Acquiring Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) could be quite a handful for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) whenever they need to get back to the foreign country they are working after their vacationing in the Philippines.
Since there are now thousands of Filipinos working all over the world, the queue before you can obtain your OEC as a returning OFW should require you to be patient and understanding. The application gets even tougher during special occasions such as holidays and graduation.
Fortunately, the government had come up with an effective and cost-saver way for OFWs to obtain their OEC wherever they are – the Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing System. Now, even at home, OFWs can get their OEC without having to wake up early in the morning and waiting all day long in POEA office just to get an OEC.
Here’s your ultimate guideline on how to have an easy and fast balik-manggagawa process especially during special holidays or for emergency purposes.
- What is Balik-Manggagawa (BM) Online Processing System?
- What are the OEC Requirements?
- What do I need to get an OEC?
- How important is OEC Balik-Manggagawa to OFW?
- What is BM Online and who can use it?
- Why I need to register to BM Online to get OEC?
- How to register for a BM Online Account (Step by Step)
- How to pay for OEC via BM Online?
- How to set an OEC Appointment Online?
- How to get OEC as first-timer?
- How to get OEC for walk-in clients?
- How long is the processing time before getting OEC in POEA?
- What is OEC Exemption?
- What is the step by step procedure to get OEC Exemption?
- What are the benefits of OEC Balik-Manggagawa?
- How OFW rehires can apply for Employment Certificates online?
- 3 Tips in Applying for an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)
- List of OFW Application needed for an OEC
- List of Countries that are off-limits and need not to have OEC or Balik-Manggagawa
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Bureau of Immigration to Open Pre-Screening Desk to Reduce OFW Offloading
- How to get an OEC in South Korea?
- How to get an OEC in Saudi Arabia?
- How to Get Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) in Dubai
- How OFW Will Be Exempted From Airport Terminal Fee
- How to Refund the Terminal Fee for OFW?
- Final Thoughts on Balik-Manggagawa
What is Balik-Manggagawa (BM) Online Processing System?
The Balik-Manggagawa (BM) is an online appointment system that you can access through POEA’s website so that you won’t have to go to POEA’s office or OEC Processing Center just to get an OEC. This online registration form is only meant for OFWs who are going back to the same employer at the same country and had a record with POEA.
What are the OEC Requirements?
With only ₱119.50, an OFW can secure their OEC. Although, for some reasons, there are reasons why an OFW will not be allowed to acquire OEC through Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing System:
1 If the Filipino had no record with POEA;
2 If the Filipino has an undocumented status;
3 If the Filipino will have a change of employer and country of employment;
4 If the Filipino has a former seafarer;
5 If the Filipino is under the POEA watchlist; and
6 If the Filipino will return to a constrained country.
What do I need to get an OEC?
To get an OEC, an OFW should have the following the requirements:
1 A passport with at least six (6) months validity from date of departure;
2 Legal work visa, permit and/or any equivalent document;
3 Employment contract; and
4 Balik-Manggagawa Information Sheet.
How important is OEC Balik-Manggagawa to OFW?
You may be wondering why many OFWs line up just to get their OEC? OEC is vital for every OFW because this serves as their travel exit clearance – a clear proof that they are documented Filipino that is legally to leave the country and work abroad. It is also use to be exempted in paying travel tax and terminal fee, as well as clearance pass.
What is BM Online and who can use it?
The Balik-Manggagawa Online as previously mentioned is an online processing system that an OFW may use to get and pay for their OEC. All OFWs, exempted or not on obtaining OEC, should register with BM Online System especially for times they will return to the Philippines. Through BM Online, the POEA determines if you are exempted in getting OEC based on the data that they currently have.
Why I need to register to BM Online to get OEC?
Using BM Online to get an OEC will save you trouble and time on your pre-departure since you will be referred to Labor Assistance Counter (LAC) if you haven’t registered yet. Aside from that, online acquisition of OEC saves you time and effort that you can use to spend more time with your loved ones.
How to register for a BM Online Account (Step by Step)
Here are the steps in successfully registering for a BM Online Account:
1 As a new User, you will have to visit the BM Online website www.bmonline.ph
2 Fill out the necessary information required for the sign-up box the ticked the ‘I Accept the Terms of Service.’
3 The BM Online homepage will once again show up and you’ll have to click the Sign Me Up button before a pop-up shows of your successful registration.
4 Confirm the e-mail address you have used by checking your e-mail and clicking the confirmation link.
5 A pop-up notification of your successful activation will appear.
6 You may now use.
How to pay for OEC via BM Online?
