The OEC is a basic requirement for OFWs before they are given permission to work abroad. They must secure this to ensure that their departure and overseas employment are properly documented. This document has a 60-day validity from the date it was issued; this means that the OFW must be able to leave before the OEC expires.
Apart from it being a basic requirement, an OEC document presented at the airport also exempts the traveler from paying travel taxes and terminal fees. It serves as the exit pass or clearance of the OFW as well as a proof of his status as a legitimate OFW.
What are the requirements when securing an OEC?
- Passport with at least six months validity from departure date.
- Valid work visa, work permit, or any equivalent document.
- Verified employment contract or offer of employment.
- Printed Balik-Manggagawa Information Sheet
Other documents may be required depending on the required skills (professional, low-skilled, household services). Canada and US workers will be required to submit additional requirements. Always bring the original and photocopies of your documents.
Are there fees that need to be paid?
- POEA Processing Fee – PHP 100 per e-receipt/OEC
- OWWA Membership Fee – USD 25 (or its PHP equivalent)
- Pag-IBIG Contribution – Minimum of PHP 100 each month
- PhilHealth Contribution – PHP 2,400 for one-year coverage
How to apply for an OEC:
There are two ways to apply for an OEC:
- Walk-in or
- Balik-Manggagawa Online System
Walk-in applicants may apply at any of these processing centers:
- POEA main office at EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City (Balik-ManggagawaProcessing Division/BMPD)
- POEA regional offices, regional extension units, and satellite offices.
- Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) in the country of employment.
- Labor Assistance Counters at Manila, Cebu, and Mindanao airports (only for returning OFWs who are staying in the Philippines for five days or less).
You may also set an appointment online at the BM Online Appointment System; this will allow you to choose your preferred schedule and venue for processing of your OEC.
Walk-in applications, including those who have scheduled appointments, may take the whole day or several days to complete.
How to get an OEC Exemption
If you are an OFW and are returning to the same employer or workplace, and have an existing record with the POEA, you can be exempted from the OEC requirements. All you have to do is log in to your BM online account before your scheduled departure and click on “Acquire OEC or Exemption”. The system will show a pop-up confirmation message of your BM Exemption Number and pre-departure instructions on what documents you need to present at the airport.