Today, I went to the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo to get the OEC for my wife and myself. This process is straightforward, and is much much preferred than getting my OEC while in the Philippines, as any OFW can confirm.
Getting the OEC
I arrived there at 9:50 AM, signed my name and phone number at the entrance, and walked straight to the POLO office. There was no line, so they were able to attend to me as soon as I arrive. I gave them the passports, and the fully filled application form, which we already filled up at home. They also checked if my OWWA was still valid, which it was so no need to renew.
I was then requested to sign another sheet asking for the following information. I don’t remember having to write on this sheet before, and looks like it’s a new requirement from May, 2014.
- Full name
- Address while in the Philippines
- Phone number while in the Philippines
- Departure date and flight number
- Arrival date and flight number
- Passport number
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a copy of our tickets so I had to search the internet for the flight number (salamat iPhone). I can see the other people in the list also do not have their flight numbers so obviously, I’m not the only one. When I asked why the others didn’t write their flight numbers, the lady mentioned it was because they didn’t know so they would just have to call back to give the flight number.
So reminder to everybody applying for OEC, make sure to have a copy of your flight number when you visit the POLO office.
I didn’t mind writing this sheet although I couldn’t help but ask why I need to write down all those information. I also remembered all the personal information privacy trainings I attended as requirement for work. Is it really all right that I can see all the names, addresses, phone numbers, flight numbers, and passport numbers of all the people who applied before me?
Anyways, my OEC was ready and I just had to pay 250 yen (approximately 110 pesos) each for both my wife and myself.
Before I left, I also asked the lady how I could apply for Multiple Travel Exit Clearance (MTEC). Looks like we can only apply in the Philippines, and we need to present our employment contract when we apply. Once approved, we can fly multiple times to the Philippines, without needing to apply for OEC each time, for as long as the MTEC is valid (one year).
I only fly once or twice a year to the Philippines, so I thought I didn’t need it.