By Leslie Ann G. Aquino
More than 7,000 overseas Filipino workers have so far registered with the OFW Assistance Information System (OASIS) of the Department of Labor and Employment.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III expects the number to still increase as more OFWs and their families become aware of the online repatriation tracking system.
“There are some 7,229 OFWS who have already registered in OASIS. Roughly, this number translates to a daily average of 1,204 registrations,” he said in a Memorandum to Labor Attaches and Welfare Officers dated June 16, 2020.
“As more OFWs and their families and the public in general come to know of OASIS, we expect exponential increase in online registrations,” he added.
Bello then reiterated his previous directive for the posts to ensure the widest use of OASIS.
“The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLOs) are still expected to promote and advocate the use of OASIS especially among OFWs, employers, and recruitment/manning agencies within your areas of jurisdiction,” he said.
Bello explained that the OASIS was activated to provide an online platform where returning OFWs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can register and provide vital data and information necessary to ensure their orderly and well-coordinated repatriation.
“Having these data and information well in advance will enable home office to better manage their repatriation, testing, quarantine, transportation to their communities, and the provision of necessary assistance to them and their families, including re-employment and livelihood,” he said.
Since there may be some OFWs who cannot register online for one reason or another, Bello said, POLOs are required to provide hard copies of the OASIS Form to these OFWs whenever and wherever possible.
“If they elect to fill out the form manually and submit the same to your offices, POLOs are enjoined to do the online registration and ensure that said OFWS are registered in the OASIS,” he said.
Bello added that the form and the step-by-step guide for OFWs on how to register online can be downloaded from the DOLE website.
The Labor chief asked POLOs to submit in advance to home office initial data and information on repatriations and returning OFWs.
“The oasistracker.owwa.gov.ph is the online platform you should use to do this, supported by the Repatriation Tracking Form,” Bello said.
“As personally communicated to you during the POLO Conference last June 5, the Inter-Agency task Force (IATF) expects the DOLE to provide them with the list of repatriated and returning OFWs at least five days before their arrival in the Philippines,” he said.
The DOLE launched the tracking system on June 10.
To be tracked, the labor department asked OFWs bound for home to register online with OASIS through oasis.owwa.gov.ph.