Filipino expats won't have to pay Php100 OEC fee when new digital pass takes effect

It isn't clear yet when the OFW Pass will be rolled out, but authorities say it will be available as soon as it gets the green light from the government's tech department


Kirstin Bernabe

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Published: Thu 13 Jul 2023, 2:19 PM

Filipino expats who are travelling home for vacation no longer need to pay the Php100 fee for their overseas employment certificate (OEC) — once the digital version becomes available.

The Philippines' Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) announced on Thursday that the upcoming Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Pass will be free of cost. The OFW Pass serves as the digital alternative to the OEC paper, a requirement for every expat working abroad.

The OFW Pass is set to be launched as soon as the government's Department of Information and Communications Technology gives the green light, according to a report in the state-run Philippine News Agency.

“[Philippine] President Ferdinand Marcos Jr made it clear that the OFW Pass should be free in honour of the huge sacrifices being made and contributions of our modern-day heroes to the needs of their respective families and the Philippine economy as a whole,” said DMW Secretary Susan Ople.

Aside from the OFW Pass, the department is also set to launch its DMW Mobile App, which will also be free.

Currently, the DMW app is undergoing rigorous testing, Ople said.

Ople said the DMW mobile app is undergoing rigorous testing by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) before its formal launch.

“Our goal is to make the journey of our OFWs much easier. The OFW Pass, in comparison with the decades-old OEC, is convenient, practical, and free of use. In the next phase, we hope to be able to add more features to our mobile app and integrate this with the e-Gov app of the DICT, but for now, we prefer to focus on educating our OFWs on the features of the OFW Pass,” Ople said.

On average, DMW issues as many as 6,719 OECs to OFWs daily.

An OEC is a document that certifies the regularity of Filipino expats’ employment. While it is not a requirement to travel to the Philippines, the expats will need to present the document to be able to fly back to the UAE, or any other country they are working in.

“Foregoing the Php100 per OEC charge was an easy decision to make given the enormous and consistent contributions of our OFWs to the country’s economic growth and the sustenance of their families,” Ople said.


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