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The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) being deployed has been considerably increasing. Reports of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) show that there is an urgent need to address the following concerns: low number of personnel assigned in the processing and issuance of Overseas Employment Certificates (OECs); and increased number of OFWs requesting for OECs both at POLOs and at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). This policy paper intends to: a) provide a framework of analysis to determine possible policy options; b) identify policy options from non-regulatory, semi-regulatory to other regulatory alternatives; and c) recommend the most feasible policy options from among the list.

The policy options identified were grouped as follows: practices from other jurisdictions; non/semi-regulatory options; existing regulations; and other regulatory options. Assessment of each option identifying impacts to concerned stakeholders was presented with a summary of possible regulatory requirements that will be imposed when the options are adopted. Finally, this paper recommended a combination of policy options to immediately address the concerns on the issuance of OECs: maintaining continued compliance with ratified international conventions or other international instruments; increasing manpower (POLO Administrative Staff) to immediately address long queuing of OFWs requesting OECs; fully implementing or making the online Balik Manggagawa (BM) accessible in the Philippines and in all countries of destination; reviewing and improving existing regulations; authorizing other OFW centers or offices in countries of destinations to issue OEC; and creating a one-stop shop for the OFWs to process all documentary requirements necessary for the issuance of an OEC.

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Title: Processing Overseas Employment Certificates: A Preliminary Impact Assessment
: Patrick P. Patriwirawan Jr.