OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Association) has been highly proactive in assisting overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), particularly during recent health crises and events. There are numerous benefits available to OFWs who become members of OWWA. In addition to standard health and welfare benefits, OWWA provides livelihood programs, training, employment assistance, reintegration programs, and more. Please refer to the guidelines below for a comprehensive list of benefits and programs accessible to OWWA members.
Over the years, OFWs have earned the reputation of being “Modern Heroes” due to the challenges they face while living and working abroad. These challenges include communication difficulties, financial concerns, family issues, and work environment issues. Recognizing the need to protect and support OFWs, the Philippine government has established agencies to serve as their advocates.
OWWA, an affiliated agency and member institution of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), is one such organization. Initially known as the Welfare and Training Fund for Overseas Workers, OWWA’s primary objective is to safeguard and promote the well-being of Filipino migrant workers and their families.
The global labor migration landscape has undergone significant changes in recent years, and the support and protection offered to migrant workers have adapted accordingly. OWWA, too, has implemented various measures to enhance the security of OFWs. The availability of appropriate programs, for instance, has made a substantial impact on the lives of OFWs, who are rightfully regarded as our Modern Heroes.
Guide to OWWA Programs and Services for OWWA Members
OWWA, as an agency tasked with developing and implementing welfare programs and services for OFWs and their families, provides a range of programs and services to meet the needs of eligible OFWs. However, these programs, services, and benefits are not widely known among the public. Therefore, we have compiled a comprehensive list of these offerings for your reference.
OWWA membership entitles individuals to various benefits, akin to government insurance that proves valuable during times of crisis. These programs are categorized to address different aspects of life and cater to the needs of the beneficiaries. To fully utilize these benefits, it is essential for OFWs to have a detailed understanding of the available OWWA programs and their coverage.
Below is an extensive list of the OWWA programs and the associated benefits, specifically designed for OWWA members.
1. Social Benefits
OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) members are entitled to various social benefits and support services that address their needs arising from different circumstances such as calamities, sickness, bereavement, family issues, education, or housing problems.
Here are some of the OWWA programs that cater to these social circumstances:
- Calamity Assistance Program (CAP): This program provides financial assistance to OWWA members and their families who are affected by natural or man-made disasters, such as typhoons, earthquakes, or fires. It aims to help them recover and rebuild their lives.
- Education and Training Assistance Program (ETAP): OWWA offers scholarships and training grants to qualified dependents of OWWA members. This program supports their educational pursuits, enabling them to acquire skills and knowledge for future employment opportunities.
- Social Benefits Program (SBP): SBP provides financial, educational, and health assistance to eligible OWWA members and their dependents. It includes various benefits such as disability benefits, burial benefits, medical and dental assistance, and livelihood assistance.
- Balik-Pinas, Balik-Hanapbuhay (BPBH) Program: This program supports the reintegration of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) into the local workforce. It offers livelihood assistance, skills training, and entrepreneurial opportunities to help them start a business or secure sustainable employment in the Philippines.
- Workers Assistance and Welfare Program (WAW): WAW aims to address the welfare and well-being of OWWA members and their families. It provides counseling, legal assistance, repatriation services, and other forms of support to OFWs who encounter various problems abroad.
Disability and Dismemberment
Under the Disability and Dismemberment program, active members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) are eligible for and entitled to receive a cash benefit of up to Php 100,000.00 if they experience injuries related to accidents while working overseas.
Supplementary Medical Assistance (MEDplus)
MEDplus is a social benefit program designed to provide additional medical assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are hospitalized due to serious illnesses. To qualify for the benefits offered by this program, OFWs must be members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and have an active PhilHealth membership.
The primary purpose of MEDplus is to alleviate the financial burden of hospital expenses for eligible OFWs. The assistance provided is based on the case rate system, which means that the amount of support given depends on the specific medical condition. However, the total assistance provided per member does not exceed Php 50,000.00.
By implementing MEDplus, the government aims to support OFWs in their healthcare needs, particularly in times of medical emergencies. It serves as a supplementary program to help ease the financial strain on OFWs and their families during these challenging times.
Death & Burial
Under the Death and Burial program provided by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), beneficiaries of deceased Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) can receive financial assistance. If an active OWWA member passes away due to natural causes, the beneficiaries can receive up to Php 100,000.00. In the case of accidental deaths, the beneficiaries can avail an insurance benefit of up to Php 200,000.00.
In addition to these death benefits, claimants are eligible for a burial gratuity rider amounting to Php 20,000.00. This amount is intended to assist them in covering the funeral expenses and ensuring a dignified burial for their loved ones.
