the remaining unexpired portion of the contract;
2). 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;
3). a returning worker whose employment contract was not processed with the POEA but was subsequently verified and registered with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (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.
Returning workers would have to pay Php100 for POEA processing fee; US$25 or its peso equivalent for OWWA contribution on a per contract coverage; Php1,200 for one year Philhealth coverage; and a minimum of Php100 contribution to Pagibig Fund, Cacdac added.
The required documents are:
1) Php passport valid for 6 months from time of
2) Valid working visa/work permit: 3) Proof of employment such as
certificate of employment, company ID, pay slip, and other equivalent document.