Overseas Exit Clearance (OEC) is one of the most important documents an OFW must have before leaving the Philippines to be able to work abroad. It is a piece of paper that guarantees you are a legitimate OFW.
If you have been working abroad for a long time, I assumed you know that you will not be allowed to leave the country without this document. This paper also serves as your protection and insurance as you pay your OWWA, Philhealth and Pag-IBIG membership printed in it.
In this clearance, it details your name, your job position, the country of your destination as well as its validity. Yes, it expires so you should remember that to avoid any problems in the future.
Actually, in the past, you could really apply OEC online because POEA has partnered with Teleserv company which applies OEC on your behalf. I think it was 2 years ago that they started this kind of service to make the processing of OEC faster and more convenient.
However, in my assumption, POEA stopped this online service perhaps because it is vulnerable to abuse by people who want to get OEC in bad way. Even the delivery service of OEC by Teleserv was also stopped inside their office in Ortigas.
In the past, I used Teleserv services for delivering my clearance directly to our house in Bulacan because I don’t want to wait for a long time during my application. The service cost only P300 -350 and I think the fee worth less than the time you can save.
So now you need to wait for your clearance in POEA. Good thing, they launched an online appointment system where you can choose where office to go and apply.
Anyhow, here’s the step by step procedure on a semi-online OEC application. Just like what I said earlier, there’s no system that has been placed yet for 100% application online.
1. Verify your date of Vacation to the Philippines
You must verify and make sure the date of your vacation to the Philippines to avoid problem when applying for OEC appointment. In order to be sure, you should already bought the plane ticket before setting up an appointment.
Why I said this? Because you can only cancel appointment twice and after that you cannot make new appointment so be sure to set the date of your vacation.
2. Apply for an Online Appointment
Normally, you can apply online for an OEC Appointment 20 days prior your arrival to the Philippines. You can choose the date of your appointment and all the available dates can be seen when you go to the POEA website.
I have made a post detailing on how to apply for an online OEC appointment. Just click this link and it will direct you to the article.
3. Go to the Office where you will apply and get OEC
In the past, if you are living near the Metro Manila area, you can get your clearance in Ortigas only. For other areas, you may go to satellite offices of POEA.
Due to the introduction of online appointment, you may now get your OEC at Trinoma Mall in Quezon City, POEA Ortigas, Duty Free Paranaque or in SM Manila. There are several options now unlike before which is a good development.
Maybe in the future, OFW can 100% get their OEC online which is the best alternative that will save considerable time. This thing is not impossible considering the improvement of technology.
Here in Korea, they have automatic validation of passport upon arrival. It is operated by a machine where you just put your passport in less than 1 minute to validate your identity as a Korean or foreign citizenship. This concept may be the same as validation and issuing of OEC.
4. Get Your Clearance
You will see the requirements in the post that I made. Before going to the office where you will get your OEC, make sure to make at least one photocopy of each document.
Of course, you should also bring money for paying the fee which ranges around P2,500. The payment includes the membership fee for OWWA, Philhealth and Pag-Ibig and POEA processing fee.
You can get on the same day your clearance. The processing will take less than 30 minutes depending on the number of people present on the office. Unlike before, it may take you more than 2 hours to complete all the process.
As of this writing, there’s no system yet in place that you can get your OEC 100% online. You still need to go to one of the POEA offices in order to get your clearance.
Through online appointment system, the time of application in getting clearance becomes faster and more convenient. Be sure to apply for an appointment if you are planning to spend your vacation to the Philippines.