Welfare Assistance Program (WAP)
The OWWA Welfare Assistance Program (WAP) is a social benefit program that offers support to both active and non-active OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) members, as well as their eligible dependents who are not yet eligible for other regular OWWA social benefit programs and services.
The WAP provides cash relief assistance in various circumstances, including:
- Calamity Assistance: This is provided to OWWA members who are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families who have been affected by natural disasters or calamities caused by humans.
- Bereavement Assistance: Families and dependents of deceased OFWs who were active OWWA members can receive bereavement assistance through the WAP.
- Disability Assistance: Victims of crimes or accidents among OWWA members can receive disability assistance.
- Medical Assistance: OWWA members who are sick or have been injured due to accidents or crimes can receive medical assistance through the WAP if they are not covered under the MEDplus program.
- Relief Assistance: OWWA members who have been displaced or laid-off due to economic, political, health crises, bankruptcy, or similar conditions can receive relief assistance through the WAP.
These cash relief assistance programs aim to provide support and aid to OWWA members and their dependents during challenging times.
2. Education & Training
- Skills Enhancement Program: OWWA offers various skills training programs to enhance the competencies of its members and their qualified dependents. These programs focus on providing practical knowledge and hands-on training in specific fields, such as computer literacy, language proficiency, vocational skills, entrepreneurship, and other relevant areas.
- Scholarship Programs: OWWA provides scholarships to qualified dependents of its members, enabling them to pursue higher education. These scholarships cover tuition fees, allowances, and other educational expenses. The aim is to support the dependents in achieving their academic goals and improving their future prospects.
- Seafarers’ Upgrading Program: This program is specifically designed for OWWA members who work as seafarers. It offers training courses and seminars to upgrade their skills and knowledge in line with industry standards. The program focuses on enhancing their maritime competencies, safety awareness, and career development opportunities.
- Financial Literacy Training: OWWA recognizes the importance of financial management skills for its members. Therefore, it conducts financial literacy training programs that provide valuable information on budgeting, savings, investments, and other practical aspects of personal finance. These programs aim to equip members with the necessary knowledge to make informed financial decisions and effectively manage their resources.
- Livelihood Training Programs: OWWA offers livelihood training programs to assist members in starting their own businesses or engaging in income-generating activities. These programs provide technical skills training, business management seminars, and financial assistance to support the establishment and sustainability of small-scale enterprises.
- Language and Culture Orientation: OWWA understands the significance of language proficiency and cultural adaptation for overseas workers. Therefore, it conducts language and culture orientation programs to help members and their dependents prepare for employment opportunities abroad. These programs aim to improve communication skills, cultural sensitivity, and understanding of the host country’s customs and traditions.
These education and training programs provided by OWWA are meant to empower its members and their dependents, enabling them to acquire new skills, pursue higher education, and improve their overall well-being and prospects for the future.
Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP)
The Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP) is a specialized training program aimed at seafarers who desire to enhance their skills in order to stay competitive in accordance with the competency standards set by the International Maritime Organization. The program offers short-term, job-related courses that enable seafarers to maintain their edge in the industry. Each upgrading course, which is provided by accredited maritime training centers, requires a maximum fee of Php 7,500.00.
Short-Term Training Programs For OFWs & Dependents
Different kinds of short-term training programs are available for OFWs and their qualified dependents. Some of these short-term programs include:
Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP)
The Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) is designed to provide short-term training opportunities for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their eligible dependents. This program offers a range of training courses that typically span from 6 months to 2 years.
Participants in the SESP can benefit from financial support, with a maximum amount of Php 14,500.00 available for each training course. This financial assistance is provided to cover the costs associated with completing a technical or vocational course at any educational institution accredited by TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), MARINA (Maritime Industry Authority), and other government training institutions.
Information Technology (IT) Training Program
The Information Technology (IT) Training Program is a computer literacy program aimed at improving the IT skills of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families. Originally, the program was initiated by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to establish IT Centers in OWWA Regional Offices and other locations, with the goal of promoting better connectivity among families.
Over time, the project transformed into a comprehensive training program, providing OFWs and their dependents with the opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge in various IT applications.
Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP)
The Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) is a scholarship grant designed for qualified dependents. This program is specifically offered to children or siblings of an active Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) member who meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Incoming Senior High School (Grade 12) students:
- Must have a General Weighted Average (GWA) of at least 80% and no failing grades at the time of application.
- Should have successfully passed the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) qualifying examination, ranking among the top 400 passers nationwide.
