The Philippines' Embassy to Singapore
I woke up as early as six thirty in the morning because I want to accomplish my OWWA Membership and OEC within the day or if possible, in the smallest amount of time.
*OWWA or Overseas Workers Welfare Administration is the agency under the Department of Labor and Employment that serves the interest and welfare of our modern day heroes-Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
*OEC or Overseas Employment Certificate is a requirement under POEA Rules and Regulations and the Department of Tourism to help ensure that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are properly documented and protected and to avail travel tax reduction for OFW dependents.
When I arrived quarter to eight at Nassim Road where Philippine Embassy is located, I already saw a crowd of our fellow kababayans. While some were lined up along the embassy gate, others were just sitting, chatting and just making tambay. I immediately joined the line up and was about on the 20th of the line waiting for the gate to open by nine. Everything was all okay since I just got in. But when the time came, here comes our ever disciplined kababayans. As the gate opens, all of a sudden everyone rushed towards the gate and the line just faded. (Pakapalan lang pala itu!)
I managed to go inside with a number of people doubled already and also, I was kinda lost as I entered the vicinity (my first time). Only one guard assisted us on the area. I asked him what to do if I am to get my OWWA membership and OEC. He told me to log in first before heading to windows 4 and 5 respectively. He was like playing patintero to some of our pasaway na kababayans prohibiting them not to approach the window area without signing the log details on the table prepared just near the gate. There were four lines so I got in line and waited my turn to sign. However, when the guard went to get some OWWA and OEC forms, our fellow kababayans took the opportunity to get to the windows proper.
*Before getting on the appropriate window, you have to get your queue number to be entertained depending on the transactions you plan to make.
When I got here, there were a lot of fingers pressing on the machine for their own transactions, paper ran out and even the machine went down. I had a hard time getting mine since the fingers were so unimaginable. (as in grabe!! wahaha) Anyhow, I got my queue stubs for OWWA and OEC transactions.
*Yes, separate transactions but you should have the OWWA membership first before having a transaction with OEC.
I was hoping I would finish processing my OWWA when I get my turn on OEC. I hunted for a seat to fill up my forms and waited for my queue. Luckily, my OWWA queue came first, I was on the 4th batch. The officers were like calling 5 queue numbers per batch.
*Upon reaching Window 4, it is recommended that your passport, equivalent work pass, OWWA membership form and payment fee of SGD42 is already prepared.
After that, you will have to wait for your name to be called to get your passport back with the OWWA membership attached already. I got mine in a matter of minutes and just in time for my queue with OEC.
*On Window 5, you also have to present your passport with the OWWA membership attached, your equivalent work pass, OEC form and your choice of travel. Either single or multiple.
I asked for Multiple travel equivalent to 2 certificates because I have plans of going home twice this year. This would be valid within a year since it was issued. After the officer have collected my documents, I went back to my seat and waited for a couple of minutes for my name to be called. Once called and have paid the corresponding amount, then you are done. Processing fee is SGD5.50 per cert payable in cash only. It took me about an hour to get the two requirements, if I'm not gonna add up the waiting time and hiatus on the gate of the embassy. In all fairness, the processing was fast.
Schedules and the availability of Passport Applications are posted on their gate.
Or you may also check updates on processes and schedules in Embassy of the Philippines in Singapore website.
While walking home, I passed by the Japanase Embassy and I was so impressed it looked like a mansion. I wasn't able to take pictures because it was not allowed. And also along the way is the Thailand Embassy and wow, it was a Villa.