Advisory: DOLE temporarily suspends processing of new OECs for OFWs  

Image from DOLE/ Gulf News

MANILA, Philippines  –  Amid allegations of unscrupulous individuals preying on Filipinos who desire to work outside the country, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have suspended the processing and issuance of new Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The DOLE Department Order No. 185 was signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III last November 9 and took effect last November 13, Monday. The suspension will last for 15 days until December 01, 2017.

According to DOLE, the order came amid persistent reports of illegal recruitment activities including direct hires, and “in order to protect the public from the pernicious activities of certain individuals preying on Filipinos desiring to work overseas.”

However, exempted from the suspension are those who are being hired by international organizations and members of diplomatic corps, including members of royal families and sea-based agencies.

The Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi also clarified that exempted from the coverage are vacationing OFWS returning to the same employer, and those who are required to have their contracts verified by Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) for OWWA purposes.

Meanwhile, DOLE said it will launch an investigation into the alleged illegal recruitment activities by certain individuals and will soon submit their recommendation to rectify the matter.