What is the change? Authorities have recalled an order that had suspended the issuance of Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs) for directly hired overseas Filipino workers.

What does the change mean? Effective immediately, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) will resume normal processing and issuance of OECs for all directly hired overseas Filipino workers. Before the suspension was lifted, Filipino workers looking to work overseas were forced to apply for OECs through POEA-accredited agencies.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. The order lifting the suspension was issued Tuesday.
  • Visas/permits affected: Overseas Employment Certificates.
  • Who is affected: Overseas Filipino workers.
  • Business impact: Overseas businesses intending to hire overseas Filipino workers may be able to move up timelines and start dates based on the recall of the suspension of OEC processing.
  • Background: Overseas Filipino workers are required to obtain OECs, sometimes called “exit passes,” before leaving the country. This is done to prevent abuse of Filipino workers abroad and to ensure that workers are properly documented when leaving the Philippines.

As BAL reported, OEC processing and issuance for directly hired overseas Filipino workers were suspended this month amid reports of an investigation of anomalies in the workers’ deployment. An administrative order issued Tuesday lifted the suspension, saying the previous order was being recalled in “the interest of justice.”

BAL Analysis: The change could make it easier to obtain OECs for directly hired workers. Employers who were affected by the start dates may be able to move up their start dates, depending on their employees’ specific circumstances. OEC applications for directly hired overseas Filipino workers still must meet the requirements of the Revised POEA Rules and Regulations governing the Recruitment and Employment of Land-based Overseas Filipino Workers of 2016.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the Philippines. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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