To pay for your OEC using BM online, you must do the following procedures:
1 Upon signing in to your account as an Already Registered user, put in your login credentials.
2 Put in your latest OEC Number.
3 If a record of yours shows up, you will then confirm the registered employer and job employment information.
4 Fill out the required information: personal data, contract particulars, and legal beneficiaries’ forms.
5 On your My Profile, you will have to upload your latest photo and click the next step button on the right bottom part of the page.
6 Fill in your expected flight schedule which should be within the 60-day OEC validity period before clicking in Submit.
7 After final confirmation, click Acquire OEC which will give you payment options: Banks that will be over the counter, banks online, mobile payment or non-banks over the counter. Choose your desired payment option for confirmation.
8 After choosing the preferred bank or payment center, select to have payment instructions sent through your e-mail. If your payment method is GCASH, just enter your Globe number then click Pay.
9 After successfully paying, you may check your account again and go to My Transactions to print your digital OEC.
How to set an OEC Appointment Online?
To set-up an appointment online if you prefer regular OEC processing, you will have to perform the following procedures in BM Online:
1 As an Already Register user, login your credentials.
2 Input your OEC number. In case you’ve forgotten, click the link provided to set an appointment.
3 Fill out data needed such as personal data, contract particulars, and legal forms.
4 Update your photo.
5 After which, click Select Locations and choose the desired POEA branch where you’d like to obtain your OEC.
6 Choose the date and time to get your OEC and print your information sheet as your reference.
How to get OEC as first-timer?
As a first-timer, you may obtain OEC by following the procedures below:
1 Visit POEA’s website to check the list of requirements. Don’t forget to bring a pen with you and ensure that you’ll be there as early as possible.
2 Ensure that your contract has a repatriation clause. If there’s none available, ask your company to provide it as letterhead then sign it.
3 If you’re directly hired, you will to follow these procedures:
- Submit all documents required and obtain referral for your pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS) and the list of clinics for your medical certificate.
- Have a medical check-up and attend the PDOS and have the certificate photocopied.
- Return to POEA with completed requirements and pay 100 USD for the POEA processing fee, OWWA membership, PhilHealth Medicare and PAG-IBIG membership.
- Have your OEC validated at the OFW counter.
How to get OEC for walk-in clients?
If you’re directly hired by your employer, you will have to apply for an OEC either as a walk-in applicant or through BM Online System. For walk-in applicants you will have to comply with the following:
- Provide all the necessary documents needed.
- Proceed to POEA Main Office at Ortigas or your preferred regional POEA Office.
- You may also opt to go to Labor Assistance Counters at Manila, Cebu, and Mindanao airports
How long is the processing time before getting OEC in POEA?
Getting an OEC from POEA should only take around ten (10) minutes if the OFW has already BM Account. If you’re going to set an appointment online and have already chosen your specific POEA branch, it should only take at least one (1) hour to obtain your OEC as long as you have prepared your documents and payment.
What is OEC Exemption?
OEC Exemption is utilized for OFWs who wouldn’t want to spend their time and effort in the long queue in POEA. However, not all OFWs can acquire an OEC Exemption. To avail the exemption, you have to be the following:
- You did not change your employer and will still work for the company.
- Going back to the same job site.
- Has a record in the POEA database.
- There are various ways to obtain your OEC exemption. You may go to a local computer shop because they are well familiar in this procedure. You may also ask an OFW friend on how they’re able to obtain an exemption or you may directly proceed to POEA’s office in Ortigas, Mandaluyong, or Manila and ask about the computer shop in their canteen to have your exemption processed.
What is the step by step procedure to get OEC Exemption?
To get an OEC Exemption using BM Online, you will have to do the following:
1 Login your credentials as an Already Registered user.
2 Key in your OEC Number and confirm the employer and job site information.
3 Fill out the details such as Personal Data, Contract Particulars, and Legal forms then change your photo.
4 Enter your expected flight schedule which should date must be within the 60-day OEC validity period.
5 Click YES for your confirmation and acquire your OEC or Exemption.
6 Your BM Exemption Number and instructions will appear on your pre-departure once you’ve arrived on the airport.
What are the benefits of OEC Balik-Manggagawa?
There are benefits in obtaining an OEC Balik-Manggagawa although it’s quite a hard work to obtain one. It serves as the OFW’s permit to work in another country. It also serves as your receipt of payment for your contributions with PHILHEALTH, PAG-IBIG, membership to OWWA and POEA processing fee.
