Tuesday, April 10, 2012

To VP Jejomar Binay: OFW Pag-ibig Pay at POEA

When we went home for vacation last December 2011, I went to POEA to pay for my Balik-Manggagawa payment to avoid any hassles that we might encounter, thinking about the things I've read and heard from other vacationing OFW's.

I prepared for my normal P1,200 fee, and then was surprised that I am required to fill up a Pag-ibig form. I heard that we will all be require to pay as mandatory to OFW's. This bother's me with another "Required for OFW's" so I went to Pag-Ibig booth and inquired about it. He said it is indeed mandatory. I told him I am paying monthly contribution amounting to P400+. I showed him my POP (Pag-ibig Overseas Program). He said, I am okay, I am no longer required to fill up the form and pay.

I remember a couple of OFW friends recounting their experiences to me about Pag-ibig mandatory payment. A friend from Bahrain:

"Sir Kenji, please check this out too. Umuwi ako July 2010. Ayaw kong magbayad ng PAG-IBIG but then sabi sa Phil embassy compulsory daw. So I paid for 4months in advance yet official receipt and print out of TEMPORARY PAG-IBIG NUMBER lang yung binigay sa akin. When I checked with my colleagues na nagbabayad dito for more than 2yrs, TEMPORARY number pa rin ang binibigay. I got discouraged and didn't pay thereafter.

Tanong: How can we monitor if na-register ang payment ko sa Pinas? 
May ID ba silang ibibigay like SSS ID card which is more convenient to slip inside our wallet and for easy monitoring wherever we go?

From another:

I remember, I have on process PAG-IBIG membership before I left Muntinlupa Medical Center where I worked for years. A representative from embassy here told me that it is different since I'm gonna pay now in dollars. I didn't mind paying here coz I didn't even know if they started cutting it from my salary when I was in Muntinlupa.

Anyway, if there's a chance, please check specifically my ID if they remit what I paid there, TOP is 000000000. Your help is highly appreciated. Thanks a lot!

I requested a courtesy visit to Vice President Jejomar Binay through Mr. Benjie Martinez his Chief of Staff  so we can ask several questions and discuss about this concerns from OFW's. Unfortunately, they are out of town that week prior to my flight back here in Saudi Arabia. You see if every vacationing OFW will pay P400 pesos, and there are 1,000 OFWs paying everyday, you have P10,000,000 (10M) every month and a whooping P120M every year, and we know more than a thousand OFWs are paying to POEA everyday. 

A couple of question to somehow clarify this matter.

1. Why OFW have to keep filling the form if they don't have the POP card or they don't have the FINAL Pag-ibig Number?
2. Can Pag-ibig issue a POP card to all OFW's paying at the POEA para maiwasan ang padoble-dobleng bayad and issuance of several Pag-ibig numbers?

Below is the memo of the Mandatory Coverage and Membership of Overseas Filipino Workers


Department of Labor and Employment
BFO Building, Ortigas Avenue cor. EDSA, Mandaluyong City 1501
Website: E-mail:
Hotlines: 722-1144, 722-1155
Memorandum Circular No. 06
Series of 2010
Subject: Mandatory Coverage and Membership of Overseas Filipino Workers under the Home Development Mutual Fund otherwise known as Pag-IBIG (Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko, Industriya at Gobyerno)

Date: 7 July 2010

Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9679, or the Home Development Mutual Fund Law of 2009, otherwise known as Pag-IBIG Fund, whick took effect on 27 August 2009, the following guidelines are hereby issued.
  1. Coverage. All Overseas Filipino Workers are covered by the Pag-IBIG Fund whether landbased or seabased.
  2. Implementation. POEA implementation of the mandatory coverage shall start on 01 August 2010.
  3. Contribution. Upon registration and deployment of an OFW, an initial membership contribution of six hundred pesos (P600.00) representing six (6) months contribution shall be paid by the worker. The OFW may however, opt to contribute a higher amount as provided under Rule VI of the same law.
  4. Procedure for Membership Registration of OFWs at the POEA and Issuance of POEA exit clearance/Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). The following procedures for the membership registration and issuance of the POEA exit clearance/OEC shall be observed.
a.)    OFWs processed through the POEA Name Hire Facility, the Government Placement Branch and the Balik-Manggagawa Center shall register with the Fund by submitting to POEA a Member Data Form (MDF) in addition to the existing documentary requirements, as a requirement for the processing of their documents and issuance of the POEA exit clearance/OEC.
b.)    For OFWs hired through POEA-licensed recruitment agencies, the recruitment agency shall submit to POEA the individual MDF of their hired OFWs in addition to the existing documentary requirements as a requirement for the processing of the workers’ documents and issuance of the POEA exit clearance/OEC.

For compliance effective immediately.

Jennifer Jardin-Manalili