By Samuel Medenilla
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has allocated P10 million to fund and complete the development of its new overseas Filipino workers (OFW) ID this year.
“This is from DOLE alone. Other agencies have a separate budget (for the OFW ID),” Labor undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad III told Manila Bulletin in an interview.
Lagunzad disclosed the budget was sourced from DOLE’s Information System Strategic Plan (ISSP). Fund allocation will be used to create the ID and the mobile application system that will allow OFWs to access the necessary files in government agencies needed for their deployment abroad.
“This will become like a virtual one-stop shop (for OFWs),” Lagunzad said.
Unlike existing universal government ID cards, he said the new OFW ID will make use of a much simpler system similar to what is being used by automated teller machines (ATM).
“There is no issue of interoperability. We will not ask the machines of those agencies to directly talk. There is just a card, which is a gate, which allows the OFWs to access each separate agency where they have a file,” Lagunzad said.
The data and transactions of the OFW ID will be stored in server managed by DOLE.
Lagunzad noted they already successfully completed the first phase of their six-part project last month.
“The pilot demonstrated that the ID can actually access the files of POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration,” Lagunzad said.
The senior labor official said they are now in the second phase of the project, where they will expand the coverage of the ID system to include government agencies outside DOLE’s affiliate offices.
He said they may also soon start printing IDs on a limited scale so it could be field tested by OFWs.
“We hope to get this running mid of April…before the end of April we would have already come out with the cards,” Lagunzad said.