The OFW Electron Card or E-card is a must have for OFWs, especially these days when everything is automated.  Aside from its main function as a valid identification card, it can also serve as a debit card, an ATM card, as well as a discount card.  What’s good is that the e-card can be used locally and abroad and it is being issued for free.

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About
The OFW Electron Card or E-card or “E-Card” is being issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) through agencies like the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).  This card is for the benefit of OFWs and is being issued for free.  The following are its features:
·    Photo Card
·    Digital Signature
·    Tamper proof signature panel
·    Magnetic stripe with security code or personal ID number

ID

As a permanent ID, the E-Card serves as proof that the card holder is a legitimate OWWA member and OFW.  The card will actually help you in processing papers and in availing OWWA benefits and services.  This is because the card has a unique ID number that links necessary information about you to various agencies who process your papers.  Your E-Card also serves as your Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).

International ATM Card

If you have an ATM account with Equitable PCI Bank, then you can use your E-Card to withdraw cash in any Bancnet, Megalink or Expressnet in the Philippines.  When you’re out of the country, then you can also withdraw from any VISA Plus ATM.  Charges from withdrawing would range from US $1 to US $3.

Debit Card

You can use the card to make purchases in any establishment that acknowledges VISA Electron cards.  The amounts of your purchases will be deducted directly from your account.

Discount Card

Just present your E-card to any participating establishment and you’ll be able to avail of discounts.  You can also use your E-Card to avail of travel tax and terminal fee exemption in any airport in the Philippines.

Where to get

The OFW E-Card is being issued for free.  Just collect the card after paying the POEA processing fee and the OWWA membership and Medicare fees at the POEA office.  Land based OFWs can get their E-Card at the following offices:
·    POEA Head Office
·    POEA Regional Office in Cebu City
·    OWWA Headoffice
·    Singapore
·    U.A.E. (Abu Dhabi & Dubai)

For Seafarers and land based workers in other areas, securing of cards are announced subsequently.

Good

Aside from the ease of just having to bring one card for all these tasks, E-Card has other advantages too.  Again, it is issued for free.  Also, as an ATM card, there is no maintaining balance.  You can use it anywhere in the world and not just in

the country where you are currently working.  Also, as a privilege discount card, you can avail of 10% to 35% discount.

Contact
OWWA website:     www.owwa.gov.ph
OWWA hotline:    551-15-60 or 551-66-41.
Equitable Hello Service: 632-867-7977 or 1-800-1-888-3264

Links to other articles:
DoLE: OFW Electron Card
OFW eCard Form

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