Aside from that, an OEC helps the OFW to be exempted from travel taxes that a usual traveler gets when leaving the country. Also, exemption from airport terminal fees will be given to OFWs once they have presented their OEC.
How OFW rehires can apply for Employment Certificates online?
For OFW rehires in successfully obtaining their Employment Certificates, you must do the following procedures:
1 As an Already Register user, login your credentials.
2 Fill out data needed such as personal data, contract particulars, and legal forms.
3 Input your expected flight schedule.
4 Choose your preferred POEA Office location.
5 Select your desired date and time.
6 A copy of your schedule long with your information shall reflect that you can print for your reference. This may be found under My Transactions.
3 Tips in Applying for an OEC
Here are some tips that you may want to utilize while applying for an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC):
- You should bring both photocopy and original of your documents just in case they’ll be needing an extra copy of your files.
- Using POEA’s list of requirements as your reference, organized your files so it won’t be a hassle for you to submit your documents.
- Of course, don’t forget to bring money for all payments and other fees that may come up upon applying for OEC.
List of OFW Application needed for an OEC
1 OWWA E-card – To get an OWWA E-card, you may do the following:
a. Visit OWWA’s website or Follow this useful tutorial.
b. Input required information.
c. Choose your preferred OWWA Regional Office where you’d obtain your E-Card.
d. Check the Data Privacy Act and input the CAPTCHA needed.
e. After clicking submit, you will receive a tracking number that you may use as your reference for your application.
The benefits of the OWWA E-card is that it gives you the chance to avail the programs and services of OWWA. Just like an OEC, it serves as your exit permit and as your valid ID whenever you are renewing your passport.
2 iDOLE Card – To obtain your iDOLE Card, you must follow these steps:
a. Create a one-stop-ship account by giving your OEC number and other personal information needed.
b. Choose a document ID card in obtaining your iDOLE card.
c. Select your location and preferred date to finally get the physical copy of your card.
3 Direct Hire – For a direct hire to get an OEC, they must do the following:
a. Go to Window 6 or Window 14 and get a number.
b. If called, submit all documents such as passport, contract, working visa and 2×2 photo.
c. Attend a PDOS Seminar and submit Medical Exam.
d. Proceed to OWWA to get a PDOS Seminar.
e. Proceed to POEA again to submit your documents.
f. Go to Window 8 to get your original documents.
g. Go to Window 1 for payment.
4 On-site OWWA Membership – The on-site OWWA Membership Program is meant for the following individuals: a. OFWs whose OWWA membership has expired or OFWs who are first timers. If you’re any of the mentioned individuals, you must do the following:
- Original and photocopy of your passport.
- Proof of employment such as contract, employment offer, pay slip, or certificate employment form.
- Duly accomplished Balik-Manggagawa Information sheet.
- Payment amounting to 25 USD.
List of Countries that are off-limits and need not to have OEC or Balik-Manggagawa
Here’s the list of countries that are off-limits to OFWs to ensure safety of Filipino workers:
- Great Lakes Region
- Chechnya Republic
- South Sudan
- Iraqi Kurdistan Region
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Can I get OEC at the airport?
For your OEC, you may present your OEC by logging in to the BM Online System. You may either print it or log in into the system and present this on the Immigration counter.
2. How much is the cost for OEC?
For only PHP 119.50, you may obtain your OEC For more Details, please continue…
3. How do I print my OEC from BM Online?
In My Transactions on your BM Online account, you can print a copy of your latest OEC.
4. Is OEC valid for one (1) year?
No, your OEC is valid only for sixty days before the actual period of living the country.
5. Can I travel back to Philippines with expired passport?
The Consulate on where you work may accept your passport only if your passport had expired within the last calendar year; if your passport is not an e-passport; if you have already applied for the renewal of your passport; if you have purchased ticket and you have to go back for urgent and/or emergency purposes.
6. How do I contact POEA?
If you didn’t sign up for a BM Online account and received a confirmation email in error, you can deactivate the account in question by contacting our System Administrator through the email address firstname.lastname@example.org or landline number 02-7219496/02-7277778.
Bureau of Immigration to Open Pre-Screening Desk to Reduce OFW Offloading
The Bureau of Immigration had opened a pre-screening desk in all airports across the country to attend to the offloading cases of OFWs.
This has risen due to OFWs traveling as tourists but could not explain the reason behind their travel. This also because of OFWs who had failed to complete their documentary requirements.
BI has clarified that an OFW with a valid visa and existing work contract is still considered a tourist if the OFW will go to different countries that is not his/her current employer.
How to get an OEC in South Korea?
