As Christmas is the season when most overseas Filipino workers usually come home for a vacation, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has issued an advisory on the issuance of POEA travel exit clearances.
According to POEA:
In order to facilitate the issuance of POEA travel exit clearances (OECs) to returning OFWs during the Christmas and New Year Holiday Seasons, please be informed of the following:
The POEA Balik-Manggagawa Processing Division experiences a surge in the number of applicants for OECs at the start of the Christmas peak season. This number is double the usual of 1,000 per day. Congestion and security are major concerns at the POEA premises. Complicating this situation is the number of OFW applicants who have immediate flights.
In order to (pace, declog or deload) minimize the delay in processing of OECs, POEA advises the following:
- OFWs who have just arrived are encouraged to apply for their OECs early either at the POEA Main Office or at the nearest POEA Regional Offices and Extension Units, or avail of the OEC delivery service, so that they can avoid last minute problems prior to their return flights.
- Departing OFWs who will return during the Christmas season are encouraged to apply for their OECs at the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) in their host countries prior to coming home. Or, they may apply for their OECs at the POEA Main or Regional Offices early prior to their return flights to their host countries.
- Regular processing of OECs has been discontinued at the NAIA Labor Assistance Center (LAC) except for weekend or emergency exit within 5 days from entry. OFWs must apply for their OECs with the POEA Main or Regional Offices prior to their return flights.
- OFWs who have not yet registered with the POEA are advised to bring their contract and/or certificate of employment, and other proofs of employment in order to be documented and be issued an OEC.
- OFWs to regularly check the POEA website, http://www.poea.gov.ph for advisories especially before they book their flights