An Open Letter: POEA OFW exit clearance online is a false claim, its not working

October 18, 2014 by rdagumampan

Today, Inquirer reported the POEA launched a system where us OFW can request for Overseas Exit Clearance (OEC). This is available on:

OEC is a document every Filipino working abroad need to secure in order to leave PH airport and save from paying travel tax and terminal fee. While I considered this document useless in serving it’s primary purpose in preventing human trafficking, saving 2,000+ PHP every time I return to Manila is a just compensation for going to embassy every time.

I have countless number of frustrating experiences getting this f**** document. I was once missed my flight because the OEC I got for NAIA 3 was not found or encoded in the Immigration, after 1hr of waiting in Immig line, I just have to fall in line again on another line. IM officer simply says, “sorry your OEC was not encoded”. When getting this from KL Embassy, you will be given 3 forms with same information to fill in only to be told, they only need one. You cannot get multiple exit OEC in embassy and you have to used up 1 day of your valuable holiday to get this OEC from regional office. I am just lucky I have flexible work schedule and I can take LRT to KL embassy

POEA Administrator Hans Cleo Cacdac claims: “With the new system, a returning OFW can now apply online for the OEC and have the approved OEC printed by him/her anywhere, anytime. With the existing database sharing with the Bureau of Immigration, the updated information of OFWs who have successfully secured their OEC using the system will be automatically shared with the Bureau. This facilitates the validation by the immigration officers at the airport of the OEC being presented by the bearer,”
So as soon as I have read this new system, I immediately signed up and try out. I am an OFW based in Kuala Lumpur and I usually return to Manila every 3 months and even more frequent when it’s official business.

Oh well, I’m impressed with the overall design! It’s simple and intuitive. However, the main function did not work as I expected. I was asked for latest OEC number that I have and it says OEC “Record not found!!!”. My last departure date was Sep 7 2014 and I tried all combinations, maybe I am doing it wrong. I stopped after few tries and instead wrote this email to POEA:

I am writing this email to express my frustration and disappointment in this new system you rolled out.
I travel to Manila every 3 months from Kuala Lumpur and I always have to get an OEC. Last trip was just last September, and this system says my OEC number cannot be found and I have to set an appointment.
I am going back again this Oct 30 stay 3 days and this system is USELESS if i have to set an appointment. I hope you guys realize how valuable a single day for us OFW just to fall in line and get this useless document!
Much more to domestic helpers and office workers who have to file a leave just to visit the Embassy and pickup this document.
For your reference:
Name: Rodel E Dagumampan
Passport: EBxxxxxx
OEC No: BM5190593A
Last Departure from Manila: Sep 7 2014
I hope you can fix this and make this work!
To our BELOVED POEA, we appreciate this initiative but it’s a false claim. It’s only an online appointment system. It doesn’t make much difference. To fellow OFWs, we should never tolerate incompetence of people working for our government.

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