Since President Rodrigo Duterte’s lead, he has been improving a lot of processes and inputs. One of the most recent is the ID cards for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that this is one of the President’s “best” gifts for OFWs. Why? Because having this ID card would allow a lot of processes to be easier, faster, and more efficient. Furthermore, this would give way to better transactions with the government and agencies that handle overseas employment.
Bello said around July of this year: “The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said that they will issue guidelines for OFWs for them to have the iDOLE ID card.”
He added that the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) will upload the names of the registered OFWs to the cloud (DOLE cloud) and have it downloaded for printing. “All the unique IDs will be delivered to them, whether they are in the Philippines or overseas,” Bello said.
In addition to that, he also mentioned that this OFW ID will undergo a three-month dry run through the Integrated Department of Labor and Employment (iDOLE). After that pilot, it can then run and serve as the OFW’s Automated Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), immigration, and airport pass.
So how do you get an OFW ID Card (iDOLE)?
As per Secretary Bello, getting an ID is not difficult. Why, you may ask? Because since your name is already in the roster of the official OFWs, DOLE will process this one already; no hassle and time-consuming application is needed. Although most processes are already done online, the steps on getting an iDOLE card would require you to head to the nearest DOLE office in your area. The application of the iDOLE card is not yet available on their website however, we’re of course praying for that to happen because it’ll save a lot of hassle and time.
1. Proceed to the main office of DOLE or any of their DOLE branches. For the list of offices nationwide, you can visit their website here. For OFWs outside the country, you can try and visit this link.
2. Bring two (2) valid IDs for proof of identity. If you have more IDs, then better. Government IDs are of course considered valid and legitimate; present them if you have. Bring your OEC or Overseas Employment Certificate; this will show as proof that it’s your first time getting the iDOLE ID.
3. Approach the person-in-charge or the POC for the application when you reach the DOLE office. You may ask the guards or employees there on where you should proceed.
4. Most of the time, people would know that you’ve already processed the iDOLE card because it’ll be present on their records; in the event that they don’t, that’s the time you present your OEC to prove that it’s just your first time.
5. After you’ve given all that you need to give, wait for the processing; it usually takes about less than 2 hours for this to be a success.
6. When your name gets called, proceed to the office/window where they print the IDs; they’ll print it on the day you visit the DOLE office unlike other government processes, IDs, etc.
7. You will hear your name called or someone will approach you to tell you that the process is complete. There, you’ll be able to obtain your iDOLE Card.
- To be sure, bring your OEC with you. You never know the instances or occurrences when the system will have errors, lags, network issues, etc.
- Always try and be punctual for you to get out of that office early as well.
- Be friendly with the people inside the DOLE Office. Although not all of them can help you with the process/application, they’re still people who can help you when you need aid like asking for directions, for people, and of course, processes.
How much would be the fee for this iDOLE Card?
As of the moment, the OFW ID is technically free. Of course, we need to wait for further announcements.
How long would be the process in getting the iDOLE Card?
USUALLY, the processing of this iDOLE card takes about 20-30 minutes depending on the number of people in the DOLE office. To be safe, try and prepare for an hour of processing.
Can a former OFW still get an OFW ID?
Yes, current and former OFWs can avail of the iDOLE card.
What if I don’t have an OEC yet? Would I still be able to get an OFW ID?
The reason why we recommend presenting the OEC is because of process enhancement. If you still do not have this, you can present employment contracts and other supporting documents for them to verify you.
How can OFWs outside the country get the card?
Although we mentioned that the online application process is still being improved, there are certain websites/links that helps OFWs in the application. This can be accessed in the central database of DOLE. Moreover, all will be directed to the counsel stations in the designated foreign country.
Yes, the OFW ID cards can truly be beneficial in terms of it being a substitute for the OEC and to prove legitimacy of being an OFW. Although the current process is still being improved, we can be sure that once it finishes, OFWs can feel the country’s continuous improvement in terms of aiding them.
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