All posts to implement 100 percent Balik Manggagawa online in 2015

Date Posted: January 6th, 2015 05:34 AM

In a one-on-one meeting with all labor attaches shortly before the close of the 2014, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said he had extracted a pledge that all the overseas posts of the DOLE will make sure that the Balik Manggagawa online system will be fully implemented this year. “I hold them accountable to this promise of 100 percent implementation of the BM online system,” Baldoz said, as she expressed confidence the online system will make the usual long queue of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) counters and at overseas posts waiting for the processing of their overseas employment certificates (OECs) will soon be a thing of the past. Baldoz, citing a report from POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac, said the Balik Manggagawa (BM) on-line has already earned praises from many vacationing OFWs for making their OEC transactions more convenient, particularly for those who are returning to the same employers. With an operational BM online, OFWs returning to the same employer can log on to the POEA website where they can fill out forms and submit the document for processing. If the name of the employer indicated in the form matches the name of the employer in the POEA database, the system will readily approve the returning OFW’s “new record”. “The balik manggagawa needs only to proceed to pay the fees electronically and print out the OEC either at the comfort of their homes or wherever they are conducting the on-line transaction,” Baldoz explained. The OEC print-out containing a special bar code will be presented to the immigration officer at the airport upon departure. As soon as the immigration officer opens the POEA database and finds the balik-manggagawa’s “new record”, the OFW will be cleared for exit. According to Administrator Cacdac, around 70 percent, or approximately 500,000 returning OFWs are expected to benefit from the BM on-line initiative, and he encouraged OFWs who have benefited from the BM online’s convenience to help the POEA spread the word. “We at the POEA could benefit from an assist or two from OFWs who could share their experience in the BM online with a friend or fellow OFW,” he said. The POEA chief, in his travel to the Middle East last year to accompany Secretary Baldoz during the latter’s visit to eight POLOs, brought with him a “props” announcing the BM online system. The props was a hit among OFWs who posed in photos with Cacdac with the announcement. Administrator Cacdac said the appointment system (personal processing at the POEA Central Office) will only apply to the following: • Returning OFWs who are changing employers (match could not be found in the POEA database) • OFWs who have not passed through POEA (e.g., visit visa holders or ASEAN tourists) • Household service workers “However,” he added, “OFWs still have the option of not going through the appointment system at the POEA Central Office and instead secure their OECs from our Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) or POEA regional and satellite offices.” But more importantly, it is in the POLOs that the BM online system should already be in place this year, or as early as the first quarter, Baldoz said. “The BM on-line system not only speeds up the process of securing OECs, but more significantly, it provides convenience to our vacationing OFWs. Many of our workers will be able to accomplish this transaction from any location where there is online connection,” the labor and employment chief said. “This will also provide timely updating of the OFW and employer database of POEA,” she added. END

Created Jan 26th 2015, 11:02


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