Eid Al Fitr holiday: Filipinos in Dubai spend hours queuing for travel document – News

Some camp outside the Philippine labor office overnight to get slots for the next day

KT Photo/Nasreen Abdulla

By Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Fri 29 April 2022, 20:08

Last update: Fri, April 29, 2022, 8:38 PM

Dozens of Filipino expats in the United Arab Emirates, seeking to return home during the Eid Al Fitr break, are spending several hours queuing trying to secure travel arrangements at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (Polo ) to Dubai, Khaleej times has learned.

Some camped outside the office overnight, just to get a slot and complete the process the next day. A number of photos and posts about the plight of the kabayans have been circulating online.

“I’ve been here 10 p.m. last night,” said Ronnie, who was still standing in line when Khaleej times met him around 8:30 a.m. Friday. He was part of a group of at least 12 people.

“We slept here last night because we wanted to make sure we got the OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate),” the expat said.

An OEC is a document that certifies the regularity of employment of Filipino expatriates. Although it is not mandatory to travel to the Philippines, expatriates will need to present the document in order to re-enter the UAE.

Previously, appointments were required to apply for a CAB, but some expats say they can’t get a slot online and walk-in visits have been allowed. others said kt that the appointment system had been “suspended”.

“Due to the long holidays and since appointments have been suspended, the queue is huge,” Ronnie said.

Khaleej times contacted the Philippine mission to confirm the reason for the backlog. A response is awaited.

Some of those queuing had traveled to Dubai from the Northern Emirates. The police patrolled the area to maintain order.

In its official statement, Polo Dubai admitted that with the relaxation of travel protocols, Filipinos have recently flocked to its office for OEC requirements.

However, not all expats can get their OEC at Polo Dubai. Those registering their employment for the first time will need to apply for the paper at home – however, they still need to have their employment contract verified at the Dubai office.

“It’s my first time back home, so I can only get my OEC in the Philippines,” said Nicole, who works at a private company in Dubai. “However, I need to have my employment contract checked. I think the wait will be long. »

Expats like Nicole make up a significant portion of the queues at Polo Dubai.

“A daily average of 700 OFWs, mostly entering the UAE on tourist/visitor visas or through third-country recruitment, request contract verification, and issuance of CEOs has was recorded from March to April. Most of them returned home during Ramadan due to cheaper air fares compared to December 2021 to January 2022 fares. Some of those who returned home were emergency cases,” the official said. office.

The statement, however, did not clarify the alleged “suspension” of the appointment system, which helps prevent queues from building up.

“The last time I got the OEC, it was much easier,” Mutya said. “I could book my appointment online and I just had to show up then. This time I had to come in and it looks like total chaos here. I’ve been in line for 4 hours Luckily I work in Dubai so it wasn’t too inconvenient for me to come.

Certificate of work abroad

An Overseas Work Certificate (OEC) is a document required of all Filipinos leaving the Philippines for overseas employment, whether as a new hire or a returning worker. same employer abroad.

It serves as an exit permit and exempts the worker from paying travel tax and airport fees.

The CAB is only valid for 60 days from issuance.

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