For OFWs in South Korea, they can obtain their OEC at the Philippine Labor Office (POLO) and shall bring the following requirements:
- Balik-Manggagawa Information Sheet
- Original and photocopy of passport
- Original and photocopy of valid alien registration card
- Valid employment contract.
The OFW may also apply for an OEC through BM Online.
How to get an OEC in Saudi Arabia?
For OFWs working in Saudi Arabia, they are required to bring the following:
- Exit/Re-entry Visa
- Copy of the Employer’s Identification Car
- IQAMA of the HSW
- Roundtrip ticket
- Fill out HSW Standard Employment Contract signed by Employer and HSW
- Personal Appearance of the HSW
The OFW shall pay SR 113.00 for OEC (SR 9.00), OWWA Membership (SR 94.00) and PAG-IBIG monthly savings (SR 10.00).
Final Thoughts on Balik-Manggagawa
Although the Balik-Manggagawa can be tedious and tiresome, it’s definitely helpful in ensuring the safety of the Filipinos workings abroad. Fortunately, today’s technology had helped that the time of OFWs can be saved through various online technologies that can be utilized in providing OEC for our modern heroes.
Soon enough, various methods will be developed for ease of obtaining of OEC especially for the growing number of Filipinos finding opportunities abroad.
How OFW Will Be Exempted From Airport Terminal Fee
All Filipino overseas workers or migrant workers can attest to the fact that one of the most anticipated event in their lives is to finally go home to their families.
There’s not a single amount of money that can compare to these hardworking heroes of our country who did their best to give the most comfortable life for their families.
No one wants to leave, let along be separated with your love ones for years. So all the sacrifices of these overseas workers have been paid through this magnificent idea that will surely be adored by different Filipinos workers all over abroad.
And what’s the other thing that awaits for these persistent and diligent workers of the Philippines abroad? They no longer have to pay ₱550.00 terminal fee. Yes, that’s right.
Before, OFWs, out of compulsory, needs to pay for the terminal fee. But fortunately through this new rule, Section 35 of the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act exempts OFWs from paying travel tax, documentary stamp and airport terminal fee, the can have a P550 airport terminal fee when they buy tickets online or in airline ticket offices. They can claim their refund upon departure at the airport terminals.
But since some of the OFWs are still unaware of this new rule, the total collections of the airport terminal fee has reached more than a billion pesos and half of this amount remains unclaimed by OFWs. According to Monreal, all unclaimed amount remains in the general fund of the NAIA.
How to Refund the Terminal Fee for OFW?
For refunding of the fees of all OFWs, as long as they possess the E-ticket, boarding pass and passport they used even several years ago, they are all set to the refund by going to the airport terminals, may it be at NAIA Terminal 4 and such.
Now Philippine travel tax in NAIA and terminal fee, has been off the burden of our overseas Filipino workers and they’ll have the chance to experience how they are valued as Filipinos who represent the country by bringing out the best manpower and services that they could offer to the rest of the world.
This brilliant ideas was described by OFW advocate and former labor undersecretary Susan Ople an “early Christmas gift” for OFWs. Ms. Susan Ople’s cluster was among the first that strongly pushed authorities against keeping the terminal fee in the OFWs’ payment, saying the refund system was cumbersome to the migrant workers and violated their rights.
It’s finally safe to say that all their hard works are paying off in some little ways that would make the me feel like they are being valued by their country.
How to Get Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) in Dubai
To all our Filipino friends in Dubai who are wondering how to get an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) to have a tax exemption from travelling, here is your complete guide on applying and renewing.
FOR APPLICATION IN THE PHILIPPINE EMBASSY DUBAI
The requirements are as follows;
Please make sure to bring an original and extra copies of each.
|Passport||Should be valid for 6 months from date of departure|
|Valid Work Visa/ Work Permit||It could be an any equivalent document|
|Proof that you’re returning to the same Employer||Employment Contract, Certificate of Employment, Company ID, and Pay slip|
How to renew Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) through Philippines Embassy in Dubai?
1. You should fill out the Member Registration Form (MRF) and line up for payment. They will ask for the information of your departure and arrival upon payment.
|Pay 10 Dirhams||Receipt of PAG-IBIG|
|Pay 10 Dirhams||OEC|
2. Just wait for your name to be called and for your OEC to be processed.
Address, contact info of Philippine Overseas Labor Office
The Philippine Overseas Labor Office or POLO is located at Al Quasis 3, Dubai, UAE. For communications, you can reach the Philippine Embassy in Dubai through sending an e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call (+632) 7221144 or (+632) 7221155.