OFW Balik Manggagawa | Apply OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate)

An OEC is one of the most necessary documents OFWs need to secure to apply for a job in foreign countries. Without an OEC, OFWs cannot successfully work abroad, so becoming familiar with the application process is ideal. And if you’re a first-time OFW or returning to your work abroad, follow the guide below to secure an OEC.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) requires aspiring and longtime Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to secure an OEC before they depart the country and work abroad. This document is presented at the immigration to certify that the individual has a legal employer and underwent documentation to work overseas. Moreover, OEC allows OFWs to enjoy exemption and reduced paying fees and taxes and is useful when applying for loans in the Philippines.

oec certificate balik manggagawa for ofws

What is OEC?

One of the primary documents OFWs need to secure is the OEC to work abroad. Also called an exit clearance/ pass, OEC is a required clearance by POEA to all OFWs when leaving or coming back to their overseas employment. This document certifies that an OFW underwent legal recruitment and documentation and serves as registration proof with POEA.

What is the meaning of OEC?

OEC stands for Overseas Employment Certificate, which is a required document for OFWs when departing the country based on the rules and regulations of POEA. It serves as a pass that OFWs need to present to the Philippines airport immigration officers before exiting the country. Thus, an OFW without OEC may be held and prevented from leaving the country.

In addition, OEC is proof that an OFW paid the necessary contributions such as PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG, OWWA membership, and POEA processing fees. If you have an expired OEC and currently working abroad, you can also secure a new OEC in POLO offices if you’re going home to the Philippines and coming back in less than 60 days. So OFWs should ensure an active OEC before departing the Philippines.

Benefits

Aside from being an exit pass, OFWs with an OEC can enjoy benefits when traveling abroad. OFWs who can present OEC at the airport can get a travel tax exemption amounting to around Php 1,620.00 and waived from paying airport terminal fees.

Their spouse or dependents can also enjoy lower travel tax. Also, OEC ensures that an OFW can acquire protection, assistance, and benefits from the Philippine Government even if they’re working abroad.

Requirements

To secure an OEC, here are the primary requirements needed for the application:

  • Printed Balik-Manggawa or Online Appointment Information Sheet
  • Passport with at least six months validity before the date of departure
  • Valid Employment Contract or Proof of Employment
  • Valid Work Permit or Work Visa

Additionally, different requirements are required if the OFW is a skilled worker, household service worker, or professional worker. Other countries like the United States and Canada also request additional requirements, so OFWs bound to these areas should check the latest list of required documents to secure an OEC.

Requirements for Skilled and Professional Workers

During the application for OEC, OFWs need to undergo two phases of submitting requirements. First, skilled and professional workers should submit requirements specific to the host country. They also need to submit documents related to their qualification, including:

  • Employer’s Business License and Company Profile
  • Endorsement Letter from Philippine Overseas Labor Office requesting exemption on direct-hiring ban

Step 1: Submit Additional Requirements

Under the first phase of the application, OFWs should also submit the following requirements supporting the job application:

  • Business Permit (self-employed) or Certificate of Employment
  • Diploma and Transcript of Records (TOR)
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • PRC License or NC II
  • Certificate of Insurance Coverage which covers given benefits under:

1.     Notarized Statement of How the Worker Acquire the Employment

2.     Section 37-A of RA 8042

  • Photocopy of Employer’s ID, Passport, and Contact Information

Step 2: Government Labor-Related Requirements

For the second phase of the application, OFWs need to comply with the local labor law by submitting the following:

  • E-Registration Account
  • Medical Certificate from DOH-accredited clinics
  • Medical Exam
  • Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar Certificate (PEOS)
  • OWWA issued the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar Certificate (PDOS)
  • Clearance from POEA
  • Copy of Certificate of Insurance Coverage

Contribution fees

When applying for OEC, OFWs also need to pay necessary contribution fees, including:

