Sunday, December 4, 2011

POEA gears up for peak season, tells returning OFWs to get exit clearance early

 The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has formed Task Force Balik-Manggagawa in anticipation of the arrival of thousands of OFWs who will spend the holiday season in the country even as Administrator Carlos S. Cao Jr. advises returning workers to have their overseas employment certificate (OEC) or travel exit clearance processed early.

To avoid long lines at the Balik-Manggagawa Processing Center, Cao said that OFWs should get their OECs as soon as they arrive in the country instead of flocking to the POEA office in Ortigas immediately after Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Cao also suggested that returning OFWs should secure their exit clearance at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) nearest their jobsite even before their flight to the Philippines.

Workers going to the provinces may also have their exit clearance at the POEA regional offices nearest their residence. The POEA offices are located in Baguio City; Tuguegarao City; San Fernando City, La Union; Clark Field, Pampanga; Calamba City; Legaspi City; Tacloban City; Iloilo City; Bacolod City; Cebu City; Cagayan de Oro City; Zamboanga City; and Davao City.

Cao said OFWs may also use the OEC courier system that is available online at

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; and

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.

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