Monday, January 9, 2017

OFWs: OEC Exemption for Overseas Filipino Workers

Note: This is not going to be a detailed post on how to get an OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate) from POEA. This is an update regarding POEA's online processing system called "Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing System."

In preparation for my year-end vacation to the Philippines, I logged in to to process my OEC in advance. I didn't have to change anything, really, so when I submitted the form, instead of my electronic OEC, I got an "exemption number," which looks like this:

OEC Exemption

Baggage Lost, Baggage Found

Happy New Year, everyone!

I know I owe you (whoever happens to be reading this blog) two years worth of greetings because I didn't update my blog at all last year.

I spent the holidays at home in the Philippines and a lot of things have changed, like how traffic has gotten worse, but I had a good vacation, nonetheless. I met up with high school friends, I got my teeth cleaned, my hair cut, my eyes checked, and my docs for my return to Japan all ready. So, yeah. Everything was going smoothly.

The good vibes continued even on my return trip to Japan. First, the flight from Davao to Manila was ahead of schedule - we landed 25 minutes earlier than the scheduled time! Next, I learned that the ticket I bought for my international flight included the terminal fee and since OFWs are exempted from paying the terminal fee, I can get a refund of Php 550.00. I passed through immigration without trouble - never had trouble - and finally, even though the flight from Manila to Haneda took off later than the scheduled departure time, we still landed on time! But the good vibes ended there.

After I got through Immigration at Haneda (which, by the way, takes no more than a few minutes if you're a re-entrant) I hurried to the carousel to wait for my checked-in baggage. This was the most nerve-wracking part. To be honest, I started having a bad feeling on the last hour of the international flight. I just casually dismissed it as me having a pessimistic and overactive imagination. Anyway, I thought my baggage was going to be one of the last ones because I checked in earlier than most of the passengers so I waited and waited. When the last bag came and was claimed by its owner, I stood for some time by the carousel, frozen in disbelief that my bag never came.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Movie Review: Attack on Titan (Part 1)

Fans of the series, rejoice! August 1 marked the opening of the live movie adaptation of the popular manga/anime series "Attack on Titan." And despite the unconvincing trailer, as a fan of the series, I just had to watch it!

And I did. I got myself a seat on the first showing time on the first day. The theater was packed! After several advertisements of funny and interesting satires about the life of Japanese salary men, the curtains opened to what would possibly be the longest, most butt-hurting two hours of my life.

Here I will write down my thoughts about the movie because I feel that if I don't write them down I might explode. (Warning: May contain spoilers!)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

OFWs: New Procedure for OEC Processing at POEA

"Go online, don't fall in line."

So goes the catchphrase of the new procedure for OEC (Overseas Employment Certificate) processing at POEA Davao.

It seems that in May of this year, POEA launched their new online system for processing overseas worker applications, which they call "Balik-Manggagawa Online Processing System."

Here's a quick run-through of the new application (for renewal) procedure:
  1. Go to
  2. For new users, fill up your details under the "New User?" panel, check the "I accept..." checkbox and then click the "SIGN ME UP" button.
  3. You will then be asked to fill up an online version of the application form that you used to fill up manually at the POEA office. If you still have a copy of your latest OEC, you can enter your OEC number when asked. But if you don't have a copy, like me, you can leave this field blank. When filling up the form, always click SAVE after you've filled up each section.
  4. Upload a recent ID picture.
  5. Choose your POEA branch and set an appointment. The date and time is up to you, but the system will display available slots for each day.
  6. Print the form that you filled up. It doesn't have to be in color.
  7. Go to POEA on your appointed date and time, bring the printed form, a photocopy of your passport (page with picture and the page with the VISA stamp), a photocopy of your visa, and for workers in Japan, a copy of your residence card. Just in case, also bring a copy of your employment contract.

Monday, January 26, 2015

OFWs: How to Renew Philippine Passport in Japan (Tokyo)

2014 was a very memorable year for me. It was a year of change and big decision-making. And now we've just entered 2015 and wow! I can't believe I've been in Japan long enough to have to renew my passport already!

That's right. Renewing my passport was number one on my to-do list for 2015.

Here, I will be writing about my experience during passport renewal and some tips to make your processing faster and easier. Please take note that the steps I will be listing here are for processing in the Tokyo area. The steps in other branches of the Philippine Embassy might be different.

According to the Philippine Embassy (Tokyo) website, the processing can take up to two months so I would recommend you start processing your passport renewal at least 6 months before the expiration, especially if you have plans to travel. Also, personal appearance of the applicant is required, so make sure to arrange your schedule beforehand to avoid conflicts.

What: Philippine Passport Renewal (E-Passport, with the brown cover)

What to Prepare: (as listed on the embassy's website)
1. Passport for renewal
2. Photocopy of the photo page AND the back page (emergency contact page)
3. Filled up renewal form, which can be downloaded/or filled up online
4. Letter-pack 500 envelope, addressed to yourself 
     *Your new passport will be mailed to you using this envelope so make sure to fill-up your address correctly.
5. 6,900yen for the processing fee