Duterte approves special OFW card

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte "approved, with conditions" the proposed special card for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), which will make it easier for them to avail of government services.

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said the President made the decision on the program, called the iDOLE-OFW Identification Card System, during the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, February 7.

Asked why the President approved the proposal "with conditions," Abella said this was because of "certain technicalities" but did not elaborate.

The envisioned "unique ID card for OFWs" will have several features, all geared toward improving the experience of OFWs when dealing with the government.

The features, according to Abella, are as follows:

Prior to the President's approval of the plan, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) had created a one-stop service center for OFWs.

In response to Duterte's directive to streamline government processes, the requirement to present an overseas employment certificate or OEC was scrapped for OFWs on vacation.

OFWs had complained about the tedious process of applying for an OEC, especially during the holiday season.

Looking after the welfare of the sector was among the campaign promises of Duterte. His first order to the Department of Foreign Affairs as a newly-elected leader was the improvement of services for OFWs. – Rappler.com 

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.