Last week, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced that the Duterte administration would be rolling out an OFW ID to replace the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) required of the country’s migrant workers. OFW’s all over rejoiced upon hearing that they would no longer have to file for an OEC and shell out the fees for it each time they would be deployed abroad.
The even better news is that the said ID is now available.
As of this writing, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has launched the new OFW ID card with its partner agencies (SSS, DBP, PHILPOST, etc). All bona fide overseas Filipino workers (OFW’s) can avail of it for free, and it covers all those who are scheduled to leave as well as those applying to work abroad.
DOLE’s goal is to provide more than six million OFW’s with the new ID cards, which will be delivered by PhilPost to their respective addresses. The costs are said to be shouldered by OFW employers under the new system so that migrant workers may benefit the most from it.
To avail of an OFW card, simply carry out the following steps:
Prepare your primary or secondary identification documents, such as your passport and your latest OEC.
Go to DOLE’s main office or to a satellite one near you. (Click here for a directory of their regional and field offices.) You need to be physically present to apply for your iDOLE Overseas Filipino Identification (iDOLE OFW ID) as they have yet to finalize the online processing and verification procedures.
Approach the person in charge at the regional or main office and ask to have your OFW ID processed. (You may be asked to present your latest OEC, so bring it with you just in case.)
Wait while the officers looks for your name on the official roster of OFW’s.
If your OFW status has been successfully verified, the official processing of your new iDOLE OFW ID with your unique OFW ID number will be initiated.
You can either opt to have your new OFW ID mailed to your address or you can wait for the processing to finish so you can receive your ID on the spot.
Many OFW’s are hopeful that they will derive great benefits from the new system, as it would certainly make the processing of documentation faster for many migrant workers, especially for those who have already secured placements abroad. The ID card will also serve as tangible, portable proof that an OFW’s papers have been legally processed by the POEA and will thus enable its bearer to be exempt from the travel tax and terminal fee at the airport.
Lastly, it should also be noted that the new OFW ID card will be valid for two years and can be used to obtain an exit clearance once an OFW’s work contract expires abroad.