Like some other workers in any industry, OFWs also need to acquire specific certifications. Among them are the Pre-Employment Orientation Seminar (PEOS) certificate, Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), and the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) (or Guidance and Counseling Program GCP) certificate. Unlike the regular workers who acquire their certificates to upskill, the certificates relevant to OFWs are generally mandatory.
In a bid to adapt to the Internet Age, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) has seen the need to create an innovation project, the Overseas Filipinos CFO Online Registration System, which is better known as OF-CORS. OF-CORS was designed to make it easier for the OFWs generally, but in case you aren’t as tech-savvy as the rest of us, then here’s a complete guide to walk you through the steps in registering for an OF-CORS account to taking the online Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) to securing and printing a Registration Sticker or GCP certificate.
What exactly is the Overseas Filipinos – CFO Online Registration System (OF-CORS)?
The Overseas Filipinos – CFO Online Registration System (better known as OF-CORS) is a brainchild of the InnovaTHORS ThinkerBELLES, the Innovation Team of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). OF-CORS is the team’s response to the different issues that migrant Filipino workers encounter in securing a GCP certificate.
With the OF-CORS, the InnovaTHORS ThinkerBELLES aim to innovate and simplify the registration process for the OFWs, the clients of CFO, to achieve a fast, easy, and hassle-free transaction to securing a GCP certificate.
The new platform, OF-CORS, features online registration, verification, payment, Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS), and feedback. It’s meant to streamline the entire process, which they hope will result in a twenty-five percent (25%) increase in customer satisfaction and efficiency. They also hope that OF-CORS will lessen the processing steps, promoting cost-effectiveness for the Commission.
Some of the things/metrics that the Commission hopes to see improvements on with the creation of OF-CORS include:
- Customer satisfaction – increased by 25%
- Efficiency – improved by 25%
- Reduced process steps – from the original 6-step process to just 1
- Promote cost-effectiveness
- Improve agency’s budget utilization rate
- Maximize the time of personnel for other equally important activities
What does OF-CORS do?
The CFO’s InnovaTHORS ThinkerBELLES designed OF-CORS to be a fast, easy, and hassle-free web-based facility for registration, facilitation, and certification for PDOS. It was created with the following main features and services:
- Online Registration – This feature allows immigrating Filipino workers to make an online appointment to attend the online PDOS.
- Online Verification – Under this part, a CFO officer verifies all requirements provided by the OFW, such as passport, immigrant visa, and ID.
- Online Payment – This allows the migrant worker to pay the registration fee online.
- Online Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) – The OFW is supposed to attend the PDOS and see the online PDOS modules.
- Online Feedback – This feature allows the attendees to give feedback on the system online post-seminar and the Commission to see the areas for improvement.
- E-registration Sticker and Certificate Printing – After the online PDOS, the OFW will have the option to see and print their E-registration Sticker and Certificate online.
Who is it for?
The OF-CORS was created to provide online services on behalf of the Commission of Filipinos Overseas. They are intended for the Commission’s clients, and these clients refer to:
- First-time registrants for the Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP)
- Previously attendees of the GCP with On-Hold Status.
Who is exempted from doing this?
The following emigrants are exempted from attending the Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)/Peer Counselling Program. However, they should still access the Reservation and Registration Online System (R&R) to submit data online and visit the CFO personally or send an authorized representative to obtain the Emigrant Registration Sticker from the Commission:
- Minors aged 12 and below;
- Senior citizens (60 years old and above);
- Those incapacitated due to permanent or long-term ailments; or
- Those with mental health issues or psychologically challenged.
- Residents /immigrants/migrants who stayed in the destination country for an aggregate of two months can present proof of stay (ID issued overseas, used visa from the host country, etc.).
What are the requirements?
The Commission set the following requirements for the application to the CFO-Guidance and Counseling Program (GCP):
- One clear copy of valid passport;
- One clear copy of valid visa;
- The petitioner’s passport; and
- A copy of the petitioners Marriage certificate or Report of Marriage (ROM) in Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) security paper. (if married).
For more information on securing a Marriage Certificate printed is security paper from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), you may follow the step-by-step procedure listed in this article on How to Request for PSA Marriage Certificate Online.
