Overseas Foreign Workers (OFWs) from the Philippines will be pleased to hear of their government’s plans to replace Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs) with new “iDOLE” cards.
The iDOLE (iD of the Department of Labour and Employment) cards will be issued to all workers who currently possess OECs, starting from July 12, 2017.
Currently, the Philippine government requires all OFWs to obtain an OEC before travelling home if they intend to return to their country of employment afterwards. This process involves applying for a certificate, queuing at the embassy, and paying a fee each time. The iDOLE card will expedite this process by eliminating the need to apply for new OECs.
The new ID card will also be connected with other Government benefit programmes such as the Social Security System, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG to make these systems more accessible and manageable.
The change is intended to make travel between the Philippines and workers’ country of employment as smooth as possible. Silvestre Bello III, Secretary for the Department of Labour and Employment in the Philippines, was quoted as saying, “maybe given another six months, we are trying to adopt a system that this “iDOLE” can serve as their passport.”
The Department of Labour and Employment will be working with the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration to ensure that all OFWs will receive an iDOLE card, with no need to pay or apply for those already on the official roster of OFWs.