Overseas Foreign Workers (OFW) and those who are currently working with existing employment contracts, like me and my husband, need to obtain an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) from the Phillippine Embassy in their jobsite if they wanted to take a visit or vacation back to the home country.The main purpose of OEC, under the requirement of POEA Rules and Regulations, is to help ensure that Filipino OFWs are properly documented and protected from their employers. Added to that it is also a privilege for these “modern day heroes” to be exempted from paying the Philippine travel tax and airport terminal fee when going back to their jobsite. Likewise, the OEC is used to avail travel tax reduction of OFW dependents from the Philippine Tourism Authority.
Since we are going home this month, I prefer to get an OEC from the Philippine Embassy-POLO in Oman because it is more convenient and more affordable than getting the same document from the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) office in Philippines. Even though, I haven’t personally tried availing that piece of paper from POEA first hand, but I have heard stories that are frustrating and sometimes these fellow Filipinos are cursing for a very sluggish and enervating services they have experienced back home. Added to that the amount is cheaper at a cost of 1 OMR roughly 108 pesos (as of the current forex) than the 300 Pesos charged by POEA.
But that OEC is valid for sixty days from the date of its issuance. So, it is better to get the document few days before our departure just to make sure that the certificate caters to our slated vacation time.
So, here are the simple steps on how to avail that important certificate:
Step 1: Prepare the necessary requirements
Take note that the filing of OEC is done at the Philippine Overseas Labor and Office (POLO) beside the Philippine Embassy from Saturdays to Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Among the required documents that you need to present at the Embassy include: copy of passport with valid visa, copy of resident or labor card, valid OWWA membership (if any), and previous OEC receipt (if any).
Then at the designated booth, obtain an OFW Information Sheet and fill up the necessary information.
Step2: Pay the OEC fee
Once everything is complete, return to the processing counter and submits all the requirements and pay the amount of 1 OR (as of this date) in cash only.
Step 3: Review the correctness of the entries
The processing of the document will take 5 to 10 minutes provided that documentary requirements are complete. So, you need to review the completeness and correctness of the entries found in the OEC. There are 4 copies that you will get which you will give to the following: for the airline, for the Labor Assistance Center (LAC) counter, for Terminal Fee Counter (located at the airport), and for Immigration Counter (OFW’s copy).
The validity of the paper is indicated in all copies at the lower left side of portion. All workers who were issued with the OEC are cleared for deployment and should not need to present documents required under POEA 2007 package of reforms such as the TESDA NC2 for household workers or OWAA Certificate of Orientation or Competency on Language and Culture at the airport.
Here are more tips:
The Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) membership, which is one the requirements for getting an OEC, is valid for only 2 years. If in case that your membership is about to expire or had expired, you can apply for renewal at the Phil. Embassy and pay the amount of 10 OMR. Then you will be issued with the Official Receipt known as E-receipt and the certificate of coverage that includes your PAG-IBIG and PhilHealth contributions as well.
Another good thing, the Philippine Embassy has launched its new site to “highlight activities and projects undertaken for the Filipino expatriate community in the sultanate” and at the same time an online “resource for expatriates, but also citizens interested in business and travel opportunities in the Philippines”.
For more details visit:
Embassy of the Philippines in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Bldg. No. 1041/1043, Way No. 3015
Al Kharijya St., Shatti Al Qurum
P.O. Box 420 Madinat Qaboos, Postal Code 115
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
or you can call:
Tel. Nos. (+968) 24605-140 , 24605-143 , 24605-335
Fax No. (+968) 24605-176
So I hope I give some helpful ideas for my fellow OFWs living here in Oman and who are planning to have a vacation in our home country very soon!