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Bello to OFW ID design: “We are open to changing it”

by | TOP STORIES

Dec. 12, 17 | 5:39 pm

After receiving a mixed bag of reactions online, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), in a statement, said that it is open to changing the design of the OFW ID which currently bears the face of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Secretary Silvestre Bello III, however, insisted that so far they are receiving positive feedback from majority of overseas Filipino workers (OFW).

“We have to consider the reaction from the public.

“We are open to changing the design.

“But, so far, OFWs are not complaining about it,” said Bello said.

Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson Facebook

Although many like the idea, there are also others who question why an image of the President has to be placed on the OFW ID.

IDs with bearing the new design were issued to some OFW returnees who arrived at Clark Airport on December 7.

As can be seen on a Facebook post of Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, the printed IDs are different from what the Department of Labor and Employment had earlier shown in July during its launch.

Sought for comment, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said he doesn’t think Duterte was aware that his photo printed on the IDs.

“Hindi ba pati ang mga pictures niya sa mga [government] offices pinapalitan niya ng mga heroes?

“I don’t think he knew about this,” he said.

Labeled as the ‘best gift’ of President Duterte to millions of OFWs, the ID is only available to returning OFWs (balik-manggagawa) in its current initial phase of issuance.

Bello said the limited issuance of the OFW ID, for now, is only intended to further test and secure the features of the system.

“This is only the first phase of implementation and will cater first to our Balik-Manggagawa until the system is ready for all OFWs. We are doing this to secure the database and for further improvements in the system,” Bello earlier said.

Balik-Manggagawa, or those vacationing OFWs, are required to log-in to their BM online accounts to apply for the ID, which they can use to avail of travel tax and terminal fee exemptions.

They can now log-in and create an account with the iDOLE.ph or the iDOLE One-Stop Online Facility/Portal and apply for the OFW ID by putting their latest and valid Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) Number. The unique ID is equipped with decrypted QR code for security.

Bello reiterated that the iDOLE OFW ID Card is free, with its production funded by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

“This is free for our OFWs. We do not want our OFWs to shoulder the cost because this is a gift from the President, to recognize their sacrifices and immense contribution to our economy,” he said.

With the use of the ID, OFWs will no longer need to queue in transacting with agencies for their overseas employment as they can now access government services online during the further phases of the iDOLE eServices implementation.

The first phase of the system links DOLE with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

The iDOLE system will further interlink the databases of DOLE offices and agencies with other government agencies for a more reliable, updated and complete Labor Market Information System (LMIS) for employment facilitation purposes.

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With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

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