The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Office–9 (RO-9) in Zamboanga City reported that a total of 2,278 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) have registered and benefited from the One-Stop Service Center (OSSC) for migrant workers in just 10 days from January 3–13, 2017.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said the creation of the service centers was in response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to make it easier for OFWs to avail the services of the government in a single area.
“We are making OFWs feel they are very important persons and should be assisted immediately. The service center not only aims to hasten the process of getting various permits and clearances but also trims down the expenses of our modern heroes as they avail services of the government in one place,” Bello explained.
Based on the report by DOLE RO-9 Director Sisinio B. Cano, through the office of Undersecretary Ciriaco A. Lagunzad III, from January 3 to 13, 2017, the OSSC in Zamboanga City gathered a total of 2,278 registered OFWs.
Among the top agencies which got the highest number of registrants are the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) – 1,035; and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) – 818; while PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG served 378 and 35 OFWs, respectively.
The consolidated report also showed that the service center responded to 1,311 queries; had 1,847 payees; received a total of 1,119 documents for processing; issued 1,207 certificates; provided 1,875 forms; distributed 299 IEC materials; and certified 1,816 OFWs.
Cano also said the center had provided 105 legal assistance to OFWs which have problems with their employers and had issues with their travel documents which inhibit them to fly back to the Philippines.
The OFW one-stop center was established by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Offices, together with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, on August 15, 2016, at the POEA Office, Mandaluyong City and opens its services from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Mondays to Fridays.
The following are the locations of the service centers: Manna Mall, San Fernando City, La Union; City Tourism Office, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan; Baguio Convention Center, Baguio City; Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga; OWWA Regional Office 4A in Calamba City; Robinson’s Place, Puerto Princesa City, Pacific Mall, Legaspi City; SM City, Cebu City; Robinson’s Place, Iloilo City; Robinson’s Place, Bacolod City; DOLE Regional Office No. 8, Tacloban City; Goodwill Center, Zamboanga City; OWWA Regional Office No. 10, Cagayan de Oro City; Butuan City Hall Complex, Butuan City and New City Hall, Koronadal City.
The government agencies providing services at the OSSC are Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Technical Education and 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).