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POEA to set up OFW processing centers in malls

/ 02:39 PM December 04, 2013

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said it has mapped out plans to address the anticipated increase in the number of returning Filipino workers who will process their overseas employment certificate (OEC), or exit clearance, as thousands arrive to spend the holiday season in the country.

In an interview over Inquirer Radio 990AM, POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said they would set up a processing centers in SM Manila in the next two weeks, as well as in Robinson’s Pioneer  along EDSA, on top of the existing ones in Trinoma, Duty Free-Paranaque, and SM Pampanga in San Fernando.

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Furthermore, Cacdac said that on selected dates—December 23, and 26; and January 2, 3, and 6, 2014—the POEA office and other processing centers will be ready to serve applicants as early as 6 a.m.

On January 4, a Saturday, Cacdac said they will also be open for transactions from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

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He added that POEA also has regional offices in Cebu; Davao; Tuguegarao; San Fernando, La Union; San Fernando, Pampanga; Clark; Calamba, Laguna; Naga City; Legaspi; Tacloban, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, and Zamboanga.

OEC, Cacdac said, “is the document that will prove that they are documented Filipino workers that will entitle them to exemptions from travel tax and airport fees. [It] will also prove their ongoing membership with OWWA [Overseas Workers Welfare Administration], PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG.”

On a yearly basis, Cacdac said POEA is processing around 600,000 to 700,000 OEC’s. OFWs who secure their OECs are either ending their contract to start with a new one, or are just in the country for a vacation.

Cacdac said returning OFWs could also secure their exit clearance at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office nearest their jobsite even before they fly to the Philippines.

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