The OFW ID is intended eventually to replace the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).
But until the system is improved and secured, the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) are still required to get an overseas employment certificate (OEC).
An OFW can obtain this OFW ID free of charge. It is free because the funds used to print the ID Card come from the Overseas Worker’s Welfare Administration (OWWA).
OFWs contribute money to this government agency.
The Philippine government issues the OFW ID for free in recognition of the overseas worker’s sacrifices and immense contribution to the Philippine economy.
An OFW can now obtain the ID Card through this link provided by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The OFW can do this even if he/she is outside of the Philippines.
Getting an OFW Identification card is easy. Just go to the given website (https://idole.dole.gov.ph/), then
1. Register as an OFW
2. Select Document ID Card for the transaction then
3. Set the pick-up location of your ID Card at your preferred Philpost branch.
Once inside the Idole website, the OFW can apply for the OFW ID by filling up the details and putting in their latest and valid Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) number.
The ID is equipped with decrypted QR code for security.
The issuance of the Overseas Filipino Worker Identification card is in its first phase.
It means the ID will be issued only to the Balik Manggagawa or vacationing OFWs who will return to the same employer and job site.
This will eventually be available to all OFWsuntil the government’s system database is improved and secured.
The Government began issuing the card in December 2017.
Once the OFWs have an OFW CARD, They can use this to avail themselves of travel tax and terminal fee exemptions.
This is great because the database will now be linked with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
Note: A friend of mine got her OEC from the POEA office in Calamba, Laguna on March 11, 2018, and the office is not yet issuing OFW ID.