Card to be rolled out by end of July in lieu of Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) to bring end serpentine queues at airport check-in counters

Dubai: Filipinos can say goodbye to travel exit clearances and breeze through Philippine immigration gates once the new unified ID card system has been rolled out by the end of July, officials said on Monday.

Philippine Department of Labour and Employment (Dole) Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced on social media on Monday that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) going to their workplaces abroad by the end of July will be issued a special identification card free of cost.

Called the OFW ID, the card will be officially launched by mid-July and will serve as the universal ID for all OFWs for all their government transactions. Dole Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad III told reporters in Dubai on Monday that the ID will cater to all OFW needs.

“We’re excited to launch the OFW ID, which was announced by the Secretary today (Monday). The ID serves as evidence that the worker has been processed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA),” said Lagunzad, who is in Dubai for a high-level meeting with his UAE counterparts on Tuesday.

The new OFW ID system announced by the current government is still undergoing tests, official said. Details of the application process will be announced soon, they added.

“The card can also be used to go through Philippine immigration. We tested it and the OFW who was issued the card was able to pass through smoothly.

So essentially, this card will enable Filipinos to pass through immigration gates quickly. This will also eliminate long queues for OEC application and travel tax refunds.”

Lagunzad said the OFW ID will be linked with other government agencies like the Social Security System, PhilHealth, Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-ibig, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and eventually with the Professional Regulation Commission.

The timeframe and application process for the ID are yet to be announced.

In the last stage, the OFW ID may be used as an ATM or debit card and to remit money with the proposed OFW Bank.