- Incoming Freshmen (1st-year college) students:
- Must be single, either a Grade 11 graduate or currently enrolled in Grade 12.
- Should not be over 21 years old.
- Must have a General Weighted Average (GWA) of 80% or higher.
- If the GWA is not available during the application, the academic performance of the last two consecutive school years will be considered for evaluation.
- Students enrolled in the 2nd to 5th year in college:
- Must not be over 30 years old.
- Should have achieved a GWA equivalent to a B letter grade or 85% or higher in all academic and non-academic subjects during the previous school year, with a full load.
- Applicants must not be recipients of any OWWA or other scholarship grants.
The EDSP provides a maximum of Php 60,000.00 per school year until the completion of the student’s baccalaureate course, which typically takes 4 to 5 years. There are 1000 slots available in total, with 400 slots for incoming first-year students who have passed the DOST national examinations and 600 slots for students who are already enrolled in college.
OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP)
The OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) is a scholarship program that provides financial assistance of Php 20,000.00 per school year to eligible dependents of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are active members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
The following individuals are eligible for the scholarship:
- Incoming Freshmen (1st-year college): Single individuals who have graduated from Grade 11 or are incoming Grade 12 students, or those who are currently enrolled as Grade 12 students. They should not be over 21 years old and must have a passing grade.
- Students already registered in their 2nd year to 5th year in college: Single individuals who are currently enrolled in their 2nd to 5th year of a four-year or five-year baccalaureate course or associate course in any college or university. They should not be over 30 years old and must have a passing grade.
It’s important to note that the applicant should not be a recipient of any OWWA or other scholarship grant.
To qualify for the scholarship, the member OFWs must have a monthly salary of not more than $600.00. The applicants must be enrolled, currently enrolled, or have been enrolled in a four-year or five-year baccalaureate course or associate course in any college or university.
The ODSP aims to support the education of OFW dependents by providing financial assistance to help cover educational expenses.
Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP) for the Dependents of Deceased OFW Members
The Education and Livelihood Assistance Program for the Dependents of Deceased OFW Members (ELAP) is a program specifically designed to provide support to the survivors or qualified dependents of deceased Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who were active members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) at the time of their death. It also extends assistance to the families of OFWs who have been convicted and received the death penalty in foreign countries.
To be eligible for the program, the recipients must meet the following criteria:
- Incoming Freshmen (1st-year college) or single Grade 11 graduates (Incoming Grade 12 / currently enrolled as Grade 12).
- Not more than 21 years old.
- Attained a General Weighted Average (GWA) of 80% in all academic and non-academic subjects during the last school year, attended with a full load.
- For those already enrolled in 2nd year to 5th year in college, they must be single and under 30 years old.
- Maintained a General Weighted Average (GWA) of 80% in all academic and non-academic subjects during the last school year, attended with a full load.
- The applicant should not be a recipient of any OWWA or other scholarship grants.
The program provides financial assistance for the continuing education of the qualified dependents, in addition to offering a livelihood activity for the surviving members of the family. Under ELAP, the eligible dependents will receive:
- Livelihood Assistance amounting to Php 15,000.00.
- Educational assistance for qualified school-age dependents. The eldest child will be considered the qualified dependent. In cases where the firstborn is ineligible or unable to receive assistance, the next-born child will be elected as the qualified dependent. The educational assistance covers Php 5,000.00 for primary (Kindergarten), Php 8,000.00 for secondary, and Php 10,000.00 for tertiary education.
It’s important to note that this program aims to provide support and opportunities for the education and livelihood of the dependents left behind by deceased OFWs or those facing severe penalties abroad.
OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) has a primary goal of guaranteeing the safety and protection of all its members, especially during challenging circumstances. Irrespective of their location or the country they are in, OWWA places a high priority on safeguarding the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). As part of this commitment, they provide the Repatriation Assistance Program to assist any member in need.
Repatriation Assistance Program
Under the Repatriation Assistance Program, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) aims to assist distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and repatriate both the OFWs and their human remains. This program focuses on providing emergency repatriation to ensure the safe return of OFWs who are stranded in areas affected by political instability or natural disasters. The assistance offered includes airport support, temporary shelter, psycho-social counseling, stress debriefing, and transportation services to help OFWs return to their respective provinces.
One of the programs offered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to its members is reintegration. This program aims to assist overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in reintegrating into society and facilitating their transition back to normal life. It provides comprehensive support to OFWs, enabling them to recover from the challenges they may have faced during their time abroad, including any incarceration experiences. The reintegration program focuses on helping OFWs readjust to mainstream society, whether they were previously in prison or jail, with the goal of promoting a crime-free lifestyle and fostering positive family relationships.
