Overseas Employment Certificate: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What is an OEC?
An Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) is a document required under the Rules and Regulations of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) from all Filipinos departing the Philippines for overseas employment, whether as a new hire or a Balik Manggagawa – a Filipino worker returning to the same employer abroad.
The OEC is required to be presented to immigration officials at Philippine airports every time a Filipino overseas worker leaves the Philippines. It serves as an exit clearance, and exempts the worker from paying travel tax and airport terminal fees.
An OFW who holds an OEC enjoys the following privileges: (a) travel tax exemption; (b) airport terminal fee exemption; and (c) reduced travel tax for spouse or dependents.
The OEC is valid only for 60 days from the date of issuance.
- Who issues the OEC?
The OEC is issued by POEA offices in the Philippines. It may also be issued by Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) abroad that have been authorized by the POEA to issue OECs. However, a POLO can only issue OECs to Filipinos working in the countries it covers. POLO Kuala Lumpur has jurisdiction over overseas Filipinos in Thailand on labor matters.
The OEC is not issued by the Philippine Embassy. The Philippine Embassy in Bangkok does not issue OECs.
- What is employment contract verification?
Verification is the procedure conducted by the Labor Attaché in Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) to ensure that all the employment rights, benefits, and welfare of Filipino workers at the worksite are duly protected.
Through verification, the Labor Attaché ensures that the employment contracts of the Filipino workers and other employment documents are consistent with the prevailing employment laws, standards and practices in both the Philippines and the host country, and that the documentary requirements for overseas employment as required by the POEA are complied with.
- Do I need to have my employment contract authenticated by the Philippine Embassy?
The most important requirement for the issuance of an OEC is a verified employment contract. Verification is a service that only the POLO, not the Embassy, can provide.
If you are required by POEA to have your contract legalized by the Philippine Embassy, then the contract may be acknowledged by the Philippine Embassy only if the contract is executed and signed by all parties in person at the Embassy. The personal appearance of all signatories at the Embassy is required.
If your contract was not signed in the Embassy, the contract must be notarized by a Thai notary public, and then authenticated by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Thai MFA-authenticated contract shall be brought to the Philippine Embassy for authentication before applying for an OEC.
IMPORTANT: To avoid potential issues concerning your OEC application, please make sure that your employment contract complies with the Minimum Provisions of Employment Contracts, including medical and repatriation insurance coverage, as provided under POEA Memorandum Circular No. 8, series of 2008 [Implementing Guidelines on the Registration of Direct-Hire Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)].
Please check DOLE's sample "EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT FOR VARIOUS SKILLS" to determine if your employment contract complies with the minimum provisions of the Standard Employment Contract.
- I changed my employer in Thailand and I am spending my vacation in the Philippines. What must I do to apply for an OEC?
If you changed your employer, you must go through the steps described in item no. 4 before leaving Thailand. After completing the process, you may then apply for an OEC at the nearest POEA office in the Philippines.
- I am a directly hired worker in the Philippines bound for Thailand. I need an OEC. What must I do?
Direct hiring is discouraged; hiring must be done as much as possible through a POEA-accredited Philippine recruitment agency.
For directly hired workers, all employers seeking exemption from the direct hire prohibition shall have the employment documents of their directly hired workers acknowledged by the Philippine Embassy in Bangkok.
OWWA Membership: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- How do I renew my OWWA membership?
Your OWWA membership is active only for two years and for the employer you specified in your application. If two years have passed, or if you have changed to another employer (even if two years have not yet passed), your membership becomes inactive. You need to renew your OWWA membership for continuous coverage and availment of benefits.
- OWWA Information Sheet, duly accomplished;
- Proof of employment such as work/residence permit, signed contract of employment, pay slip, company ID card, application for Philippine insurance with employer's signature, or other relevant evidence of employment; and
- Copy of passport showing photo and personal data.
- Am I eligible for membership enrollment/renewal under the OWWA On-Site Membership Program (OSMP)?
You are eligible if you fall under any of the following groups:
- OFWs of legal age, who enroll as first time members, provided they are gainfully employed overseas at the time of registration;
- OFWs with expired OWWA membership;
- OFWs who have acquired regular/permanent residency status in the foreign country of work, but who remain Filipino citizens; and
- OFWs who left the Philippines without proper documentation from POEA as OFWs, and who have obtained gainful employment in the destination country.
If you need additional information, please contact OWWA Kuala Lumpur.
Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) – Kuala Lumpur
Tel : +(603) 2181 7299 / +(603) 2161 2222
Hotline : +(6017) 8837 089
POEA Online Processing System for Balik-Manggagawa or POPS-BaM
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) – Kuala Lumpur
Tel : +(603) 9202 3756
: + 6011 1486 3087