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POEA to process OFW exit permits even on weekends


The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has announced that it will process exit permits for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFW) even on weekends. In a statement on Thursday, the POEA said returning OFWs or balikmanggagawa can secure their exit permits, even on Saturdays and Sundays, in Global Pinoy Centers in selected SM malls in Metro Manila. According to the POEA, the centers will accept applications for overseas employment certificates (OECs) from vacationing OFWs until January 15, 2011. OFWs can process their documents at these centers from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the holiday season, except on December 25 and January 1. The centers are located at the fifth level of The Block SM North EDSA in Quezon City and at the second level of SM Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City. Meanwhile, the POEA central office in Mandaluyong City will remain open on regular working days. POEA officer-in-charge Stella Banawis reminded OFWs to present their valid passports, working permits and other relevant employment documents for verification by POEA officers. Banawis, however, clarified that the POEA will not process the papers of workers returning to Afghanistan, lraq and Lebanon, following the existing deployment ban on sending workers to those countries. Returning household service workers bound for Jordan are also advised to proceed to the POEA main office. A deployment ban on domestic helpers to Jordan has been enforced since 2008, in light of the alarming number of abuse cases reported by Filipino workers there. Thousands of Filipino helpers continue to defy the ban, mainly because the Jordanian government does not recognize the ban, according to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. The POEA did not say if OECs for domestic helpers returning to Jordan will be processed. — Jerrie M. Abella, DM/KBK, GMANews.TV
Tags: poea, ofws
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