Through the reintegration program, OFWs receive various forms of assistance to aid their successful reintegration process. They may receive counseling services to help address any psychological or emotional effects of their incarceration and assist in their overall well-being. Additionally, vocational and skills training programs may be offered to enhance their employability and provide opportunities for sustainable income upon their return.
Furthermore, the reintegration program may provide support in terms of job placement, entrepreneurship training, and financial literacy education. These initiatives aim to equip OFWs with the necessary tools and knowledge to secure stable employment or start their own businesses, enabling them to contribute to the local economy and support their families.
By implementing the reintegration program, OWWA recognizes the importance of providing holistic support to OFWs as they transition from their overseas experiences back to their home country. This comprehensive approach acknowledges the challenges they may face and seeks to empower them to lead fulfilling lives, fostering a sense of belonging and promoting their successful reintegration into society.
Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program
The OFW Reintegration Program (ORP) implemented by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) includes a specific initiative called Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program. This program is designed to provide immediate assistance and livelihood support to distressed or displaced Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who have returned to the Philippines. The aim is to help them reintegrate into the local workforce and start their own businesses.
Under this program, eligible OFWs can receive a maximum financial assistance of Php 20,000.00. This amount can be utilized as start-up capital for a new business venture or as additional funds for an existing one. The goal is to empower returning OFWs by providing them with the necessary resources to establish sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families.
OFW Enterprise Development and Loan Program (OFW-EDLP)
The Overseas Filipino Workers – Enterprise Development and Loan Program (OFW-EDLP) is a program managed by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in partnership with the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). Formerly known as the OFW-Reintegration Program (ORP), its purpose is to support enterprise development among OFWs and their families through various eligible projects.
The following projects are eligible for support under the OFW-EDLP:
- Franchising business
- Contract tie-up with the top 1000 corporations
- Agricultural and non-agricultural production or manufacturing with identified market links and raw material sources
- Construction or rental business
- Service and trading business
- Transportation service
- Any new or existing project that demonstrates viability and generates sufficient net cash flow to cover the loan’s projected amortization, resulting in a debt service ratio of at least 1.
To be eligible for the loan, OWWA members, whether active or non-active, must have completed the Enhanced Entrepreneurial Development Training (EEDT). The loan can be used to supplement working capital or acquire fixed assets. The following types of OFWs can avail themselves of the program:
- Single, widowed, or separated-in-fact parents who are under 60 years old upon loan maturity
- Children who are 18 years old or older at the time of loan availment
- If the OFW is married, the legal spouse can make a claim.
OFWs residing abroad must execute a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) authenticated by the appropriate Philippine Embassy or Consulate. For OFWs departing for another country, they can execute an SPA before their departure, and the Attorney-in-fact will transact with LBP or DBP on behalf of the borrowing OFW under the SPA.
If the OFW or the Attorney-in-fact is over 60 years old upon loan maturity, a co-maker of the loan who is a sibling or a child (of legal age) below 60 years old and with the capacity to pay will be required.
Returning OFWs can avail of the loan program within three years upon arrival in the Philippines unless they already have an ongoing business at the time of application.
Important Things to Remember:
Only one Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who is directly related to the family can apply for the program. OFWs can form a business entity through partnerships or by becoming stockholders, directors, officers, or members who are certified members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and have completed the Entrepreneurial Development Training (EEDT).
The program provides financial assistance by offering a Borrower’s Equity, which should be at least 20% of the Total Project Cost (TPC), or a loan amounting to up to 80% of the TPC. The loan can be obtained for a short-term period of a maximum of one year or a long-term period based on the cash flow but not exceeding seven years, including a two-year grace period. The funds can be used to cover the project requirements and the borrower’s equity participation. The loan is subject to an annual interest rate of 7.5% throughout the loan duration.
For Individual Loan Borrowers (single proprietorships), the loan amount can range from a minimum of Php 100,000.00 to Php 2,000,000.00. For Group Loan Borrowers (partnerships, corporations, cooperatives), the loan amount can range from a minimum of Php 100,000.00 to Php 5,000,000.00. The loan can be secured with collateral such as the object of financing, mortgage-able project assets (e.g., machines or equipment), and other assets owned by the borrower.”
Please note that this paraphrased version aims to convey the same information as the original text while using different wording and sentence structures.
Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs Program (Tulong PUSO)
The Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs, also known as Tulong PUSO, is a project established through the collaboration of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). It aims to provide a one-time financial grant to support proposed business plans and livelihood endeavors of OFW groups, with the goal of creating viable, sustainable, and immediately income-generating projects for both startup and expanding OFW groups.
