Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III Image Credit: DOLE/Facebook

The Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III stated recently that under this programme, all bonafide Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) will be given iDOLE, the ID of the Department of Labour and Employment to replace the traditional certificates known as the OEC.

But many Filipinos are still unaware about the basic details of the OFW ID. Here are the frequently asked questions and the answers we've gathered for you.

Q: When is the OFW ID official introduced?

A: It was launched by President Duterte on July 12, 2017. 

According to Sec. Bello, once they have the official list of bonafide OFWs from Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), DOLE will start printing the IDs. 

Q. How can an OFW who changed their registered address as per POEA records claim the ID?

A: They can personally acquire the OFW ID thru the nearest POLO office of their host country.

Q: What happens to those who changed employers and have not yet updated their information with POEA?

A: DOLE will publish the list of OFWs abroad, with their registered address as well as which POLO office to go for claiming their OFW ID. They can check their information and update it if necessary. They must coordinate with POEA or POLO for any changes.

Q: Does the OFW ID have an expiration?

A: At the back of the card is a note that says the ID serves as the Travel Exit Clearance for the bearer that is valid for two years from the date of issuance. This entitles the holder to travel tax and terminal fee exemptions.

It is unclear if the ID Card will be invalidated once the OFW shifts to a new job or country of employment as is the case with the OEC. 

Q: Can a former OFW be a recipient of OFW ID?

A: Sec. Bello said, "Once an OFW, always an OFW."
Yes. Former OFWs can avail the OFW ID as well, along with its benefits.

Q: Are directly hired OFWs eligible to get the OFW ID?

A: Yes, direct-hired OFWs are included.

Here are 10 things you need to know about the OFW ID.

1. No need to apply for the iDole or OFW ID.

2. OFW ID is FREE. No fees will be collected to receive the OFW ID.

3. The OFW ID will replace OEC.

4. The ID is tamper resistant.

5. All the bonafide OFWs listed in POEA will receive the ID.

6. The OFW will only be the prime recipient and receiver.

7. The OFW ID can be used in any government or private transactions like DFA, OWWA, NBI, SSS, Philhealth and Pag-Ibig.

8. It can be used as a beep card for MRT or LRT.

9. In the future, it will serve as an e-passport.

10. It will serve as a debit or credit card in the OFW Bank that will be opening soon.