POEA gets new old boss

December 28, 2011

POEA gets new old boss
28-Dec-11, 12:19 PM | Veronica Uy, InterAksyon.com

MANILA, Philippines — There’s a minor shakeup at the Department of Labor and Employment as Undersecretary for Labor Relations Hans Cacdac is moved back to head the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), where he was deputy administrator before his appointment as labor undersecretary.

Cacdac replaces Carlos Cao for still unclear reasons, although sources said the long lines for getting the overseas employment certificates — a subject of many complaints from leaving migrant Filipino workers as well as their recruiters and employers — may have been one of the reasons for his replacement. Cao’s lackluster performance at the height of the repatriation of OFWs during the Arab Spring may have also been a factor.

Cacdac took his oath a week ago, and will assume the post on Monday, Jan. 2, at least two independent sources confirmed to InterAksyon.com. The sources asked not to be identified as they are not authorized to speak in behalf of the appointing authority.

Cacdac, a labor lawyer before joining government service, successfully advocated for the adoption of the International Convention on Domestic Workers in Geneva, among other achievements.

The POEA, together with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), is involved in helping regulate overseas employment. The POEA issues licenses to recruitment agencies.

He will be replaced by Rebecca Chato, a career official who was recently director of the Bureau of Labor Relations

Meanwhile, the Federation of Free Workers lauded the appointment of Chato, saying her “vast experience in social dialogue and her ability to relate to both employers and workers in a just and fair manner will be of great contribution to the DOLE’s effort of promoting industrial peace.”

“Chato deserves this new promotion, She is not afraid of tackling contentious labor relations issues,” said lawyer Sonny Matula, FFW national president.

FFW sees her as a labor advocate who knows the details in the complaints by different Philippine trade union groups at the International Labor Organization against the Philippine government over extra-judicial killings of labor leaders in 2009 and violations to freedom of association and right to collective bargaining.

Matula said Chato is helping craft “more out-of-the-box solutions” in these areas.


A Christmas gift from POEA

December 21, 2009

For Naija Pinoys, it’s always a stressful experience coming from a vacation in the Philippines. With all the hassles and expense we have to endure with the Philippine immigration just to be allowed to get back to Nigeria.

Although we are secretly thankful to the immig boys for being more “understanding” to our situation, more than the other “supposedly” concerned government agencies who couldn’t make up their minds about the total travel ban indefinitely imposed against Nigeria OFWs.

In October 2009, there were news from vacationing Naija Pinoys that POEA started issuing the much-coveted Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). The OEC provides an OFW clearance to travel overseas without challenge from immig. This piece of paper also provides exemption from the payment of travel tax..

Those Naija OFWs who got the OEC were kind enough to post and share their experience in the naijapinoy yahoogroup.

As my own vacation neared (mid-November), I was already getting stressed at the thought of spending 2-3 days in Manila just to renew my OEC.

So instead of taking Qatar Airways via Cebu, I have to take Emirates via Manila and thus spend a lonely night in Manila, before flying to the province the next day. I was planning to get an OEC from the POEA main office in Ortigas. That would mean 2-3 days in Manila, on my way back to Nigeria.

A week before my travel to Manila, i decided to visit the regional office of POEA in Cagayan de Oro. I wasn’t really optimistic about getting something from a regional office. Just the same, I made sure I had photocopies of my passport, visa pages, and my CERPAC receipt.

After I identified myself as a Naija OFW, i was shown by the POEA staff a memo from Chief Manalili about Nigera OFWs. It was the same memo circulated by the Philippine Embassy in Nigeria. I was thinking that, this is it, the expected red tape…

But to my surprise, the regional manager gave her go-signal for the OEC processing. I was told to go to Philhealth office where i paid my contribution. They took one set of the photocopies. Then I went to OWWA office to make payments for the OWWA insurance.

Going back to POEA, i was still unconvinced that I will be given the OEC. But after i paid a hundred pesos, I was finally issued an OEC. The entire process just took 2 hours to finish.

Yes! I really got an OEC from the regional office.

I texted another Naija OFW, who’s going back to Nigeria the next day, that I was issued an OEC in the POEA Regional Office.

Since he’s taking an afternoon flight, he decided to go to POEA in the morning. And as i have experienced, he also got an OEC that same morning…. After he boarded the plane, he texted me that the OEC worked like magic– it gave him a hassle-free exit from the country – for the first time in three years he’s been in Nigeria.

I came back to Nigeria this second week of December. And i’d say the issuance of OEC was a timely gift by the POEA to Naija OFWs.

I was told that the Center for Migrant Advocacy (CMA), led by Ellen Sana had a hand in the change of travel advisory to Nigeria.

In behalf of Nigeria OFWs, i would like to thank POEA Chief Jennifer Manalili, the CDO regional office and the CMA for finally lifting the heavy burden imposed on Naija OFWs.

I surely would like to get the Multiple Travel Exit Clearance (MTEC) on my next vacation this March 2010.

A Merry Christmas and a – hopefully – Prosperous New Year to all….

