I really don't understand why put all the necessary floodgates to prevent us from going abroad. Thousands upon thousands of Filipinos have come and go to find work abroad and maybe have some fun under the sun. All you need to have is your passport, visa (for some countries), and itinerary to travel. I am an OFW and I'm one of the many men and women who have made this sacrifice to work far away from the family and loved ones. We are required to get an OEC every time we go home so that we can travel abroad, its like getting "parents' permit" just to go out of the country as if our passport, working visa, and work permit are not enough.
What's their BS? Prevent human smuggling. Really? How come there are so many illegal aliens in our country doing their "business" and some guys overextending their stay? OFWs are said to be "bagong bayani" or new heroes then why treat us as crap?
Me and my girlfriend had this very unfortunate experience where we got verbally abused by an immigration officer who had every verbal tirades in the book to the point of questioning personal things like are we really a couple. A week before I secured a letter of invitation from the Philippine Embassy so I can provide my girlfriend the proper documentation to show it to them. To cut the long story short, we did manage to get past that hurdle without an argument from the officer (I wish I could name her).