|posted in POLO-OWWA, Dubai|
I don't go to Philippines annually, so I am always lost when it comes to getting an OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate) from POLO (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) and OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) before going back to Manila.
It has been three years since the last time I have been to Manila - and the balikbayans (Filipinos working abroad and returning to Philippines) policies have changed twice or thrice already.
So here's my experience:
Step 1 of 3: How to Register Online
- I used the BM (Balik Manggagawa) online system http://bmonline.ph/ to know if I am exempted or in my case get an appointment.
- I registered as a "New User" using my personal email to sign up, since I do not have an account yet, then received a confirmation link in my email.
- I logged in as "Already Registered" user. I have records already but had to update, as required, "MY Profile" and uploaded my current ID photo:
- Personal Detail: updated my passport details since the one in the record has already been expired and other details
- Contract Particulars: In the record, I did not have an OEC number as it was different the last time I went to Manila 3 years ago. The company where I am employed (still at the same company for the last 4 years), last deployment date (your last flight to Manila from Dubai) and the arrival date (last time you arrived in Dubai from Manila). Mind the month/day/year-format when entering the dates, I could not get it right at first because I was wrongly putting the date by entering the day-month-year-format.
- Legal Beneficiaries / Qualified Dependents
- I clicked the "Acquire OEC or Exemption" and entered my flight dates (mind the month/day/year format) to find out if I am exempted. As expected, I was not so I was redirected to the "Appointment Page". Then I selected my preferred POEA office, which is POLO Dubai. And scheduled my appointment by choosing the date and time I preferred to go, process and pay my OEC.
(Tip: Schedule it a week or a day before your flight to Philippines because OEC is only good for 2 months, if it expires before you return to Dubai, then you have to get/pay another OEC).
Step 2 of 3: What to bring and do to POLO-OWWA office
POLO is located next to the gate of the Philippine Consulate in Dubai
- As per my experience, they only require original passport and 3 copies of your signed BM online appointment.
- I repeat, bring 3 signed copies of the appointment. If you don't, make sure you have 2 dhs coins with you to use the photocopier at the POLO. They have the coin-operated copier wherein you have to insert coins in the box to activate it. It costs 1 dirham per page. It was never mentioned on the website that they require 3 copies but I brought 2 and was glad that I have a dirham coin. Otherwise, it would have been a hassle for me.
- As soon as you enter the POLO gate, go directly to the door facing the gate. Insert the 3 copies of your appointment in your passport where your visa page is. Then sit down wherever the queue ends. Those in queues are sitting like 6 persons in a row.
- Come at least 15 minutes early before your appointment time because you still have to wait. I came 10 minutes early but I was given a queue number around 20 minutes after. It's by batch of about 6 people.
- After I got my queue number along with my batch mates, we were told to proceed to Room #10. In Room#10, another set of people, a dozen maybe, are sitting down waiting for their number to be called.
- I had waited for another 15-20 minutes before my number has been called. I have given the appointment/passport then I was only asked if it was my first time to go home (yes, I always look like an FOB) so I said no, but the last time was 3 years ago. Also I was asked if it was in the same company and when I planned to return (to Dubai). Then I was ask to pay 92dhs for OEC and 10dhs for OWWA. While giving me the OR (original receipt), the Lady in the counter told me that OEC expires in 2 months but OWWA is good for 2 years so if I am planning to go to Manila again before OWWA expires - 30 March 2019, I will only need to pay 10dhs for OEC. Then she told me to go to Counter#1 to pay PAG-IBIG contribution
- PAG-IBIG counter has given me an option to pay there or at the accredited exchange centers (I was given a PAG-IBIG leaflet). Also, I was given an option how much I want to pay (200 pesos minimum per month) and how many months - 1month or so, I want to pay. I paid 52 dhs including 5dhs charges. It was 600 pesos contribution, though I was told it's for 6 months contribution, in the receipt it was stated: 600 pesos contribution for March, meaning 600 is my monthly contribution. Anyway, whatever. I wanted to get done and over with the whole OEC thing because it had already consumed one hour of my time just for getting/paying it.
- I am not sure if PAG-IBIG contribution is mandatory or not but I chose to pay because I do not want it to be a problem later at the airport when I am going back to Dubai.
Step 3 of 3: How to Print your OEC
- Login to your BM online account.
- Go to "My Transaction" and click "PRINT OEC" then "PRINT RECEIPT". make at least 3 copies of the OEC to be presented at NAIA counter during your return flight to UAE. Though, as per the note posted in POLO-OWWA, only 2 copies are required. But still bring 3 copies, better safe than sorry. Also make sure the POLO-OWWA issued OEC original receipt and PAG-IBIG contribution payment original receipt are with you.
That's all Kabayans! Enjoy Pinas!