OFW driver’s license dilemma gone awry
I always hear from elders during my younger years that if someone knew how to drive, he will never go hungry.
Driving is a means of livelihood. For one to be able to use this skill, one would need to have a driver’s license as a proof that he or she was able to pass all the requirements to become a professional driver.
An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Macau with initials of GDC worked as a driver for more than two months there, sought the assistance of Bantay OCW regarding his driver’s license.
According to GDC, before he went to Macau, he renewed his driver’s license in the Philippines. The problem was the credit card type license was not available at that time. He was given a piece of paper, which served as an official receipt issued by the Land Transportation Office.
GDC still tried his chance to apply as a company driver in Macau. He showed the official receipt to his employer to prove that he is indeed a professional driver in the Philippines. He was hired on condition that he will submit the credit card type license soon.
The employer doesn’t believe that the piece of paper is a driver’s license. GDC promised his employer that he will do everything to get his credit card type license from the Philippines. His employer asked him day and night about that license.
Out of desperation, GDC sought the assistance of his friends in the Philippines while he continues to work in Macau. He was referred to a fixer and the fixer promised him that the credit card type license will be released in exchange for P8,000.
He gave in to the demand of the fixer and sent money to the Philippines. But still it took too long to send the license. GDC’s employer got impatient and asked him to go back to the Philippines and personally fix the problem.
He did not know that his work visa’s effectivity is only until October 2017 and it will be canceled once he goes back to the Philippines. According to GDC, Macau immigration officer told him that he needs to wait for an additional month for him to be able to return to Macau.
A few days before the end of his one-month ban, he came to Bantay OCW to ask for help. We referred the case to the Consulate of the Philippines in Macau to help us inquire about GDC’s employment status.
Labor attaché Vivian Tornea of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office quickly responded with our inquiry and told us that she got in touch with GDC’s employer.
Tornea said, according to his employer, GDC’s contract has already been terminated because it took him too long before he can get his driver’s license. They also said that they have already chosen a replacement for him.
GDC was saddened with the news. He didn’t expect that he will be terminated from his job just because of an issue with his driver’s license.
GDC thought that his driving skill would be his source of income overseas but it was cut short not because of his fault. He only hoped that others would not suffer the same fate like him. At the same time, he appealed to our government agencies to be sensitive to the need of our OFWs.
(Susan Andes, also known as Susan K., can be heard over Radyo Inquirer dzIQ 990 AM, Monday to Friday, 10:30 a.m.-12 noon. For audio and video live streaming visit www.ustream.tv/channel/dziq. For more information, visit www.bantayocw foundation.org. The Bantay OCW Foundation satellite office is located at 3/F 24H City Hotel, 1460 Vito Cruz Extension corner Balagtas Street, Makati City. Helpline: 0927-6499870. E-mail: [email protected]/[email protected]
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