MANILA–The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has recalled the suspension order on the processing and issuance of Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) to all directly hired Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) issued last month.
“In the interest of justice, Administration Order No. 155, series of 2017, suspending the processing and issuance of Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) for all directly hired Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) is hereby recalled,” said Administration Order No. 155-A signed by DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Tuesday.
With this, he directed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. (POEA) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) to resume the processing and issuance of the OECs.
“Henceforth, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) are directed to resume the processing and issuance of the OECs subject to the requirements as set forth by the provisions of the Revised POEA Rules and Regulations governing the Recruitment and Employment of Land-based Overseas Filipino Workers of 2016,” the order added.
The OEC is a requirement for every OFW who leaves the country.
On April 26, Bello ordered the suspension of issuance of OEC after reports revealed that some POEA employees have been extorting money from OFWs in exchange for the processing of exemptions from the direct hire ban.
Based on the 2016 Revised Rules and Regulations on the Recruitment and Deployment of OFWs of the POEA, Section 123 states that ‘No employer shall directly hire an overseas Filipino worker for overseas employment.’
However, Section 124 provides the exemption to include those employers who are close relatives of the OFW, members of the diplomatic corps; international organizations; heads of state and government officials with the rank of at least deputy minister; and other employers permitted by the Labor Secretary.