OFWs exempted from paying travel tax, POEA fees

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  • MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returning to their jobs or same employers abroad are now exempted from paying travel tax as well as securing overseas employment certificate (OEC) and paying Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) processing fee.

    In a newly approved memorandum circular, the POEA said the new policy was in line with the government’s efforts to streamline the processing of OFWs’ documents.

    In a related development, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Filipino household service workers (HSWs) and other OFWs abroad could expect better protection as the International Labor Organization adopted the Fair Recruitment Principles and Operational Guidelines during a Tripartite Meeting of Experts in Geneva, Switzerland last week.

    According to the POEA, Balik Manggagawa (BM) or returning workers’ group has long been calling on the government to enhance the processing of their OECs or exit clearance.

    OFWs returning abroad are required to secure OECs prior to their departure.

    POEA said workers who would be going back to the same employer could register online to update their personal and employment data with the POEA.

    Data submitted to the POEA would be forwarded to the Bureau of Immigration to serve as reference of the BI officer in validating the exemption of BM members at the time of their departure.

    POEA said the BM members would have to present valid work visa or employment contract so they could be exempted from paying terminal fee and travel tax. (M. Jaymalin, PS)

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