First phase of OFW ID implementation starts

TICKET TO WORK. Overseas Filipino workers applying for their overseas employment certificates through the POEA's Balik Manggagawa Online Processing System.

Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) may now register at the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) online portal to avail of the much-awaited OFW identification card.

“This is only the first phase of implementation and will cater to our Balik-Manggagawa (BM) until the system is ready for all OFWs. We are doing this to secure the database and for further improvements in the system,” said DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Thursday, December 7.

The initial implementation serves as President Rodrigo Duterte’s “gift” to OFWs returning home for the Christmas season, DOLE said.

Vacationing OFWs under the BM program should log-in to their BM Online accounts to apply for the ID.

They can also create an account with the iDOLE One-Stop Online Facility or at Those applying for an ID through the website should input their latest and valid Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) to avail the service.

Bello reminded that the ID will be given for free since funds of the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) will be used to finance the printing

DOLE eyes the ID and the online portal as a tool to limit the burden of OFWs transacting with different government agencies.

The iDOLE system inter-links DOLE, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, OWWA and the Bureau of Immigration for the first phase of implementation.

The ID card previously caused confusion among OFWs after the agency launched the ID without specific guidelines. –

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.