An increasing number of overseas Filipino workers continue to benefit from the Department of Labor and Employment – Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO) after it brought together all government agencies in one location to serve the needs of Filipinos working or intending to work abroad.
As of December 7, OSSCO has already served 219,697 clients, the bulk of which came from the POEA OSSCO located at lobby of POEA Main Office in Mandaluyong City, while the region-based OSSCO in Baguio, Pampanga Calamba City, Palawan, Cebu, Iloilo, Tacloban, Zamboanga, and Koronadal City served 6,222 clients.
At the OSSCO in POEA Main Office, the POEA had served the biggest number of clients during the period with a total of 51,373 clients who availed of documentation of workers on leave or the Balik-Manggagawa and inquired about OFW concerns. This was followed by OWWA who served 39,611 clients who came to the Center to renew or apply for OWWA membership and ask other OFW-related concerns.
On the other hand, the Home Development Mutual Fund accounted for the third biggest number of clients served at 28,808, which consisted of OFWs who applied for Pag IBIG membership, loyalty card, STL, and provident benefit claim.
The Social Security System served 29,288 clients who registered and amended their membership data, applied for benefit loan claim, verified their loan or contribution status, enrolled for their Unified Multi-purpose ID Card (UMID) and inquired about their other SSS concerns.
PhilHealth recorded the fourth biggest number of clients served at 22,174. This is composed of OFWs who paid their PhilHealth contribution at the Center, applied for or renewed their membership, and inquired about other Philhealth-related concerns.
The Department of Foreign Affairs served the fifth biggest number of clients during the period, which consist of 16,002 OFWs who availed of pre-processing of passport applications and inquired about other consular services.
In the regions, Zamboanga’s OSSCO at OWWA Regional Office No. 9 in Zamboanga City recorded the biggest number of clients served at 2,871. Most of the services provided consisted of responses to queries and OFW records issuance and legal assistance. Iloilo meanwhile served 900 clients, most of whom underwent Balik Manggagawa documentation.
The DOLE launched OSSCO to provide OFWs or those intending to work abroad with a broad range of accessible inter-agency services by putting in one location all government agencies that provide documentary services and other assistance to those who are currently working or planning to work overseas.
Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said the establishment of OSSCO is one of DOLE’s responses to President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s directive to make it easier for OFWs to avail the government service by shortening the processing time of their documents and reducing their transportation expenses.
The OSSCO in POEA in Mandaluyong, including those in regional centers, is run by 16 government agencies. These are Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), Maritime lndustry Authority (MARINA), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), Philippine Health lnsurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Bureau of Immigration (BI), National Bureau of lnvestigation (NBI), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Tourism lnfrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Bureau of lnternal Revenue (BIR).