Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III has promised to establish more one-stop service centers for overseas Filipino workers (OSSCO) in key areas in the country before the year ends.
In an interview with local and national media during the launching of the one-stop service center for OFWs at Clark Polytechnic in Jose Abad Santos Avenue, Clark Freeport Zone, Bello said DOLE will put up more one-stop service centers for OFWs in regions where there are heavy concentration of migrant Filipino workers.
"This will provide our OFWs the facility for obtaining their requirements for their efficient deployment," the DOLE Secretary said during the launching of the third OSSCO in the country on 16 September.
"This is very significant because we know there are many OFWs who are from Pampanga. This will also motivate airline companies to establish their route at Clark International Airport," said Bello.
The labor secretary said the Emirates Airline is considering on opening a Saudi Arabia-Clark International Airport route. "There is a move to put an alternative international airport. Mas preferred na nila [international airline companies] rito because of the traffic situation [at NAIA]," he said.
Central Luzon, according to estimates of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, has the third biggest number of overseas-based Filipinos, after CALABARZON (Region IV-A) and National Capital Region.
"Gusto kong iparating sa ating mga kababayan, lalo na dito sa Pampanga, na meron na po tayong one-stop service center para sa mga OFWs, dahil ang hangarin ng ating Pangulong Rodrigo R. Duterte ay mapagaan ang trabaho ng ating mga migranteng manggagawa. Napakalapit sa puso ng ating Pangulo ang mga OFWs," Bello said.
Bello also added that the establishment of OSSCO is in response to President Rodrigo Duterte's directive to government agencies to provide quick and efficient services to OFWs.
Earlier, Bello led the launching of an OFW one-stop service center, the second after POEA, at Lingap Pinoy Center, Robinson's Mall in Puerto Princesa. He also informed that the next OFW centers will be established in other regional centers, such as those in San Fernando, La Union; Cebu; Cagayan de Oro; and Davao.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, an attached agency of DOLE, launched the country's first fully integrated one-stop service center for OFWs early last month.
The OSSCO is managed by the officers and representatives of government agencies providing frontline services to OFWs.
POEA provides documentation of land based and sea based workers, as well as workers-on-leave or Balik-Manggagawa; registration of land based worker-applicants; verification/certification of OFW records; and provision of legal assistance and response to queries; while OWWA handles the processing or renewal of the OWWA memberships.
The National Bureau of Investigation issues the NBI clearance, while the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) processes and issues Certificate of Live Birth, Certificate of Marriage, Certificate of Death, and Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR).
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) extends to OFWs the Departure Clearance Information, while the Department of Foreign Affairs provides passport processing assistance, including the Passport Validity Extension for Balik-Manggagawa (vacationing workers).
TESDA provides Competency Assessment, verification of Certificates and Special Order, assistance for replacement of National Certificates/Certificates of Competency (COC) and Training Assistance and Scholarship Program.
The Professional Regulations Commission issues professional license while the Maritime Industry Authority issues or revalidates the Seaman's Book.
OFW clients can avail from Home Development Mutual Fund the processing of their Pag-IBIG Membership. At Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, they can pay PhilHealth contribution, as well as update their membership registration.
Services that can be availed of at the Social Security System are registration and membership data amendment; acceptance of loan and benefits claim applications; loan verification and status; UMID capturing and card releasing; and response to queries.
For clients wanting to access their required collegiate academic record, the Commission on Higher Education is ready to provide verification and authentication of school credentials services.
The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) handles travel tax payment; processing of travel tax exemption and reduced travel tax.
Lastly, the National Reintegration Center for OFWs provides livelihood assistance and other reintegration services for returning OFWs.
Source: Philippine Information Agency