Must Knows for Vacationing / Returning OFWs or Balik Manggagawa

OFWs go home to spend quality time with families and friends, but they must bear in mind to prepare and secure these documents to avoid inconvenience when they fly back to their employer’s country.

Filipino workers who returned to the Philippines after working abroad for a time need to obtain an overseas employment certificate (OEC) to ensure that they would be registered as a documented overseas Filipino worker (OFW). Read on for guides and information about the processing of returning OFWs or Balik Manggagawa:

There are several types of Balik-Manggagawa OFWs (BM-OFWs):

Workers-on-Leave – OFWs who are in the Philippines for a short vacation but would return to the same employer overseas and is still under a valid and existing job contract.

Re-hires – OFWs who returned to the Philippines after finishing an employment contract overseas but would return to the same foreign employer because they are re-hired.

POLO registered workers – These are returning workers whose employment contracts were not processed by POEA, but were verified by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in the jobsite. They would return to the same employer either as a worker-on-leave or rehire, regardless of any change in the jobsite.

Documentary Requirements for Balik Manggagawa (BM) are the following:

Proof of existing employment (such as valid employment contract, employment certificate, valid company ID, pay slips)

Passport valid for at least 6 months from the time of departure

Valid visa / re-entry permit / work permit or equivalent document

How much would the processing cost?

POEA processing fee – Php 100.00

OWWA membership fee – US$25 or its peso equivalent (per contract basis)

PhilHealth – Php 900.00 (good for 1 year coverage)

Pag-Ibig membership – Php 100 (minimum)

Validity Period: Once issued, an OEC is valid for sixty (60) days, one (1) day for OECs issued by the Labor Assistance Centers (LACs) at the airports.

In case of lost Balik Manggagawa E-receipt/OEC: One cannot apply for a new E-Receipt/OEC as replacement for lost e-receipt/OEC. They should submit an Affidavit of Loss and request for a certificate indicating the particulars of previously issued e-receipt/OEC based on available POEA/POLO records, upon submission of an Affidavit of Loss.

What Is A Multiple Travel Exit Clearance (MTEC)? To save time, a returning OFW can also apply for MTEC which can be used for at least three (3) exits within the validity period of the existing contract of the worker whose contract with the same employer has a duration of not less than twelve (12) months from the date of application for travel exit clearance. MTEC shall strictly be used for travel to the worker’s jobsite.

Where can a BM-OFW apply for OEC?

Balik-Manggagawa Processing Division (BMPD) POEA main office

POEA Regional Centers all over Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao

POEA Regional Extension Units / Satellite Offices

Labor Assistance Centers (LAC) at international airports in Manila, Cebu and Mindanao. (OEC issuance at LACs is limited to those classified as regular balik manggagawa, vacationing workers, rehires, POLO-registered workers – with confirmed airline bookings on the date of request of BM OEC issuance, and whose home leave does not exceed five (5) days. (BM-Name Hires cannot be issued BM OEC at the LACs.)

Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO)

One can also set an appointment for Balik Manggagawa processing online:


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