POEA expands online evaluation for returning workers

Published October 22, 2020, 1:06 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has issued guidelines on the implementation of the expanded pilot online evaluation for qualified returning workers or “Balik Manggagawa.”

Philippine Overseas Employment Administration

POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia, in POEA Memorandum Circular No. 27, Series of 2020, explained that in line with the pertinent Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) resolutions directing government offices to establish green lanes for Overseas Filipino Workers as well as Civil Service Commission guidelines on alternative work arrangements for government personnel, the coverage of the pilot implementation of supplemental BM online evaluation in POEA Advisory No. 66, Series of 2020, “has been expanded to include other work categories and POEA processing sites authorized by the administration.”  

Olalia explained that the online evaluation initiative supplements the already existing BM online system that issues Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) exemption to qualified BMs. “All BMs with previous BM online records who are not able to complete their online transaction and are queued by the system for appointment may avail of this BM online evaluation,” he added.

However, Olalia clarified that the online evaluation “does not cover” previously undocumented BMs, workers with no BM online accounts; workers with watch-listed employers; workers returning to restricted markets; as well as household service workers (HSWs).

“Workers not covered by this memorandum circular may set appointments for regular processing at the date and POEA processing site of their choice, subject to compliance with existing community quarantine protocols,” Olalia said.

MC No. 27 also provides the process for BM online evaluation especially the documentary requirements needed for online evaluation.

“Documentary requirements that are submitted before an appointment is made will not be acted upon,” Olalia said. “Only those covered by this pilot implementation with complete requirements will be received for supplemental BM online evaluation,” he added.

 Olalia added that online submission of returning workers who are not covered by the MC No. 27 “will not be acted upon,” thus, the POEA “will not be sending a notice of refusal for such submissions.”

He said  that the OEC issued through the pilot initiative is valid for 60 days only unless extended or re-validated by the POEA Labor Assistance Center (PAC) in line with appropriate POEA issuances.  

The POEA, Olalia said, may also “further issue appropriate office orders to authorize other POEA offices or extension units that may offer this BM online evaluation with due consideration of technical and technological capacity of said offices.”

Olalia added that the expanded online evaluation that supplements the existing POEA BM online system will be implemented until Dec. 31, 2020 unless extended, suspended, or terminated at an earlier date.