QUEZON CITY, Metro Manila (PIA) - The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will launch tomorrow an online appointment system for ''balik manggagawa'' to allow overseas Filipino workers (OFW) vacationing in the country to process documents via the Internet.
POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said the online appointment system is an option for vacationing overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to set an appointment with POEA for the processing of their exit clearance or overseas employment certificate (OEC).
Cacdac said the system was particularly developed for the convenience of returning workers with limited time to spend with their families especially this holiday season.
He advised OFWs to use the appointment system which is free and available by logging on bmappointment.poea.gov.ph particularly during the peak months of March, April, May, November, December, and January when the bulk of OFWs return home for vacation.
While encouraging the use of the system, Cacdac said the POEA has not totally scrapped its facility for walk-in clients.
''We are just starting out with the system and we believe OFWs without internet access would still prefer getting their OEC the usual way without setting an appointment with us,'' Cacdac said.
The POEA has put up counters at its main office in Mandaluyong City, Duty Free Philippines in Parañaque City and SM Manila to accommodate OFWs choosing to get their exit clearance at a specific date and time.
Cacdac stressed that documentary requirements for those using the appointment system and walk-in processing are the same, that is, a passport valid for six months from time of departure; valid working visa/work permit: and proof of employment such as certificate of employment, company ID, pay slip, and other equivalent document.
Returning workers have to pay P100 for POEA processing fee; $25 or its peso equivalent for Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) contribution on a per contract coverage; P1,200 for one year PhilHealth coverage; and a P100 minimum Pag-Ibig fund contribution to Pag-ibig Fund, he added.
Cacdac said OFWs may also get their exit clearance or OEC at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) nearest their jobsite before their departure to the Philippines, or at the POEA regional offices in their respective provinces.