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Election trims Consulate staffing; POLO boosts services

09 April 2016

Secretariat being set up to receive voters.
The month-long election which begins today is expected to downscale services at the Consulate, because most of its officers and employees will be tied down at the Bayanihan Center in Kennedy Town.

According to several officials at the Consulate, a skeleton staff will remain to provide basic and emergency services. However, sources said, essential staff will be available on call in cases of emergency.

On the other hand, services at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in a nearby building will not be affected according to Labor Attache Jalilo de la Torre.

De la Torre said that the election will hardly affect POLO operations because only a few of its staff will be harnessed for the exercise.

In fact, he added, services will even expand because the processing of the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) will be done even on Saturdays at the Worldwide House shop of Smart Telecom, when POLO is closed.

De la Torre noted a growing number of OFWs who are taking their days off on Saturdays, which would make assigning staff to the additional service worthwhile.

He said talks are also ongoing to enable OEC applicants to use the Octopus card to paying the $20 fee for the OEC.

The possibility of the payment also being accepted at 7-Eleven stores is being considered, he added.

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