Good news to NaijaPinoys – Pagkuha ng OEC

August 28, 2009

Kamakailan lang, marami nang bali-balita na meron ng mga Naija Pinoys na nabigyan ng OEC. Sa umpisa, ayaw natin maniwala, pero sa dami ng feedback at pagbibigay ng proseso ng mga nakakuha na, atin nakumpirma na namimigay na nga ng OEC ang POEA para sa Nigeria-based OFWs.

Ang Overseas Employment Certidicate (OEC) ay isang patunay na ang isang mangagawa ay lehitimong OFW sa isang bansa. Kapag meron ka nito, wala kang babayaran na Travel Tax at di ka mahaharang ng immigration.

Mula ng ipataw ang ban sa Nigeria, hindi binigyan ng POEA and mga naija pinoys ng OEC.

Subalit sa panibagong patakaran, tinatanggap na ng POEA ang letter of exemption para sa mga Naija OFWs na nagbabakasyon at binibigyan na ulit ng OEC.

Ating malaking pasalamat kay Ginoong Claro Santos sa pagbigay impormasyon para sa kaalaman ng ibang Naijapinoys na magbabakasyon at balak kumuha or magpa-renew ng OEC.

Ayon kay G. Claro, ito ang mga kakailanganin ng Naijapinoys para sa OEC.

  1. Magpunta sa “Balik-Manggagawa” area hanapin si Madame Barbara D. Lamzon, Chief of Balik-Manggagawa Procesing Center at iprisinta ang mga ito:
      • Letter of request for Special Travel Permit/OEC addressed to POEA Administrator Jennifer Jardin-Manalili. Indicate that you want to return to Nigeria from your vacation. Ilagay rin kung ilan taon ka nang nagwo-work sa Nigeria at anong Lugar (Lagos kung maaari.)
      • Attach photocopies of cerpac ID, return visa, employment certificates or other proofs of your employment with the same company like ID, etc.
      • Mas mainam kung naka binder/folder ang lahat para di makawatakwatak.
  2. Kapag okey na kay Madame Barbara, i-endorse ka na kay Mam Jeannete na siyang…
      • magiinterbiyu sa yo
      • magchecheck ng records mo sa computer
      • at gagawa ng approval letter ni Administrator Manal
  3. Tatlong Signatures and kelangan ng papel mo: Si Director Elmira C. Sto, Domingo, si Deputy Admin Viveca C. Catalig at finally si Admin Manalili. Depende sa availability ng tatlo aabutin ang pirmahan ng 1-3 days.
  4. Bago mo lisanin ang mesa ni Madame Barbara, siguruhin mo lang na na-i-transfer na sa office ni Director ang mga papeles mo. Kunin din ang number ng secretary sa bawat station (director, DAdmin at Admin) para alam mo kung kanino magfollow-up.
  5. Ang huling destinasyon ng papeles mo ay balik sa lamesa ni Ma’am Jeannete. Siya na rin ang mageendorse kung saan counter ka magbabayad ng OEC.

Ano-ano ang mga babayaran mo?

OWWA MEMBERSHIP – Php   1,203.68
PHILHEALTH – Php  900.00
TOTAL 2,203.68
Para sa taga probinsya, ganito ang naging kwento nga nakukha ng OEC habang nasa probinsya:
Actually, sa poea bacolod ako nagsubmit ng papers ko (request letter addressed to admin manalili, employment certificate, certificate from the philippine embassy abuja, at lahat ng pages ng current passport ko) thru the regional poea coordinator sa bacolod. then, inifax ng poea bacolod sa poea manila lahat ng papers ko. pinafollow- up ko na lang by phone sa poea bacolod araw-araw kung ano status ng request ko. nung august 17, tumawag iyung poea manila sa poea bacolod na gusto daw ako makausap/maintervie w by phone ng poea manila. tinanong lang naman ako kung bakit ko pa gustong bumalik ng nigeria. then iyung ibang records, chinicheck yata nila sa computer/data base nila.

then, inadvise ako ng poea manila na pumunta ng manila to get the original copy ng travel permit at OEC (kasi baka hanapin daw ng immigration iyung original copy), or pwede rin daw na ipadala nila thru mail, kaya lang pabalik na nga ako ng nigeria, so pumunta na lang ako ng manila for a day para kunin iyung mga papers ko. pagpunta ko ng poea sa ortigas, for signature na lang ni admin manalili iyung papers ko. finallow- up ko lang dun sa office nia, buti naman, napirmahan agad. nagbayad lang ako ng usual processing fee sa poea (philhealth, owwa membership fee, etc…, Php 2,203.00) for the OEC. mabilis lang kasi ready na iyung mga papers ko pagpunta ko ng poea, kaya nung hapon na yun, bumalik na rin ako ng bacolod.

maayos naman pagbalik ko dito. wala naman problema sa immigration.

Sa mga bagong development na ito, parang tutuloy na ito sa tuluyang pag ka alis ng ban sa Nigeria.
Kaya sa lahat ng mga gustong mag pa rehistro or mag pa renew sa POEA, basahin at sundin ang mga proseso na sinabi ni G. Claro Santos.
Mabuhay ang Naija Pinoys!