Selected OFWs who are going back to the Philippines for vacation may be exempted from getting an OEC if they have registered at the BM (Balik Manggagawa) online website. This takes effect starting September 15, 2016. This is good news for plenty of Pinoys especially when OEC has always been a requirement whenever we go back to our work country.
What is an OEC?
OEC – Overseas Employment Certificate – this is the certificate by the POEA that verifies that you are a registered Overseas Filipino Worker. You will be exempted from paying the travel tax and terminal fee once you show this to the Bureau of Immigration at the Philippine airports.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) grants exemption to certain divisions of Balik-Manggagawa (BM) workers from getting Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) and exemption of paying any fees processed by POEA. This is to simplify the processing of docs of OFWs, to fix the commotion of Balik-Manggagawa workers and to improve the system online in terms of processing their exit clearance before they return to their employer.
Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) Exemption Online for OFWs
Who is Exempted?
Balik-Manggagawa or BM workers who fall under the following conditions may not be required to obtain an OEC:
- Returning Filipino workers who plan to go back to their same employers and jobsite
- Returning Filipino workers who already have record/s in POEA’s database
Government Placement Branch that hired Filipino workers are also excused in getting the OEC as long as the above conditions are met.
How to Make Sure You are Exempted from Getting an OEC
BM workers should be registered online through the BM Online Processing System before they go back to their employers. Their information must be updated as applicable. The records are transferred electronically to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for the purpose of verifying the exemption at the time of departure of the BM worker.
Registering through BM Online Processing System is free and if the BM worker is eligible for the exemption, the OEC is not needed.
Who are the OFWs that are Required to Get an OEC?
For those BM workers who are not eligible for the exemption are redirected for regular processing of their OECs in the BM Appointment page to set a date and time in any processing sites of the POEA within the country and at the (POLO) or Philippine Overseas Labor Offices abroad.
These BM workers that are routed to the Appointment Page may have any of the following conditions:
- Returning BM workers to another different employer or jobsite
- BM Workers without records of POEA/Record
- Discrepancies/Records not found
- Unrecorded workers (Dependent to OFW, Tourist to OFW , Student to OFW, etc.)
- BM who work on sea are now shifted to land workers.
- Workers who are planning to work to a restricted or non-compliant country
- Watchlisted workers and watchlisted employers
BM workers are encouraged to visit and register at the site BM Online Processing System to prevent any inconvenience. Going directly to the Bureau of Immigration counter without registering are referred by the officer to the POEA Labor Assistance Center for reevaluation and to check if the worker is cleared for departure or may be subject for further assessments and completing of documents and procedures.
How to Register at the BMOnline Website
Registered in the BM Online Processing/Record Found/Returning to same Employer/Jobsite
- Click on the link www.bmonline.ph
- Once logged in as “Already Registered”, input your latest OEC number
- If you see your record, update any Beneficiaries, Contract Particulars, and Personal Data as needed
- Click Acquire OEC or Exemption for online assessment, input the flight date and confirm if returning and working to the same jobsite and employer
- A message will display in the system stating the worker is exempted from paying a processing fee and securing an OEC if returning to the same employer and jobsite
To those who have a message saying New User/No Record Found
- Click on the link www.bmonline.ph
- Click on the “Sign Me Up” button
- After entering your OEC number and no record is found, schedule an Online Appointment
Reminders on the Date of Departure
- Check-in at the Airline airport counter
- Continue to present your passport valid for at least 6 mos. from the date of departure to the Immigration counter, a valid work visa and permit stating employer and jobsite
- If the work visa does not point out the name of the employer, present any of the following:
- valid employment ID
- valid employment contract
- current employment certificate
- recent payslip
Domestic workers can show an employment contract that’s POLO verified
TERMINAL FEE AND TRAVEL TAX EXEMPTION
Workers can show any of the following to the airline counter and MIAA counter for fee and tax exemption:
- Work Permit or Work Visa
- Employment Certificate
- Current Employment Certificate
- Company ID
- Latest Pay Slip
You are advised to show to the MIAA counter the ticket invoice with a code “LI International” for exemption of terminal fee
EFFECTIVE DATE: September 15, 2016