10 things to know about iDOLE, the new OFW ID

OEC is dead... soon. Let's move on.

You must have heard the news. iDOLE which stands for ID of Department of Labor and Employment, will be the new OFW card.

But what is it really? As the card gets launched today, July 12, let's find out answers to 10 of the frequently asked questions about the ID:

1. How do I apply for iDOLE card?
Registered Filipinos in POEA do not need to apply for the ID. They will be issued by the agency. If you are a new OFW, visit the POEA website for assistance on how to register, in case you haven't yet.

2. Where will I collect the ID?
Update: There's no official announcement yet if this will be collected from the embassies or consulate or delivered straight to your home/work address ,or collect it in the Philippines when you go back.

Once available, you can collect the iDOLE card from the Philippine embassy or consulate office of the country where you are working / residing.

3. How much will it cost?
FREE. No hidden charges. No shipping costs.

4. Will it replace OEC immediately?
There will be transition phases in span of three months before the OEC is totally junked. Slowly, DFA will issue OFW IDs until the whole process is fine-tuned, within three months.

Dubai Labour Attache Felicitas Bay, in an interview with Gulfnews, said, "Since the IDs have not been issued yet, Filipinos who are not exempted from getting OECs will still have to apply for it.

5. Who will receive the new IDs first?
Departing OFWs from the Philippines will be the priority, as the cards get issued from POEA Manila office.

6. Is it a multi-purpose card?
Yes. In addition to being exempted in paying airport terminal fees and travel tax, the card can be used for select government transactions such as SSS, PhilHealth, OWWA and Pag-IBIG, police and NBI clearances, and soon OFW Bank.

7. What are the future plans for the OFW ID?
e-Passort. DOLE is working closely with the Foreign Affairs and Justice departments in lobbying for the use of the ID as 'e-passports' for OFWs.

Soon the ID can be used as reloadable beep card for MRT and LRT.

Once the OFW Bank gets launched, the card can also be used as ATM or debit card, which you can use to send remittances to the Philippines.

It will soon be tied up with Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

8. Can we use the card abroad?
No plans for that at the moment.

9. What if I'm not working abroad anymore?
Once an OFW, always an OFW. Labor secretary Silvestre Bello said, "“We have to prepare at least four million ID cards to cover even those not working abroad anymore because when you become an OFW, you become an OFW permanently." So there's some sort of legacy for you.

10. What is the validity of the card?
It is for life. But the travel exit clearance purpose of the card is valid for two years only, as UNTV reported, and will be renewed accordingly. (Still awaiting for further info about such validity and renewal clauses)


Truly indeed, this is a one great step ahead. My previous boss, who several times questioned why Filipinos need a 'certificate' to go back and forth to and from our own country will surely be happy as well.

Thank you to the citizen-centered governance of this administration. Congratulations to us all! Bye headache.

Did I miss some important questions? Let me know in the comments please.

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