Saturday, May 18, 2024

Migrante urges DMW to ensure OFW pass is free of charge

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A migrants’ rights group urged the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) to come out with an issuance to ensure its new Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) pass will be free of charge.

Migrante International issued the statement following the pronouncements by the DMW last week that the Department of Finance (DOF) has already agreed to lift the fees for the OFW pass. 

“Until DMW comes out with a written memo or order, which clearly states that no fees will be collected from the OFW pass, it will have no difference from the OEC (overseas employment certificate),” Migrante International Chairperson Joanna Concepcion said. 

The OEC is document issued by the government, which certifies the regularity of the recruitment and documentation of an OFW.

It is expected to be phased out after two to three months after the roll out of the OFW Pass. The said pass can be accessed for free through the DMW Mobile App and will have a validity until the expiration of an OFW’s work contract. 

Migrante International and other migrant advocate groups have been pushing for its abolition since OFWs pay P100 to secure the said document. 

“Documentation should not be a burden to our OFWs, especially amidst aggressive labor export [policy of the government],” Concepcion said. 

She noted the government should scrap the OEC instead of just replacing it with the app-based OFW Pass since an authenticated and employment contract verified by the Philippine government, stamped working visa, and Philippine passport are enough to prove an OFW is legitimate.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes

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