Effective April 01, 2015, the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) or exit clearance will be issued by POEA and its processing centers in Metro Manila to Balik-Manggagawa or vacationing workers separate from PHILHEALTH and PAG-IBIG collections. This means that the issuance of OEC will no longer be tied up with the payment of fees / premiums to said agencies and the OEC can be secured by Balik Manggagawa as it is together with OWWA Membership.
This collection scheme which has been implemented by processing centers in the regions and in the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) since last year aims to address the clamor of some OFWs and workers organizations to separate the payment of other government fees in the issuance of OEC. However, workers are strongly encouraged, for their protection, to continuously update their membership and pay corresponding contributions to PHILHEALTH and PAG-IBIG which are mandatory under existing laws. Direct enrollment and payment to these agencies can be done through their various offices and collection centers.
The same scheme shall be adopted in the case of new hires including agency hired workers starting the same date. Thus, the land based recruitment agencies are enjoined to coordinate with PHILHEALTH and PAG IBIG for the enrollment of their hired workers including payment of corresponding fees.
The concerned POEA officers are hereby instructed to ensure the smooth implementation of the new collection system.
HANS LEO J. CACDAC
March 25, 2015