  • POEA Processing Fee of Php 100.00 for every OEC e-receipt
  • OWWA Membership Fee of exactly US$25.00 (converted to local currency based on the foreign exchange)
  • Pag-IBIG contribution fee of at least Php 100.000 per month
  • PhilHealth contribution fee of P2,400 for one-year coverage
  • If hired by a recruitment agency, agencies will charge employers with the following:
  • POEA Processing Fee of Php 200.00
  • OWWA Membership Fee of US$25.00
  • PhilHealth-Medicare contribution fee of Php 900.00 for one-year coverage

Qualifications

Before compiling the necessary documents, check if you fall under the following individuals who are qualified to secure an OEC, including:

  • Filipinos who obtained employment from an overseas employer through direct hiring
  • Hired via a recruitment agency
  • OFWs hired through POEA’s Government Placement Branch (GBP)

How to Get an OEC Certificate Online through POPS Bam

For OFWs who are on leave or vacationing in the Philippines and have an existing employment contract to fulfill, you can get an OEC via POPs Bam. In addition, OFWs who went back to the country and will renew their job contract with the same employer can use POPS Bam. So if you have a BM online account, transfer it to POPS Bam as the BM system has been inoperative since 2021.

Step 1: Go to the POEA Online Services Portal website.

Log in to your e-Registration account or transfer your BM online account to POPS Bam.

If your e-Registration account is newly created, wait for 24 hours to automatically match your records from BM online system.

For those without old BM accounts, the POPS Bam system will redirect you to the BM appointment page after reviewing the details of your contract.

Step 2: Proceed to the Balik Manggagawa Module

On the dashboard page, click Balik Manggagawa under My Links.

If you have incomplete details on your My Profile section, an error will appear on your screen, including the list of data not available on your account.

Click the Home button and go to My Profile to submit the lacking details.

Once you’ve completed your profile, go back to the Balik Manggawa Module and click Next.

Step 3: Input your flight date

Provide your flight date and read the reminders before clicking Next. Also, make sure that you apply for OEC 60 days before your flight date.

Step 4: Check and update the information on your contract

Review your contract details if you have an existing record in the system and answer the questions.

If you’re working with the same employer and job site, answer yes to get your OEC.

Nonetheless, for OFWs with no existing records or who need to update the information, you may change the Name and Business Permit Number/ Valid ID of your new Employer.

Once you’ve filled out the form, you’ll be redirected to the BM Appointment page since you can’t acquire an OEC without going to a POEA office.

On the BM Appointment page, select your preferred processing location.

Step 5: Print OEC

Check your OEC details before clicking Print OEC.

You can pay the OEC fees via online banking, e-wallet, or payment centers.

How to Get an OEC Certificate via POLO Office

Since some OFWs may go home to the country for a couple of days and return in just a month, they can also secure an OEC in the nearest POLO office of their destination. Also, remember that every country will have a varying application process, so the steps below are the basic ones to follow.

  1. Set an online appointment at the POEA Online Services Portal website.
  2. Go to the appointment section for the OEC application
  3. Choose the nearest location and branch of the POLO office for your appointment.
  4. Print the Appointment Sheet and bring it on the day of your visit.
  5. Visit the POLO office on the day of your appointment.
  6. Submit the requirements, including POLO Verified Employment Contract and other equivalent documents.
  7. Pay the OEC fees and collect your receipt.
  8. Go to your e-Registration account, and click My Transactions to print your OEC.

How to Get an OEC Certificate via POEA office in the Philippines

If hired directly by an overseas employer, you can apply for an OEC by following the process below:

Step 1: Approval of POEA Clearance

  • Send an email to POEA Hire Assistance Division (DHAD) at dhad_lbc@yahoo.com to request an appointment.
  • Wait for a confirmation email regarding your appointment schedule. Print the confirmation email and bring it during your visit.
  • Head to the POEA office on the day of your appointment.
  • Submit the documents required for direct-hired workers.
  • Visit the website of POEA to check the post of approved POEA clearance. Once you have an approved POEA Clearance, apply for OEC.

