The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) on Tuesday launched a new identification card for overseas Filipino workers to replace the I-DOLE OFW I.D.
The OFW e-Card will now serve as both proof of membership and an overseas employment certificate (OEC) for all OFWs. The OEC is a required document before a Filipino can work abroad.
"The OWWA is the only agency under the Department of Labor and Employment that has a legal mandate to provide an e-card for OFWs. Through this OFW e-Card, member OFWs will have easier access to our programs and services," said Administrator Hans Cacda.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, who facilitated the launch of the e-Card, said that the newly launched I.D. will give OFWs faster access to OWWA's programs and services, including welfare services, scholarships, training programs, and social benefits.
Bello also said that airport fees will be waived for OFWs with the OFW e-Card.
"Kasi hindi ka made-deploy kung wala 'yung OEC mo. Pag pakita mo 'yan, you can be allowed to go out already and you will not be charged nung terminal fee at no travel tax," he said.
Manilyn Romero Mendoza, who got her OFW e-Card at the launch, hopes that it can one day serve as a replacement or temporary exit passport type of document for OFWs working in the Middle East, where most employers traditionally keep their employees' passports.
"Sana po magamit din ito na parang passport,kasi po 'yung amo ko tinatago ang passport ko," she said.
The OFW e-Card is available for free for all OFWs including the "balik manggagawa" with active OWWA membership, valid OEC or Exemption number, and valid passport.
OWWA members are advised to visit the agency's website for instructions on how to apply for the OFW e-Card can now visit OWWA website for instructions.
The OFW e-Card also has a digital version that can be downloaded through the agency's mobile app.