Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) vacationing in the Philippines should secure the necessary documents before leaving, such as the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). It serves as an exit clearance and validates the worker is legal and documented. This document is for OFWs who are not qualified for exemption. So if you’re not eligible to get OEC online, keep reading to find out how to book an OEC appointment.
The OEC in the Philippines is available at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), now the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW). If you are already an OFW working overseas, the OEC is also available at the designated Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in the host country for OFWs still abroad so it is good to check the nearest POLO-OWWA office to get this OEC.
Meanwhile, OFWs returning to the same employer or job site and with existing DMW records are qualified to get their OEC online and exemption. Thus, they no longer have to book an OEC appointment.
But before anything else, here are the following documentary requirements you must secure during the scheduled OEC appointment:
- Printed POPS-BaM Appointment Sheet
- Original and photocopy of passport with -months validity from expected departure date
- Original and photocopy of valid work permit/visa or any equivalent document
- Original and photocopy of valid POLO/Philippine Embassy/Consulate verified employment contract
- Copy of the employer Business Registration Certificate
- If no Business Registration Certificate, provide the employer’s National Identification Card.
- A sworn statement stating the employment process.
- If returning to the same employer at a different job site, provide a letter from the employer verifying the relocation of the job site.
- If you have changed employer on-site or have no POEA/DMW records, provide a sworn statement stating the employment process.
- If returning to the same employer, provide proof such as company ID, certificate of employment, or latest payslip.
As stated, OFWs who are qualified to get OEC online and the OEC exemption don’t have to book an appointment anymore, given they meet the said qualifications. On the other hand, OFWs should book an OEC appointment with POEA/DMW offices in the Philippines or POLO if still abroad. The following are required to book an appointment and apply for OEC on-site:
- OFWs returning abroad to a different job site
- OFWs returning abroad to a new employer
- OFWs with no existing POPS-BaM or BM Online records
- OFWs with no valid work permit/visa
If you meet the qualifications, use the POPS-BaM portal to book an OEC appointment with the concerned office. You may also contact POLO and the Philippine Embassy in your host country for more details.
How to Book an OEC Appointment via POPS-BaM
POPS-BaM stands for the POEA Online Processing System for Balik Manggagawa and is the newest system launched to replace BM Online. This portal has the same function but with fewer bugs and errors. Moreover, you can transfer an existing BM Online account to POPS-BaM to match your profile details. So if you wish to book an OEC appointment via POPS-BaM, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Log in to POPS-BaM.
Visit the Department of Migrant Workers Online Services Portal or POPS-BaM thru this link: https://onlineservices.dmw.gov.ph/OnlineServices/POEAOnline.aspx.
Click Let’s Go and log in to your e-Registration account. Next, enter your Email Address and Password to proceed. If you don’t have an account yet, click the Register button.
2. Fill out the required fields.
Before you book an OEC appointment, input the required fields on My Profile, including personal information, identifications, and beneficiary. Double-check and ensure the provided information is correct and updated.
3. Return to the dashboard and attach your Profile Picture and Passport.
Return to the dashboard and upload your Profile Picture. It should be passport size, clean and not blurred, and less than 2 MB JPG/JPEG file. Next, upload a copy of the First Page of the Passport. Also, follow the required image specifications.
4. Under My Links, click Balik Manggagawa.
After completing the necessary details, click Balik Manggagawa on the right side of the dashboard under My Links. If the Initial Assessment is all green, click Next to proceed. If there is missing data, provide it to continue.
5. Input your flight date.
Next, input your flight date. Also, ensure to read the reminders before you click the Next button.
6. Enter the arrangement with your foreign employer on the Contract page.
If you’re not qualified to get an OEC online, select the Transaction Type with your employer that applies to your situation. Remember, the online appointment for OEC is for OFWs who have changed their job sites or employers and have no POEA/DMW records. Once you’ve provided the information on your contract, click the Submit button.
7. Select the Processing Location for the appointment.
On the next page, select the Processing location you wish to book an appointment and click the Next button. Also, don’t forget to read the reminders regarding the OEC before you proceed.
8. Choose your preferred appointment date and time.
Choose your preferred appointment date and time on the available slots. Click the Select button beside the date and time to book the appointment. You can also click the arrows to change the date. Remember, there are no appointment schedules on weekends, and ensure you pick the date and time you can attend. If not, you should book an appointment again to process your OEC.
