'Appointment' system in place to address long lines of OEC applicants in HK
HONG KONG — Overseas Filipino workers here seeking to secure their overseas employment certificate (OEC) will no longer have to queue up to get their form to apply for the document.
Instead, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) will be distributing free copies of the OEC forms, which indicate the time and date of the applicant's appointment, at the Admiralty Bridge.
"Kung matagal pa ang oras na nakasaad sa OEC Form, maaring bumalik na lamang ilang minuto bago sa nakatakdang oras," said the POLO announcement signed by officer-in-charge Maria Nena German.
On Tuesday, POLO officials met with the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) and the Hong Kong chapter of pro-OFW group Migrante to discuss solutions to the long lines of OFWs who are securing their OECs.
Migrante said it proposed the adding of more places where OFWs could apply and get their OECs during peak seasons.
However, the Department of Labor and Employment in Manila has yet to approve the recommendation before it could be implemented.
"Tuloy-tuloy pa natin ang laban hanggang tuluyan nang maibasura ang OEC at mawakasan ang perwisyo at pangingikil sa mga OFWs," Migrante said in Facebook post.
An OFW is required to present an OEC at the airport before being allowed to depart from the Philippines to their employment destination.
Those intending to go back to their place of employment after a vacation are also required to obtain the document.
With many OFWs spending Christmas in the Philippines, the POLO is packed with those securing the document.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) has rolled out the "Balik Manggagawa Online" to allow a web-based system to secure the OEC. An OFW pays P100 or its equivalent amount in their employment location for the document. —KBK, GMA News