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Trouble getting OEC exemption? Here’s why, Labatt explains

03 March 2020

Labatt Mel Dizon at the Filcom meeting with his deputy, Tony Villafuerte

If an overseas Filipino worker is returning to the same employer after his vacation but can’t get an OEC (overseas employment certificate) online, chances are he has been put on a temporary watchlist because someone has filed a complaint against him.

Thus said Labor Attaché Mel Dizon, in answer to a question by a Filipino community leader regarding a domestic worker’s failure to acquire OEC exemption through the Balik-Manggagawa Online portal.

Global Alliance officer and Consulate volunteer Marites Nuval raised the issue in the open forum of last Sunday’s community meeting at the Consulate.
Nuval said that as a Polo volunteer assisting BM Online applicants since 2016, she had seen no fewer than 10 cases of workers returning to the same employer being unable to get OEC exemption online.

She said that acquiring the OEC exemption online is normally easy because the only problem encountered by many is when they forget the passwords to their email accounts which they used in registering with BM Online.


But Nuval said that there were cases when the worker couldn’t get the exemption due to a documentation problem, such as having a namesake in the Philippines. If this was the case, the worker would be asked to show an NBI clearance before being allowed to exit the country.     

“Since 2016, hindi lang 10 ang na-encounter naming ganun, so, hindi po sila ma-exempt dahil sa “documentation” po parati ang lumalabas,” Nuval said.
Former Labatt Jalilo dela Torre on outreach mission in Lamtim for BMOnline registrants
Labatt Dizon said there could be another reason, and that was if the worker was on the Immigration watch-list for leaving the country despite a case having been filed against him or her in court.

He said chances are a subpoena had been issued to the worker and he did not reply to it or did not appear in court to face the complaint.

In some cases, when somebody files a complaint against a worker, say, an employer complains directly to the POEA regarding a contractrual violation, the POEA issues a subpoena to gain jurisdiction over the case, Labatt Dizon said.

“Ang gagawin ng POEA para makakuha ng jurisdiction, mag-iisyu ng summons to appear within a certain date. Kapag hindi ka nag-appear doon, ilalagay ka sa temporary watch-listing,” the labor official said.    

The workers need to appear at the POEA and answer the complaint against them, then possibly file a motion for reconsideration or request the lifting of the watch-listing, he said. “Kawawa rin naman kasi yung nagreklamo kung hindi ka nag-appear.”

Tunghayan ang kwentong Dream Love.

“Katulad din iyan pag may reklamo sa isang agency, eh. Para magkaroon ng jurisdiction ang POEA, mag-iisyu ng subpoena para mag-appear yung agency at sagutin ang reklamo,” he said. If the agency fails to appear, it will be put on the watch-list.

“Iyon kasi ang pagkuha namin ng jurisdiction sa inirireklamo para malaman namin kung totoo yung reklamo. Iyan yung constitutional due process, eh,” he said.

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