One-stop shop for OFW needs now open

(Photo via POEA Photo Gallery’s Official Facebook Page)

By Corina Oliquino | FilAm Star Correspondent

MANILA – Beginning August 15, Filipinos seeking work overseas can rely on the newly-opened one-stop shop launched by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in securing all the needed documents in one go.

Dubbed as the One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO), the move is a response to President Duterte’s call to streamline government services for all and specifically to OFWs, said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

The service center which is located at the ground floor of the POEA’s main office in Mandaluyong City also specified the various government offices’ services to OFWs aside from making accessible for OFWs information regarding their respective programs and services and responding to queries for different agencies like:
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
• Passport services
• Passport validity extension for Balik-Manggagawa (vacationing Workers)
Overseas Welfare Workers Administration (OWWA)
• Processing of OWWA membership/renewal of membership
Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA)
• Assistance for competency assessment
• Verification of certificates and special order
• Assistance for Replacement of National Certificates (NC)/ Certificates of Competency (COC)
• Training assistance and scholarship program
Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)
• Issuance of Professional License
Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)
• Issuance/revalidation of seaman’s book
Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF)
• Processing of Pag-ibig membership
Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC)
• Payment of Philhealth contribution
• Member registration and updating
Social Security System (SSS)
• Registration and membership data amendment
• Acceptance of loan and benefits claim applications
• Loan verification and status
• UMID capturing and card releasing
• Response to queries
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
• Processing and copy issuance of
• Certificate of Live Birth
• Certificate of Marriage
• Certificate of Death
• Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)
Bureau of Immigration (BI)
• Departure clearance information
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
• Issuance of NBI clearance
Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
• Verification and authentication of school credentials
Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA)
• Travel tax payment
• Processing of travel tax exemption and reduced travel tax
• Response to queries
Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA)
• Documentation of workers (Landbased and Seabased)
• Documentation of workers-on-leave/Balik-Manggagawa
• Registration of landbased worker-applicants
• Verification/certification of OFW records
• Provision of legal assistance
• Response to queries

Labor Secretary Bello said that this service center is “seen to reduce transportation expenses of OFWs and shorten the processing time of their documents.”
Bello also said that the service center or OSSCO in Mandaluyong will not be the only one for the country as regional offices (as spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment Regional Offices in coordination with the regional offices of the various government agencies cited above) will also be available nationwide from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. from Monday to Friday.

“With the approval of the POEA or DOLE regional offices, we may also extend services during weekends and holidays,” Bello told The Philippine Star.

In a post from Rappler, POEA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said that the one-stop service center with various government agencies in it will be “relevant to OFWs” and can serve up to 2,000 to 3,000 OFWS daily.

Cacdac also told The Philippine Star that the one-stop service could also cut the processing time of documents.

“The processing cycle varies, but Secretary Bello ordered that documents should be released within 72 hours after filing of the application,” Cacdac said.

“We made sure that all major services needed by the OFWs are available in the center,” Cacdac added.