Newly hired and returning overseas Filipino workers with expired Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs) need not worry as they can have these certificates revalidated before leaving the country, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said on Saturday.
In an advisory, POEA chief Bernard Olalia said the Labor Assistance Center (LAC) at different international airports in the country is ready to assist OFWs and have their OECs re-accredited.
“All concerned parties particularly departing overseas Filipino workers are hereby informed that Overseas Employment Certificates which expired during the period of community quarantines in the Philippines, lockdowns or travel restrictions in countries of destination and unforeseen flight cancellations due to force majeure shall be revalidated for deployment purposes,” Olalia said.
He added that departing OFWs with expired OECs need to report to the LAC for the revalidation of their certificate.
“Subject to relevant POEA issuances as well as existing government regulations being moment by local government units, national quarantine protocols, immigration formalities, travel restrictions imposed by the Philippine government or countries of destination, newly-hired and returning workers with expired OECs shall proceed to the Labor Assistance Center in the Philippine International Airports on the day of their departure,” he said.
Filipinos bound abroad will be asked to submit the following documents – an original copy of expired OECs, a copy of employment contract, a copy of valid work permit/visa, and a valid passport.
“The LAC shall evaluate the documents and validate with the available records if the worker’s employment documents have been processed and approved by the POEA,” Olalia said. “Upon verification, the LAC shall stamp the expired OECs “Cleared” and shall be deemed revalidated”.
The OEC is a document certifying the regularity of recruitment and documentation of an OFW. It is also known as an exit clearance/pass.
The document, that is issued by the POEA, is presented by the OFW to the immigration officer at the airport of exit in the Philippines.*PNA