Philippine government to replace OECs required for overseas Filipino workers with identification cards

There are approximately 10 million overseas Filipino workers in 170 countries, with 1 million in Saudi Arabia alone. (Reuters)
Updated 04 July 2017

Philippine government to replace OECs required for overseas Filipino workers with identification cards

The Philippine labor department by the end of July will start to issue identification cards for overseas Filipino workers and do away with the overseas employment certificates being required before they are deployed abroad.
“We will start implementing I-DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) cards to all bona fide OFWs at no cost. This will be the substitute for the OECs,” labor secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a live commentary with Presidential Communications Office assistant secretary Margaux Uson over Facebook.
The initiative, one of the major priorities under president Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, will be launched on July 12.
Filipinos working abroad have long complained about the difficulty of obtaining OECs whenever they have to go back home or return to their workplaces since they have to hurdle long queues just to get one.
Aside from providing the basic information and replacing the OEC, the ID will also serve as the migrant workers’ Social Security System (SSS), Pag-ibig Fund and PhilHealth membership IDs.
The labor secretary, in a separate briefing at Malacañan Palace, also said that they are exploring a system that would allow the I-DOLE cards to also be designated passport of OFWs.
“We are talking to the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) and the DOJ (Department of Justice) through its agency, the Bureau of Immigration, so that the IDOLE may be used as a passport,” he said.
There are approximately 10 million OFWs in 170 countries, with 1 million in Saudi Arabia alone, followed by Japan, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan.
Last year, OFW remittances reached a record $26.9 billion, up 5 percent from $25.61 billion in 2015 with almost 80 percent of the amount send from countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US.


Philippines and India agree to strengthen defense, security ties

In this handout photograph taken and released by Indian Presidential Palace on October 18, 2019, India's President Ram Nath Kovind (C-L) attends a press conference with Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte (C-R) at Malacanan Palace in Manila. (AFP)
Updated 20 October 2019

Philippines and India agree to strengthen defense, security ties

  • The two leaders agreed to strengthen maritime security ties

MANILA: The Philippines and India have agreed to boost defense and security cooperation following talks between President Rodrigo Duterte and his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind on Friday.
Kovind is in Manila as part of a five-day official visit to the Philippines that began on Thursday.
In a joint statement, Duterte said he and Kovind have committed to building a “partnership” between the Philippines and India “that enables us to face challenges to our hard-won progress, jointly and effectively.”
As Duterte welcomed India’s role in his country’s defense capability upgrade program, against the backdrop of growing security cooperation, he said they have agreed “to continue working together to fight terrorism and violent extremism and other transboundary threats.”
Kovind said “both of our countries have been victims of terrorism,” and the two leaders “committed to work closely to defeat and eliminate terrorism in all its forms
and manifestations.”
He added: “As two vibrant democracies that believe in a rules-based international order, respect for international law and sovereign equality of nations, the Philippines and India are natural partners in the pursuit of their respective national development and security objectives.”
The two leaders also agreed to strengthen maritime security ties.
“As countries strategically located in the Pacific and Indian oceans, we affirmed our shared interest to protect our maritime commons and advance the rule of law in our maritime domains,” Duterte said.

BACKGROUND

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind said ‘both of our countries have been victims of terrorism,’ and the two leaders ‘committed to work closely to defeat and eliminate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.’

He added that they also discussed “the most pressing concerns of our region and beyond, such as maritime security and economic integration.”
Following their meeting, they witnessed the signing of maritime, tourism, science, technology and cultural agreements.
Among them was a memorandum of understanding between the Philippine Coast Guard and the Indian Navy to enhance maritime security by sharing information on nonmilitary and nongovernment shipping vessels between the two countries.
“With the signing of bilateral agreements, we have likewise widened the path toward enhancement of our engagement in maritime security, science and technology, tourism and cultural cooperation,” Duterte said.
“We hope to look back on this day as a milestone in our relations, the day when we set out to turn promise into reality, and potential into concrete benefits that bring the greatest positive impact on the lives of our peoples.”