The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has announced through an advisory posted on Monday, August 31, that overseas Filipino workers can still leave the country for work abroad even with expired overseas employment certificates (OECs).
The authority has announced that it will be extending the original validity of OECs, which expired during the community quarantine period in the country.
Expired OECs During Community Quarantine Can Still Be Used for Travel Abroad – POEA
The advisory said, “Departing OFWs with expired OECs during the period of enhanced, modified and general community quarantine may proceed to the POEA issuing office, or at the Labor Assistance Center (LAC) in the international airport for evaluation, revalidation of stamping,” the Philippine Star reported.
It noted that the LAC shall evaluate the documents and validate them using available records if the worker’s employment documents have been processed and approved by POEA.
The extension of the OEC validity for departing OFWs will be observed until all “the community quarantines” to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country have been lifted, the advisory noted.
Meanwhile, OFWs who are scheduled to leave the country but have expired OECs are advised to go to the POEA office that issued their certificate.
Alternatively, concerned OFWs can also go to the Labor Assistance Center (LAC) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and other international airports in the country, where they will have to present the original copy of their expired OEC, a copy of their employment contract, a copy of their valid work permit/visa, and their valid passport.
Upon submission, these requirements shall be subject “for evaluation, revalidation, and stamping of OEC as “CLEARED,” the advisory noted.
The OEC, also known as the exit/clearance pass is s document issued by the POEA to certify the regularity of recruitment and documentation of an OFW.
The document is one of the requirements to be presented by the OFW to the immigration officer at the airport of exit in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the recruitment industry has expressed its request for the streamlining of deployment procedures after the Anti-Red Tape Authority met with POEA.
To date, the POEA has recorded a huge dip in the deployment of OFWs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that overseas deployment went down by nearly 50% to 460,264 during the first five months of 2020, as compared to 870,015 during the same period last year.