As more Filipinos aspire to go abroad, one must be aware of the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), a document which serves as an exit clearance for overseas employment.
During the 9th edition of the Philippine Property and Investment Exhibition, Atty. John Rio Bautista, Labor Attaché in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, answered the frequently asked questions regarding the OEC.
According to Bautista, OEC refers to the document issued to an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), which serves as proof that the worker has been processed by the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) or the Migrant Workers Office (MWO). It functions like a clearance document which allows workers to be deployed for overseas employment.
He noted that the OEC is valid 60 days from the date of issuance and “may be renewed once the validity lapses.”
“Every OFW needs to secure an OEC or an OEC exemption, whichever is applicable to them. For those without a previous OEC record for changed employers, they would need to secure an OEC from the DMW regional office nearest to them in the Philippines,” Bautista explained.
Moreover, Bautista stressed the OEC’s importance as it assures that the OFW has been properly documented by the Philippine government and that the terms and conditions of employment have been checked and “follow the employment laws of both the Philippines and the host country.”
“Aside from being an exit clearance it also entitles an OFW free from travel tax and terminal fee,” he added.
To secure an OEC, OFWs need a verified contract and an appointment with the DMW. However, for those returning to the same employer, contract verification is not necessary. They simply need to get an OEC exemption in the DMW e-Registration System.
Meanwhile, for those who changed employers or do not have any previous OEC record, they would need to set an appointment with the DMW Regional Office nearest to them in the Philippines using the same e-Registration system.
Currently, issuance of OEC at MWO Dubai is temporarily suspended until further notice. Vacationing OFWs who wish to secure an OEC will simply need to visit the nearest DMW office in their hometowns, bringing their required documents. The cost of an OEC is P100 or AED10.