Published: March 8, 2019 | Updated: July 12, 2020 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Government Services
With the launch of the new OFW ID card (called the OFW e-CARD) in November 2018, the horror of getting an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) might just soon be over for OFWs. Filipinos working abroad can also expect smoother and faster transactions with different government agencies.
Interested in getting an OFW e-CARD? Let this simple guide help you in your application process.
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The OFW e-CARD is a new identification card that serves as a proof of membership to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and an OEC for OFWs.
It replaces the previously issued iDOLE OFW ID card, which was controversial for its confusing guidelines and bearing a photo of President Rodrigo Duterte.
OFWs can use their e-CARD to avail of OWWA programs and services. Simply present the ID card at the OWWA Regional Welfare Office, Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Bureau of Immigration, and Philippine embassies or consulates in their respective countries of employment.
Having the new OFW ID card will make life easier for Filipinos working abroad. Here are OFW e-CARD benefits to expect:
All Balik Manggagawas who meet the following eligibility requirements can get an OFW e-CARD:
Based on POEA Rules and Regulations, a Balik Manggagawa is an OFW who has completed or is currently completing his or her employment contract and will return to the same employer, whether in the same or a new job site.
If you aren’t sure about your OWWA membership status, you may check it at the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office if you’re in the Philippines or at the POLO if you’re currently abroad. Or download the OWWA Mobile App on your smartphone to see if your OWWA membership is still active.
As of this writing, the OFW e-CARD is not yet available to newly hired OFWs, as the project is still in its first phase of implementation. Wait for an update from the OWWA on when all OFWs can get this ID card.
The OFW e-CARD is available for free. Whether you’re in the Philippines or abroad, you can apply for this OFW ID card online.
Here’s how to apply for an OFW e-Card:
The OFW e-CARD can be claimed only in the Philippines. You may choose to pick up your ID card when you return to the country for your vacation. Or you can ask a family member to claim it for you. The authorized representative needs to submit an authorization letter and a photocopy of the OFW’s passport identification page.
Checking the status of your e-CARD application is quick and easy. Just follow these steps:
Got questions or need help when it comes to the OFW e-CARD? You may reach OWWA via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through any of these contact numbers:
OWWA and POEA assistance desks are also available at NAIA Terminals 1, 2, and 3 to help OFWs regarding any concern about the e-CARD.