Duterte met the OFWs who worked for seven years in Qatar.
The event highlighted the annual “Pamaskong Salubong para sa OFWs” of the Department of Labor and Employment and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
Duterte shared moments of the OFW’s, they took time having photos with the President handed advanced Christmas gifts to the ten lucky OFW with P50,000 cash while other received gifts.
After giving out gifts like the traditional ninong of Filipino Christmas celebration, the President told them in jest: “Huwag ko lang kayong makikita sa loob ng casino… Papatayin ko kayo.” (I don’t want to see you inside the casino. I will kill you.)
Mr. Duterte thanked the OFWs overseas workers for their remittances which helped boost the country’s gross domestic product.
Duterte told the OFWs he does not want to see them taking time to secure requirements from agencies processing their documents “Ayokong makita na nahihirapan kayo (I don’t want to see you having hard time)” in securing their documents.
During the occasion Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced the issuance of the ID card in the initial implementation of the Integrated Department of Labor and Employment (iDOLE) eServices is intended to further test and secure the features of the system.
“This is only the first phase of implementation and will cater first to our Balik-Manggagawa until the system is ready for all OFWs. We are doing this to secure the database and for further improvements in the system,” Bello added.
Those who would like to avail of the ID are required to log-in to their BM Online accounts.
One of the privileges of having an iDOLE OFW card is that they can use it to avail of travel tax and terminal fee exemptions.
Likewise, OFWs will no longer need to queue in transacting with agencies for their overseas employment as they can now access government services online during the further phases of the iDOLEeServices implementation.
Filipinos returning to the country can log-in and create an account with the iDOLE One-Stop Online Facility/Portal and apply for the OFW ID by putting their latest and valid Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) Number.
The unique ID, which is labeled as the ‘best gift’ of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to millions of OFWs, is equipped with decrypted QR code for security.
With this, Bello reiterated that the iDOLE OFW ID card is free, with its production funded by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
“This is free for our OFWs. We do not want our OFWs to shoulder the cost because this is a gift from the President to recognize their sacrifices and immense contribution to our economy,” he added.
The first phase of the system links DOLE with the OWWA, Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Bureau of Immigration.
The iDOLE system will further interlink the databases of DOLE offices and agencies with other government agencies for a more reliable, updated and complete Labor Market Information System (LMIS) for employment facilitation purposes. -Editha Z. Caduaya with reports from PNA