UAE | Employment

Filipinos urged to keep travel permits listing employers handy

Certificates can be obtained at overseas labour offices

  • By Janice Ponce De Leon, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 December 13, 2011
  • Gulf News

Dubai: Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returning to the Philippines during the holiday season are advised to secure travel exit clearances from the Philippine missions in the UAE ahead of their scheduled departure to avoid hassles during their trip, a diplomatic official said.

"They should apply for the overseas employment certificate [OEC] before leaving the UAE to save them time and to avoid hassles and delays at Manila airports," Philippine Labour Attache Nasser Munder told Gulf News.

The OEC or the travel exit clearance is a document that proves that a returning OFW is in the Philippines for a holiday and intends to go back to the same employer abroad. Manila airport officials will not allow OFWs to return to their jobs abroad without the said document.

Task force formed

As the month of December is considered the ‘peak season' for returning OFWs, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in Manila formed a task force earlier this month in anticipation of the arrival of thousands of OFWs who will spend the holiday season in the country.

OFWs in Manila usually begin queueing at the POEA main office as early as 4 am to get their OECs. Processing could take days and would sometimes need courier service for an additional fee. To avoid the long queues, returning overseas workers may apply for their OECs for a Dh10 fee at the Philippine Overseas Labour Offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

"If the OFW brings all the necessary documents with him, he can get the OEC in a matter of minutes," Munder said.

Presenting an OEC at Manila airports exempts OFWs from paying travel tax and terminal fees, he added.

What you need
  • Photocopy of passport with residence visa stamp.
  • Filled-in application form.
  • Additional documents for domestic helps and private drivers:
  • Copy of employment contract with sponsor's signature.

Comments (6)

  1. Added 19:03 December 13, 2011

    Does the OEC issued abroad still need to be verified in the Phils? Had this experience last May, took the OEC here in Dubai and upon check in on my return flight they told me it needs to be verified by POEA before they can give me the boarding pass. What a hassle!

    leslie, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 18:56 December 13, 2011

    obtaining an OEC for Dh10 fee is not the question, but obtaining an OEC is a big problem to those who are living in northern parts of emirates. wasted time, money for transportation, as well for food.

    ricardo ibon, ras alkhaima, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 18:24 December 13, 2011

    10 minutes is not true... getting an OEC is usually a long wait, i experience that lastime, even my friend who got an OEC last week also suffered having to wait and now i need to get it by tomorrow and for sure i willl suffer from a long que w/c i hate because my work was affected. please do something about that, we are already in Dubai...please create a system that we can just get that in a minute. consider us here working and many people are affected because it really is a long wait...

    lilay, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 14:19 December 13, 2011

    For me, it took me a matter of minutes. If Anonymous had 5 hours for OEC, maybe you can share the reason why.

    ANNA, DUBAI, Philippines

  5. Added 09:53 December 13, 2011

    It won't take a matter of minutes, I went to the consulate last August and it took me 5 hours to obtain an OEC. I had all the documents I needed, I had to take a half day leave from work because of the slow service in getting the clearance.

    Nery Reyes, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 09:52 December 13, 2011

    "If the OFW brings all the necessary documents with him, he can get the OEC in a matter of minutes," Munder said. - really?!!!! i went with my friend last week to secure this OEC and we went there early in the morning as we wanted to avoid the long queue, but when we got there we were given token # 168 already. lucky for me it was my day-off but my friend had to be absent because we finished in the afternoon already. she had to pay AED 10 for the OEC and for sure, a day's pay will be deducted from her as well.

    bugoy, Dubai, Philippines

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