9. Double-check the details of your appointment.
Double-check the information about your appointment before you click the Print Appointment button to get a copy of the appointment details. You will bring this document on the day of your appointment as proof of your scheduled booking. But if there are incorrect details, click the Cancel Appointment button. Then, repeat the steps to make the changes.
How to Book an OEC Appointment via BM Online
The old BM Online portal was no longer functional after the launch of POPS-BaM on June 30, 2021. As of writing, the link to the BM Online portal is also not working.
So OFWs should create an e-Registration account or transfer their BM Online account to POPS-BaM to book an OEC appointment. Also, note that you should wait 24 hours to update your records on POPS-BaM.
But if 24 hours have passed and it’s not yet updated, you can go to POEA Helpdesk on POPS-BaM to Transfer Old BM Records.
Other Ways to Book an OEC Appointment Abroad (via POLO Office / DMW Office Websites)
Although all OFWs can use POPS-BaM, some POLO-OWWA offices abroad may have varying procedures regarding OEC appointments. For instance, OFWs deployed in countries without designated POLO may not be able to book an OEC appointment via POPS-BaM. Instead, OFWs should contact the POLO-OWWA office with jurisdiction in their host country to book an OEC appointment.
Furthermore, OFWs should contact the Philippine Embassy or Consulate in their host country to book an OEC appointment for Consular Outreach Missions. Meanwhile, POEA/DMW offices in the Philippines may have varying regulations. Thus, OFWs should contact the concerned office beforehand to book an OEC appointment or to confirm if they accept walk-ins.
You may also request an OEC appointment online with POEA/DMW Direct Hire Assistance Division (DHAD) via firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can contact the relevant POLO-OWWA offices in your host country thru their official website and Facebook pages to secure an OEC appointment.
Reminders for OEC Appointment
Before booking an OEC appointment, please take note of the following reminders:
- When booking an OEC appointment, ensure to pick a schedule within 60 days from OEC issuance. The OEC has 60 days validity and is applicable for single exit only. So it may expire before your expected departure date if you obtained your OEC too early.
- Another step before you book an OEC appointment is to update your profile image to prevent any inconvenience when securing your OEC.
- On the other hand, you no longer have to book an appointment if you’re eligible to get an OEC online. You’re qualified for OEC exemption if you have a valid work visa/permit, existing DMW records, and will return to the same job site and employer.
- For those qualified for OEC exemption, you can obtain a printable copy of your OEC online thru POPS-BaM.
Video: How to register to OEC Online Appointment
To learn more about OEC appointments, please watch the video below:
As discussed in the video, OFWs can book an OEC appointment online thru the POPS-BaM portal. For those who don’t have an e-Registration account on POPS-BaM yet, ensure to use a valid email address to receive a confirmation message via email. Once logged in, click the Balik Manggagawa on the dashboard. Also, don’t forget to complete the missing details on your account to proceed with the appointment. There are also a lot of offices locally and abroad where OFWs can process their OEC. So choose the nearest processing location for the appointment schedule.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to book an OEC appointment online?
To book an OEC appointment online, register and log in to your e-Registration account on POPS-BaM at https://onlineservices.dmw.gov.ph/OnlineServices/POEAOnline.aspx. Enter your account details, including beneficiary, passport, and profile image, to proceed. Next, click Balik Manggagawa on the dashboard and enter the flight date. Then, choose the processing location and date and time for the appointment. Also, print the POPS-BaM Appointment Sheet as proof of schedule.
Can I process OEC at the airport?
Yes, you can. But it only applies to OFWs vacationing in the Philippines on an emergency or special leave for seven days or less. You can also process OEC at the airport if your visa expires within seven days.
Can I get OEC without an OWWA membership?
No, you can’t. You need an active OWWA membership to obtain OEC.
Can I get OEC without a verified contract?
No, you cannot get it without a verified contract since it’s one of the primary requirements when applying for OEC.
To sum up, OFWs who are required to get their OEC can use the POPS-BaM portal. But create an e-Registration account first and complete the details on your profile to book an OEC appointment.
For OFWs vacationing in the Philippines, contact the DMW office to confirm if they accept walk-ins. Lastly, OFWs abroad processing their OEC thru Consular Outreach Mission should contact the concerned POLO, Philippine Embassy, or Consulate for an appointment.