Monday, July 29, 2013

Getting OEC in Manila is Easier than in Dubai


My vacation in Manila last June 28 was my first time not getting an OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate) from Philippine Embassy/Consulate. Being an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) for more than five years and a frequent returning Filipino resident (more than 10 times I think), it is a major hassle to get such certificate for various reasons. First, in Dubai, the consulate is not open during weekends compared to Singapore where you can get OEC even Sundays. So you don't have a choice but to file a leave of absence just to get such document in Philippine Consulate in Dubai. Even if you take early lunch, trust me, 2 hours is not enough to finish the process. Second, the queue is always a major problem. Though there is a ticketing system, still the number of people processing their OEC is superb! They call it by batch and it is 20 people by hour. Third, the consulate is not that accessible; there is no train station that is walking distance so the only choice is to take a cab.


One of the first things that I did when I arrived in Manila was to look for the procedures on how to get OEC in POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) in Ortigas. The procedure is well defined and explained in their official website (http://bmappointment.poea.gov.ph). In my own experience, I did the following easy steps: (1) set an appointment using the system on the website (2) fill up the online information sheet then print it (3) go to the designated office based on your schedule and don't forget to bring all the requirements listed on the website (4) a staff will point you to the next steps which are assessment and payment (5) get your OEC from the cashier and you're done. All in all, the process did not take more than 30 minutes. Also, you can get multiple OEC in Manila but not in Dubai. So for me, it is more convenient now to process the document in Manila.  

First image taken from pinoy-ofw.com

***** UPDATE 25/10/2014 *****
 You can now get OEC online by visiting their website: http://bmonline.poea.gov.ph/. Below are the steps that you can follow (from gulfnews.com):
  • An applicant must first register his or her details using a working email address.
  • After verifying your account, log in. Make sure you have your documents with you: passport and visa copy, original OEC – must be issued in the Philippines.
  • Note: OECs issued in the UAE or other countries will not work for now (you need to get an OEC at least once from any of the POEA or OWWA office in the Philippines).
  • Fill out the information sheet. Key in your date of departure.
  • You will be led to an e-payment facility where you can choose to pay using online banking systems but they use Philippine banks only.
  • You may also use GCash or iRemit so you can pay at accredited exchange centres in the UAE. You may need to enrol your online banking if you prefer to use it, which may take time for some banks.
  • Upon payment, you will be led to the “self-print” option. Print three copies of your OEC along with the system-generated certificates and receipts that will be sent to you.

A Breathe of Happiness



After almost a year, I had the chance to have a quick vacation in Manila. It was a multipurpose trip as I have to arrange some personal things and attend major events. Also, it was my first time to see the new house and lot that I bought for my parents. So aside from spending quality time with my family (by staying at home most of the time), I was a bit busy with other things. It started with my first nephew's baptismal. His full name is Cynder Marcus John M. Cona and yes, it is a long first name. The christening was held at Pasig Cathedral on the 30th of June with more than 10 pairs of godfathers/godmothers. Afterwards, the reception and feast of the food was organized in our new house. It was a simple celebration but the house was filled with relatives, friends and some neighbors.


Second thing is the bachelor's party that I have prepared for my bestfriend and of course, I am not going into details on what happened that night. I reserved a two bedroom suite at Linden Suites in Ortigas and the rest is history. As for the wedding proper, it was held at Mt. Carmel Parish on 6th of July where I stood as a bestman. Ryan, who is my bestfriend for over a decade now, was a bit nervous but was able to hide it in a gentle manner. Though the ceremony isn't perfect (there were some missing entourages during the march), it was a solemn and a great day for everyone. It was followed by a dinner reception at Fernwoods where I played the role of one of the masters of ceremony (emcee) and it wasn't an easy task but I think I was able to deliver.



The night did not stop after the reception. Since some of my classmates attended it, we had some sort of a "reunion". It was so nice seeing some of them and we had some talk and we shared some updates about our lives. The night continued to Starbucks in Eastwood where we had, of course, coffee and some pastries. We all enjoyed remembering those things that we did way back in college. The newlywed joined us after few hours and we filled the night with noise of laughter. There is a huge possibility that I will have my next vacation this Christmas and hopefully, I can organize a formal reunion for us. The happiness that I experience everytime I'm in Manila is really priceless. It can't be compared to any material things and being surrounded by family and close friends even for a short time is indeed helpful to move forward and aim for more goals.

 
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