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OEC to be replaced by iDOLE card in 3 months

30 May 2017

By Vir B. Lumicao

Overseas employment certificates may become obsolete in three months.

This was according to Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre, who confirmed that the OEC will be replaced by a special OFW electronic identification card called the “ iDOLE.”

The move was among those reportedly disclosed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello during a meeting with militant leaders on May 13, on the sidelines of President Rodrigo Duterte’s lightning visit to Hong Kong.

“Papalitan yung OEC ng iDOLE, sabi ni Sec (Bello) mga three months pa iyon,” Labatt De la Torre said.

Pending the iDOLE’s rollout, Labatt De la Torre said the OEC registration will continue for OFWs in Hong Kong.

Reports said iDOLE had been “approved with conditions” by President Rodrigo Duterte as early as February this year.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella had told Manila media the approval was with conditions because of “certain technicalities”.

The abolition of the OEC, for years considered by workers as a seasonal pain in the neck because of the long queues that consumed most of their day-off, was hailed by migrant leaders as one of four key issues they had fought for.

The iDOLE card will have several features geared towards more convenient OFW transactions with the government.

These are: 1) easier transactions with government and private agencies; 2) access to OFWs’ records with government agencies; 4) serves as a debit card for the proposed OFW Bank, and, 5) serves as a reloadable Beep card that can be used for MRT or LRT rides.

Before Duterte approved the plan, the Department of Labor and Employment had created a one-stop service center for overseas workers.
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