Note that there are instances when the counselor asks for additional documents that may be essential in completing the guidance and counseling process. In case that happens, GCP applicants should come prepared, with the following documents (if applicable to them) on hand so that they can hand them in to the requesting counselor/facilitator:
- Divorce decree/certificate (of Filipino or foreign spouse, if previously married)
- Annulment paper (of Filipino or foreign spouse, if previously married)
- Proof of residency/Alien Registration Card-ARC (of the foreign spouse)
- Proof of relationship (picture together, emails, among others)
- Death certificate (of Filipino or foreign spouse, if widow/widower)
- Certificate of Family relations / registration (of foreign spouse)
- Declaration of an undertaking of travel (in letter format) including the following:
- activities to prepare for travel,
- Itinerary of Travel and
- How to ensure safe travel and stay ( if required by counselor/facilitator)
- Affidavit of invitation and support (financial support/safety/medical insurance) notarized and authenticated by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate who has jurisdiction over the destination or the host country ( if required by counselor/facilitator)
- Explanation on why the foreign partner cannot travel to the Philippines in letter format ( if required by counselor/facilitator)
- Valid no criminal records certification/clearance or any equivalent document to indicate lack of derogatory criminal record or medical/psychological condition ( if required by counselor/facilitator)
To get a criminal record clearance in the Philippines, check out our previous article on How to Apply for a Barangay Clearance, Police Clearance, NBI Clearance.
If registered by proxy, the representative is required to present the following documents in addition to the required documents:
- Medical certificate/report (except those 60 years old and above)
- Letter of authorization from the emigrant (if applicable to the case); and
- Original valid identification card with a photograph of the proxy.
Proxies who are not the legal/natural/biological adoptive parent of children who are 12 years old and below must also present the following documents:
- One (1) original valid identification card with a photograph of the proxy, and
- Duly notarized authorization letter executed by parent/s or guardian/s, issued in the Philippines or overseas.
How to apply for the OF-CORS GCP certificate?
To secure the OF-CORS GCP certificate, a migrant Filipino must follow the steps listed here:
- Create an online account by registering online at the CFO website.
- Answer the preliminary questions and provide your email address, choose the date of your appointment and provide your and your petitioner’s personal information.
- Once registered, they can schedule and take the online Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) and Peer Counseling Program (PCP).
This can be done via the following websites:
- For Manila: https://cfo.ph/PDOS_Reservation_Manila/
- For Cebu: https://cfo.ph/PDOS_Reservation_Cebu/
- For Clark: https://cfo.ph/PDOS_Reservation_Clark/
- For Davao: https://cfo.ph/PDOS_Reservation_Davao/
- Instead of going to the CFO Office (either in Manila, Cebu, Clark, or Davao) on the confirmed date like before, OFWs no longer need to go to any CFO office to avail of pre-departure services. They could register online. They can get the documents verified, then take the online PDOS.
- Once done, print the OF-CORS Temporary Certificate, which can be presented to the Bureau of Immigration on the day of the departure from the Philippines.
For a step-by-step guide to registering for an account for OF-CORS GCP, please watch this video:
Things to remember
Note that if you are applying for the OF-CORS GCP certificate, it is essential to pay attention to the following:
- Registering for an online account on the CFO website will have to be done during office hours, from Monday to Thursday, from 07:00 am to 05:00 pm.
- Registering beyond their office hours is not allowed. Instead, you will be redirected to a page with the following message:
The Commission’s cut-off time for today is already in effect, or the Online Registration for emigrants is ONLY available during (Monday – Thursday from [07:00 am to 05:00 pm]).
How to contact the CFO?
If you need to reach out to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, you may use the following contact information:
For systems and Email Inquiry (Monday to Thursday, 7 am to 7 pm)
Email address: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
For Facebook Inquiry (Mondays to Fridays, 7 am to 7 pm; Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm)
You may also contact them via the following:
Tel. No.: (02) 8552-4700
Fax No.: (02) 8561-8332
Or, by sending a snail mail to:
1345 Pres. Quirino Avenue corner Osmeña Highway
Paco, Metro Manila
You may also find this guide for first-time OFWs helpful, in case this is the first time that you are leaving the country. If you are going to Macau as an OFW, here’s a complete OFW’s Guide to Life in Macau.