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Benefits of Filipino ID: Breeze past immigration, ditch OEC
July 4, 2017, 5:31 pm

Filipinos working overseas may soon say goodbye to travel exit clearances, allowing them to breeze through Philippine immigration gates once the new unified ID card system is rolled out by July 12, officials said.

Philippine Department of Labour and Employment (Dole) Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced on social media that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who will be deployed to their workplaces abroad "by the end of July" will be issued a special identification card free of cost.

On Tuesday, Bello told the Philippine media that the united OFW ID card system will be "launched on July 12 before to President Rodrigo Duterte".

With the unified OFW ID system kicking in, it will do away with the overseas employment certificate (OECs). 

The unified OFW ID may soon be integrated into the proposed Philippine National ID System, the legislation for which was passed by the House on May 10, 2017.

With this new card, OFWs don't have to fall in line or apply online for an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).

Bello said in an interview by Presidential Communications Office assistant secretary Mocha Uson that OFWs who have the ID will no longer need to apply for an OEC, a document that proves that an OFW has been hired legally and intends to go back to the same employer abroad.

The new OFW ID system is still undergoing tests, officials said.

Application details, timeframe

Details of the unified OFW ID application process and the time frame for the roll-out. President Duterte is expected to make it a part of his announcement during his second "State of the Nation Address" (SONA) on July 24.

Dole undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad III told reporters in Dubai on Monday that the ID will cater to all OFWs’ needs.

“We’re excited to launch the OFW ID, which was announced by the secretary today (Monday). The ID serves as evidence that the worker has been processed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA),” said Lagunzad, who is in Dubai for a high-level meeting with his UAE counterparts on Tuesday.

“The card can also be used to go through Philippine immigration. We tested it and the OFW who was issued the card was able to pass through smoothly.

OFW ID Card benefits

- Can be used to quickly pass through Philippine Immigration gates

- Replacement for overseas employment certificate ("Balik-Manggagawa"); no need to apply for OEC online 

- unified ID card for government transactions

- May also be used to obtain National Bureau of Investigation clearance

- In the future: may be used as an ATM, Debit Card, or for remittance purposes

Source: Philippine Overseas Employment Administration

“So essentially, this card will enable Filipinos to pass through immigration gates quickly, without the need to present many documents. This will also eliminate long queues for OEC application and travel tax refunds.”

An ID holder may present the card to any travel agent to avail of the travel tax and terminal fee exemptions.

Lagunzad said the OFW ID will be linked with other government agencies like the Social Security System, PhilHealth, Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-ibig, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and eventually with the Professional Regulation Commission.

The POEA will process all the data and send it to Dole’s cloud database to make it available and accessible to users and Philippine labour offices worldwide.

In the last stage, the OFW ID may be used as an ATM or debit card and to remit money with the proposed OFW Bank.

The unified OFW ID card has been created by an administrative order, but the National ID Card system needs to pass both the Senate and the House, before the president signs it into law.

Source: Gulf News

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