Monday, April 4, 2011

Woes Of Being An OFW

During my last trip to Manila, hubby and I have become officially OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers).  Months before I wouldn’t have imagined that a trip to POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Agency) would be part of the itinerary.  We literally spent the day there, having ourselves registered and getting our departure clearance.  Apparently, all Pinoys need to get registered with them (duh!) no matter if you’re a corporate expat or otherwise and you need to be issued a clearance EVERYTIME you leave for work from the home land.  I understand that controls must be in place to ensure that departing OFWs have the legal documentation, heck it’s also for their own protection.  However the hassle, more so the discrimination is unbearable.  Hassle because for each trip and every trip back home you need to get the clearance documents.  There are drop in and delivery options or you can choose to spend the day in POEA.  You can also get a multiple exit clearance if you are one of the lucky ones who get to go back every so often within the course of a year. 

After getting your clearance from POEA, you have to get it cleared (again!) once you reach the airport and line up in the OFW Exemption line (which is longer than if you’re paying the Terminal Fee).  All the hassle, plus the POEA charges a huge sum mind you (around 6000 grand good for 2 years!).  All the hassle and what do you get in return?  Long lines and crappy (not to mention bitchy) service.  The airport clearance lady was a hormonal biatch but in fairness model employees exists such as the man who processed our papers in POEA.  He had the right disposition, respectful and efficient.  When you think about it, the combined contribution of all OFWs is significant enough to make or break our GNP and this is how we get treated?  

My complaints may seem shallow but it should not be dismissed easily.  Going back to the Philippines, all we want is to experience how it is to truly feel home sweet home.  We do not need special treatment, but at least a more efficient and respectful service fit for our so-called “Bagong Bayani.” 


  1. Such a hassle nga Ta! Gosh! And I thought having my passport renewed every time was a hassle.. I have it easy na pala. You are right though... everyone deserves efficient service! I truly hope it improves! Perhaps there is an email you can send your suggestions to?

  2. I know right??? I will do check that out if I can send any suggestions! Thanks for the input Diplo Wife!


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