Why do OFWs need an OEC?

I can understand the need to keep track of OFWs abroad. People need to register or submit their personal information and update it as often as necessary so that the government is aware of their status. OFWs already pay a fee for this membership.

What then, is the purpose of OECs?

Filipinos pay for a Terminal Fee and Travel Tax at the airports. I'm not sure what foreigners need to pay. OFWs, however, are exempt from paying those. Instead, OFWs are charged whenever they apply for an OEC. One can apply for an OEC at the Philippine embassy in the country where he/she is employed. An alternative is to get one at the airport if the OFW stayed in the Philippines for only 5 days or less.

To get an OEC, a form needs to be filled up and submitted and a fee needs to be paid. Can't this process be done online? Here's my suggestion.

  1. Fill up online form and submit.
  2. Receive a confirmation code and/or appointment date/time.
  3. Go to the embassy to show passport and/or any other documentation, pay, and collect your OEC.
  4. Only print out an OEC when the OFW shows up and even after payment.
  5. If the OFW does not show up after X days, delete the submitted data.

This should help save paper, save some time and make the process much smoother.

Does anyone else know what exactly OECs are for?