Step 2: Acquire OEC

  • Send an email to dhad_lbc@yahoo.com to request an appointment for OEC.
  • Print the confirmation email of your appointment schedule.
  • Head to the POEA office on the day of your appointment.
  • Apply for PDOS and partake in a seminar. Afterward, acquire and photocopy your PDOS Certificate.
  • Proceed to the application of OEC and submit your requirements.
  • Pay the necessary OEC fees and collect your receipt.

If hired by an agency, your agency will submit your documents to POEA, and the employer will pay the fees. Afterward, POEA will issue an e-receipt to serve as your travel exit pass. If hired by the POEA GPB, acquire a visa and pay the fees to get an OEC.

Sample of OEC Certificate

Please check out this image sample of the Overseas Employment Certificate so you have an idea of what it looks like.

What is the difference between OEC and Balik Manggagawa?

As explained by POEA, Balik Manggawa or returning workers are OFWs who have a finished employment contract and return to work with the same employer in the same or new job site and have an existing record under the deployed workers of POEA database.

Furthermore, OFWs who are considered as Balik Manggawa can avail of OEC exemption. So basically, Balik Manggagawa is individuals renewing their employment contract with the same employer.

If you fall under the returning worker’s category, you can apply for an OEC through the Balik Manggagawa Online Processing System website to acquire an exemption number. Once exempted, you don’t need to secure an OEC and pay POEA processing fees. You only need to present your passport and valid work visa at the airport. Thus, OEC is an exit clearance document required for Balik Manggagawa or first-time OFWs.

Video: Update Paano Kumuha ng OEC Overseas Employment Certificate Online or Exemption Balik Manggagawa OFW

To secure an OEC, please watch the video below:

As discussed in the video, OFWs can apply for an OEC at https://www.bmonline.ph/. If you don’t have an account, fill out the New User section.

Then, log in to your account. Under the My Profile section, you can also see your Personal Data. On the upper right of the screen, click the green tab indicating Acquire OEC or Exemption.

Log in to your e-Registration account on the POPS Bam system, click Balik Manggagawa on the dashboard and click next.

Enter your flight date and click next. So the online application for OEC is very convenient for OFWs since they can pay using their preferred payment method, and they no longer have to queue to secure an OEC.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please check out these common questions and answers about the OEC application process:

1. What are the requirements to get OEC?

The primary requirements for OEC are the following:

  • Printed Balik-Manggawa or Online Appointment Information Sheet
  • Passport with at least six months validity before the date of departure
  • Valid Employment Contract or Proof of Employment
  • Valid Work Permit or Work Visa

You will need to submit additional requirements to support your job application and specific documents requested based on the host country.

2. Can I get OEC without an appointment?

If you’re qualified to get an OEC online, you don’t need to book an appointment. There are also POEA and POLO offices that accept walk-in applicants, so check whether or not your preferred location requires it.

3. Can I get OEC without OWWA membership?

No, securing an OEC is impossible if you don’t have an active OWWA membership.

4. Do I need OEC to go back to the Philippines?

No, an OEC is not needed to enter the Philippines since POEA only requires it when OFWs leave the country to work overseas.

5. How long is OEC valid?

The OEC is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.

6. How to get OEC with the same employer?

If you’re a Balik Manggagawa, log in to your BM online account and click Acquire OEC or Exemption.

7. Can I get OEC at the airport?

Yes, OFWs can get an OEC at the airport, especially those with confirmed flight booking and emergency leave.

Summary

Whether you’re going to work overseas for the first time or returning to your previous employer, OEC is a necessary document to pass through the immigration and exit the airport. It also provides OFWs with the exemption of fees and reduces travel tax, which is beneficial.

Nonetheless, if you’re a Balik Manggagawa, you can also get an OEC exemption. So make sure to process your OEC 60 days before you depart for your overseas employment.

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