Wed. Sep 18th, 2019
owwa ecard as exit clearance

The New OWWA OFW eCard Offers Conveniences to OFWs?

The OWWA OFW e-Card, formerly known as OFW ID, was launched last November 14, 2018, to boost the delivery of government services to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). A holder will enjoy:

  • Proof of an active OWWA membership and access to OWWA programs involving welfare services, grants, training programs, and social benefits.
  • Serves as an OFW exit certificate or Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) to show that the possessor was legally hired.
  • Exemptions to travel tax and terminal fee.
  • Serves as a valid government ID and can access information on contributions with SSS, Philhealth, and Pag-ibig.

According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, “The OWWA OFW e-CARD is a response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to further serve our modern heroes–the OFWs.”

The useful features of the OWWA OFW eCard provide convenience to a balik manggagawa (BM), returning worker. Not with OFW Bing Estrada who is working in Singapore.

She has an eCard in her possession from an online application last November 18, 2018. Estrada went back to the Philippines on December 13, 2018, to attend to her sick child at the hospital who needs an operation. Even if the condition of her child is not stable, she had to be back by January 4, 2019, or suffer unemployment.

Estrada presented her eCard but immigration officials would not accept this because her name and BM number are not in the system. She had the same fate with OWWA officials at NAIA terminal 2. The e-Card cannot be used as an OEC and she needs to secure an OFW exit certificate.  There were no orders from Labor Secretary Bello III and OWWA Administrator Cacdac to implement the OWWA OFW e-Card.

The incident almost caused her to miss the flight. Add the long queues and extra fees to her miseries. In disgust she Estrada called the e-Card a piece of trash to fool OFWs.

She said, “Sobra aq dissapointed sanyo phil owwa puro kau ngawa at pa pogi sa media pag dating saming mga ofw palpak kau!”

This was addressed to Secretaries Bello III and Cacdac and Director Arnel Ignacio accusing them of getting good mileage from their interviews with media but a failure for the OFWs welfare.

From Estrada’s update on her post last January 7, 2019…

“salamat po ky sir sec.bello at admin sir hans cacdac sa pag tawag sakin at pag sagot sa post q tungkol sa problema sa ecard

Ngaun po nangako sakin ang OWWA sir hans at SEC SIR BELLO na tutulong at sila na bahala sa pagpapagamot at operation ng anak q John Angelo Cubero Bensa… now po waiting pa po aq ng update from owwa slmat po thanks god”

She got a call from the concerned promising her of their help and they will shoulder the expenses of his son’s operation.

The OWWA OFW e-Card is a good program started by Secretary Bello III and Administrator Cacdac in response to President Duterte’s directive. However, the good government officials forgot to give an order to implement the program compounding OFW Bing Estrada’s predicament.

Kudos to OFW Bing Estrada for bringing her plight out on Facebook. And also to Secretary Bello III and Administrator Cacdac for looking after OFWs welfare may your tribes multiply.

Can we use the OWWA eCard as our exit clearance?

The answer is clear, YES, our OWWA ecard also serves as an exit clearance but you still have to update and show the immigration officer your OEC. You can either print it our or take a screenshot of it and save it on your mobile phone. Visit How to get an OEC

exit clearance ecard

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