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  • An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines lauded the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s lifting of mandatory payments for overseas Filipino workers’ exit clearances. CBCP Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People chairman Bishop Ruperto Santos particularly welcomed the lifting of payments for PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG insurance collections for overseas employment certificates (OECs).

    “The Church is grateful and appreciate(s) the kind gestures of POEA for lifting of mandatory payments of PhilHealth and PagIBIG for the issuance of OECs,” he said on the CBCP news site. He referred to POEA Advisory 6-2015, where the POEA separated premium payments for PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG with the issuance of exit clearance effective April 1.

    Under POEA rules, the OEC is a requirement to help ensure that OFWs are properly documented and protected.

    It should be presented to international ports of exit in the Philippines as proof that the holder is a bona fide OFW.

    Santos, who is also bishop of Balanga, said this shows labor officials’ compassion to OFWs.

    “Our Church is one with them to protect and provide what is best and beneficial to our OFWs especially in this time of dire need,” he said.(Joel Locsin/KBK, GMA)

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