Pinoy group in HK rallies vs. OEC as requirement for OFWs
A pro-migrants Filipino group in Hong Kong held a picket at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office on Sunday to protest the long lines of overseas Filipino workers have to bear just to secure their overseas employment certificate (OEC).
"Nababahala ang Migrante sa sobrang haba ng pila para sa OEC," said Vicky Casia-Cabantac, chairperson of the Migrante Sectoral Party,
Cabantac said the OEC is a useless document that serves no other purpose but to generate revenues for the government.
"Kasi may passport naman at may employment contract ang OFWs," she said. "Talagang fund-raising lang iyan para sa gobyerno."
An OFW is required to present an OEC before being allowed to depart from the Philippines to their employment destination.
With many OFWs spending Christmas in the Philippines, the POLO is packed with those securing the document.
"Ang gusto lang naman ng mga migrante ay makauwi at magkaroon ng panahon para sa pamilya nila," Cabantac said. "Ngayon dahil sa OEC na iyan, whole day ang gugugulin nila at kailangan nila na magpabalik-balik."
The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) has rolled out the "Balik-Manggagawa (BM) Online" to allow a web-based system to secure the OEC.
However, Casia-Cabantac said the system is not fully web-based as the OFW still needs to pay in person to actually get the OEC.
"Kahit na sabihing P100 o $20 lang ang OEC, kailangan pa din ng mga kababayan natin na pumila. Talagang perwisyo ang dulot nito sa mga kawawang migrante," she said. —KBK, GMA News