In just six months of operation, 281,900 Overseas Filipino Workers have been served and benefited from the One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO) established by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) – Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Recent report submitted by POEA Deputy Administrator Aristodes Ruaro showed that from the start of the program on August 15, 2016 up to January 6, 2017, a total of 281,900 OFWs have already sought assistance from and were promptly assisted by various agencies at OSSCO located at the lobby of POEA Main Office in Mandaluyong City.
During the period, the service center of the POEA had served the biggest number of clients at 65,492. POEA assisted them mostly in availing services on the documentation of workers on leave or the Balik-Manggagawa. This was followed by OWWA which served 57,922 OFWs who mostly renewed or applied for OWWA membership.
Furthermore, the third biggest number of clients assisted was the Home Development Mutual Fund which served 28,808 OFWs who applied for Pag IBIG membership, loyalty card, STL, and provident benefit claim.
The report also showed that the Social Security System served 34,545 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 other SSS concerns.
This was followed by PhilHealth which recorded the fifth biggest number of clients served at 25,492. A big chunk of OFWs paid their PhilHealth contribution, applied for or renewed their membership, and inquired about other PhilHealth-related concerns.
A total of 19,362 clients, on the other hand, were served by the Department of Foreign Affairs. This consists of 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 5,638 clients and most of the services availed consisted of responses to queries and OFW records issuance and legal assistance.
Iloilo meanwhile served 1,820 clients, most of whom underwent Balik-Manggagawa documentation.
DOLE-POEA 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 offices that provide documentary services and other assistance to those who are currently working or planning to work overseas.
Labor 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 service centers are open from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Mondays to Fridays and aside from the service center at POEA in Mandaluyong City, the OSSCO are also available on the following locations: 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.
Meanwhile, the government agencies providing services at the OSSCO 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).