July 27th, 2011

Overseas Employment Certificate added “Burden” for Overseas Filipino Workers

Manila, Philippines –A news portal recently took a stand on the new requirement for overseas Filipino worker’s need to obtain a departing clearance from The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

The negative response came from an article in Philippine On-line Chronicles as it also pointed out that the new requirement only makes things harder for migrant workers. Last March, the POEA announced that all departing contract workers need to secure an overseas employment certificate (OEC) that can ensure proper documentation and protection of the OFWs.

The new document costs around P 100 per OFW. But aside from the additional fee, it’s the long lines and relevance of the new document being put into question. Before the new requirement was imposed, prospective OFWs already have the burden of long lines and “slow” processing of documents in the country.

The POEA however reiterated that the new recruitment would benefit the OFWs themselves. Aside from protection, the revenue that will be generated from the departing clearance would also be used for the OFWs welfare as well.

“With the validation system in place, the agency is able to check on workers carrying tampered of fake travel documents,” explained POEA Administrator Carlos Cao Jr.

The new requirement in questions can possibly be unconstitutional according to experts. According to Article 3, Section 6 of the Philippines constitution “every Filipino has a right to travel” and this includes the prospective OFWs.

The news portal is now asking for the Aquino administration to have a closer look on the added burden on the OFWs. The news site also said that the new requirement is alienating and upsetting the so-called “modern heroes” instead of making it easier for them as they have been boosting the country’s economy with dollar remittances.