Finally, the suspension had ended last December 1 and had been officially announced by Department of Labor and Employment’s Secretary Silvestre Bello III, clarifying there will be no extensions thereafter.
Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) is a very important document to first-time overseas Filipino workers as they land to a new job abroad. However, it has been suspended for 15 days for investigations had been conducted by POEA for allegedly involvement of some of its employees to illegal activities, particularly human trafficking within the agency.
The suspension had affected an estimated 75,000 workers with about 1,200 OFWs bound for Hong Kong.
Apparently, rumors had spread on social media that the suspension will be extended as the advisory coming from DOLE had been delayed and was only made last December 4, 3 days after the suspension ended. But then, Sec. Bello’s announcement had ended all speculations as Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre released the advisory.
Labatt dela Torre also said that they have no intentions of extending the suspension because they have been receiving a lot of complaints from employers.
In fact, with OEC’s suspension, Hong Kong government had extended the contract of their workers expiring on December 31 for two weeks to give enough time for the new OFWs coming in. The number of OFWs arriving in Hong Kong on a daily basis since the suspension of OEC had been lifted will then depend on how fast POEA would be able to work on their backlog.
Meanwhile, a Hong Kong government spokesperson said they would like to ask exemption on the suspension of OEC from the Philippine government so OFWs bound to their country will arrive as scheduled.