Filipino ID: Website goes offline soon after it went live

Portal 'is currently being upgraded', according to official statement


The portal where overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) can obtain their new unified identification card went offline a few hours after it went live.
A statement from the Department of Labour and Employment on Friday morning said the iDOLE One-Stop Online Facility/Portal “is currently being upgraded” for the OFWs to access their government records electronically without the need to go to concerned government offices prior to their deployment. OFWs can later log-in and create an account in the

The statement also said that the department will soon issue the guidelines for OFWs to be able to avail of the iDOLE ID card.

The system will undergo a three-month pilot run before it can serve as the OFW’s Automated Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), and airport and immigration ID pass. 
Earlier, an official said the new unified identification card for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) can be applied and processed online.

Labour officials on Wednesday soft-launched the new ID system for Filipino workers abroad in the presence of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The ID will be printed in stages as the implementing guidelines are yet to be issued, officials said.

OFWs welcomed the new ID as it would later replace the "exit pass" or Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) that many Filipinos want to be abolished. The OEC is a Dh10 document that proves that the OFW has been legally hired and documented by the Philippine government.

On Thursday night, some Filipino expatriates in Dubai said they tried to obtain the newly launched OFW ID online through the website of the integrated Department of Labour and Employment of iDOLE
But many OFWs were surprised that the ID on the website charged 501 pesos (Dh37) and was not for “free” as earlier announced.
This reporter tried the new website and was able to apply for the ID using the latest Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) number in less than a minute. The website is clearly linked with the POEA because the job details and other important information was already available upon signing in.
DOLE Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad III said the portion on the OFW ID card in the DOLE website has to be activated and will be announced later on. He reiterated that the system is still in its pilot stage and the operating guidelines have yet to be released.
“The guidelines will say that the employer, through the recruitment agency, will pay for the card. Operationally, when the employment contract is approved by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), and the fees are paid, the names and other details of the OFW will be uploaded in the Cloud, then downloaded by Dole for printing through APO then delivered by Philpost,” Lagunzad told Gulf News on Friday.
“The OFW can print the temporary ID and use it to get Philippine immigration clearance before boarding. The card in this instance will be forwarded to the OFW here or abroad. We don’t like queues in securing the ID,” he added. “It’s like web check-in and printing the boarding pass.”
This means new hires or OFWs who are newly joining the workforce through recruitment agencies and processed by POEA can get it for free. It is unclear, however, as to who will bear the cost of the ID for existing OFWs who are already working abroad.
To acquire the card, the website said an amount of 501 pesos was required to be paid using payment channels in the Philippines before the ID could be printed.
An option for pick-up and delivery is also available. Local delivery in the Philippines by Philpost costs 200 pesos. Pick-up in labour offices abroad is “coming soon”.
Nhel Morona, Migrante Middle East coordinator, who tried to acquire the ID on Thursday, said: “If it is true that the OFW’s employer will bear the ID cost through the agency, what will happen to the 10 million OFWs who are already working abroad and those who found employment without going through an agency or POEA?”
Morona said Filipinos already working abroad will have no means to force their employers to pay for the ID and will eventually have to pay for it themselves. If this is the case and if the card will be made mandatory for all OFWs, he said it could be a new form of “state exaction.”

GUIDE: The OFW ID can be acquired in three easy steps: 

1) Register as an OFW Account Holder
Using their latest OEC number, OFWs can create their OFW One-Stop-Shop Account even outside the country. Options for using other IDs are also available. Fill in the required details including email address and password and click “Register OFW Account.”
2) Select Document ID Card for Transaction
Once registered, they will be directed to a page with all their details (profession, employer, passport number, etc) already listed in their Balik Manggagawa (BM) Online account.
They may click on “Select Transaction” to acquire an online Overseas Filipino Worker identification card.
3) Pay and Deliver Directly to your Door
They will then be directed to fill out the Shipping information for local deliveries. Pick-up option for overseas posts will be available soon. Ten payment channels in the Philippines are available including Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) e-payment methods, Bayad Centre, MultiPay wallet, 7-Eleven, PhilPost, ECPay, and BancNet.
*The printing of the card is done in Manila and the guidelines and timeframe are yet to be released
* The printing of the ID listed on the website is for departing OFWs who need the ID quickly. Once paid, the ID can be printed similar to a boarding pass to be used to clear Philippine Immigration gates


Source: gulfnews

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