OFW ID should be recognized by Immigration, says Bello

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Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Wednesday said the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) ID should be accepted by Bureau of Immigration personnel.

Bello said this when asked regarding reports that the OFW ID is reportedly not being accepted by BI personnel.

“Pwede ba ‘yun? Hindi pwede ‘yun. Dapat ‘yun isumbong sa amin din, kung sino ‘yung taga-Immigration kasi nakapirma ‘yung Immigration Commissioner diyan du’n sa memorandum of agreement,” Bello said in an interview on Unang Balita on Wednesday.

“Kasama ‘yung kanilang sistema, so walang dahilan na hindi nila i-recognize ‘yan, at kung meron mang ganyan, iparating lang sa amin,” he added.

Sought for reaction, BI spokesperson Antonette Mangrobang said: “We’re waiting for comment from our ports.”

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has started issuing the OFW ID card or the DOLE, the integrated ID that OFWs can use for easy transactions with government and private agencies concerning their overseas employment.

Bello said the distribution, which started last week, is only the first phase of implementation and will cater first to vacationing OFWs “until the system is ready for all OFWs.”

Vacationing OFWs are required to log in their BM Online accounts to apply for the ID cards, which they can use to avail of travel tax and terminal fee exemptions.

The OFW ID was conceptualized to replace the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) that OFWs needed to secure before their deployment.

An OEC is a requirement for OFWs departing from the Philippines to their employment destination, although many OFWs say it is a useless document that serves no other purpose but to generate revenues for the government.

SOURCE: GMA

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