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MANILA - Within the month, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will have an additional venue for the processing of Balik-Manggagawa (or returning overseas Filipino workers) at the SM Mall in Manila, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said in a news release.
"Since March this year, when the POEA opened its first Balik-Manggagawa processing center outside the POEA main office, at the Duty Free Philippines in Paranaque, it has been moving very fast to make the service easier to avail and more accessible to vacationing workers," said Baldoz in a statement
"We want the POEA -- and all DOLE offices for that matter -- to continuously improve their services and their delivery capabilities," she said.
Baldoz, who is also the chairman of the POEA governing board, made the announcement after receiving the report of POEA chief Hans Leo Cacdac, who said that the Globe Pinoy Center at the 5th floor of SM Manila is the first Balik-Manggagawa processing center made available by SM Supermalls under a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) it signed with the POEA during the Migrant Workers’ Day celebration last June 7.
"This August, we, therefore, welcome vacationing workers to SM Manila where they could process their BM documents after shopping, dining, or sight-seeing with their families," Cacdac said.
Aside from the venue, the SM Supermalls management had agreed to provide computers, printers, tables, chairs, vaults, and other logistics for the satellite BM processing center at SM Manila. On the other hand, the POEA, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and Philippine Health Insurance Crop. will take charge of the manpower requirements of the center.
Cacdac said a dry-run operation was already held last July 31 to prepare for the center's soft opening this August. He also said the Ayala Group of Companies has likewise offered its Services Centre at the ground floor of the Trinoma Mall in Quezon City as a possible venue for BM processing.
"The POEA's information and communication technology (ICT) and administrative branches have already conducted an ocular inspection of the venue and tested its internet connection," Cacdac said, adding that the legal department of the Ayala Group of Companies is already reviewing a draft of the proposed MOA.