To be eligible for the program, OFW groups must be officially recognized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The program is open to small, medium, and large OFW groups, and the grant amount they can avail of depends on their size. The available grant amounts are Php 150,000.00, Php 250,000.00, Php 500,000.00, or Php 1,000,000.00. However, it is important to note that the OFW groups must fulfill the following qualifications:
- Eighty percent (80%) of the group members must be documented OWWA members or their families, while the remaining twenty percent (20%) can be undocumented or irregular OFWs or their families.
- The group should not have received any previous Tulong PUSO grants.
The grants provided through this program can be utilized to support various livelihood activities, including:
- Livelihood Start-up: Assistance for the formation and initiation of a new business venture.
- Livelihood Expansion: Support for enhancing or upgrading an existing business, allowing it to grow into a viable and sustainable enterprise.
- Livelihood Restoration: Aid for the re-establishment of a lost or damaged business enterprise.
The program encourages the pursuit of specific types of livelihood projects. The preferred projects under Tulong PUSO include:
- Viable and marketable products or services: This may involve the processing of food and other consumer goods.
- Environment-friendly “green” products: Projects centered around the production of herbal food and drugs, organic fertilizer, and other agricultural-based items.
- Utilization of local or indigenous resources or materials: Handicrafts, specialty items, and souvenirs that make use of local resources.
- Businesses that generate local employment: Ventures that contribute to job creation within the local community.
- Franchise business opportunities: Support for franchise ventures.
- Online selling and delivery services: Assistance for establishing online businesses and delivery services.
- Businesses considered key employment generators.
- Products aligned with the priority products of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
It is important for OFW groups seeking to benefit from the Tulong PUSO program to adhere to the specified qualifications and consider engaging in the preferred livelihood projects outlined by the program. By doing so, they can increase their chances of receiving financial support to pursue their business plans and improve their livelihood opportunities.
5. Special Projects
OWWA also offers other programs and services to provide social, financial, and educational assistance to its members in the form of Special projects.
Some of these projects include:
DOLE-OWWA AKAP for OFWs (DOLE-AKAP)
DOLE-OWWA-AKAP is a financial assistance program designed to support the ongoing processing of new and pending applications for DOLE-AKAP. This program aims to aid overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have been temporarily or permanently displaced due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
he program offers support to:
- Documented OFWs
- Active OWWA members
- Inactive OWWA members
- Qualified undocumented OFWs
- Balik-Manggagawa awardees who are unable to return to their host country due to the lockdown caused by the pandemic.
Some members are ineligible to receive the financial assistance offered under the DOLE-OWWA-AKAP:
OWWA members who have been granted a special cash assistance amounting to Php 10,000.00 under the OWWA Special Financial Assistance for Stranded OFWs program. This includes individuals who have received Php 10,000.00 through the DOLE-AKAP program, as well as OWWA members whose employment contracts have ended or been terminated due to reasons unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tertiary Education Subsidy for Dependents of Repatriated OFWs (Tabang OFW)
The Tertiary Education Subsidy for Dependents of Repatriated OFWs (Tabang OFW) is a collaborative initiative between the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). Its main objective is to provide assistance in the form of training and scholarships to qualified dependents of displaced Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) as well as those who have passed away due to the pandemic. This program specifically focuses on offering tertiary education subsidies to college-level dependents of OFWs who lost their jobs or lost their lives as a result of the pandemic.
Under the Tabang OFW program, eligible beneficiaries are entitled to a one-time grant amounting to Php 30,000.00 for the Academic Year 2020-2021. The qualified dependents encompass the following:
- Unmarried children of married OFWs aged 30 years old or below.
- Unmarried children, siblings, nieces, or nephews of unmarried members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) aged 30 years old or younger.
These beneficiaries are provided financial support to pursue their tertiary education, helping alleviate the economic burden faced by the affected families and enabling the dependents to continue their studies despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
The OWWA Rebate Program is a notable project implemented by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). It is a financial assistance program established under the OWWA Act or Republic Act 10801. This program aims to provide support to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who have not previously received any grants, benefits, or assistance from the agency.
Under the OWWA Rebate Program, eligible beneficiaries can receive a percentage of their total OWWA contribution. The amount ranges from Php 941.25 to Php 13,177.50, depending on the individual’s cumulative OWWA contributions. The following individuals are considered eligible beneficiaries for OWWA rebates:
- OFWs who have been OWWA members for a period of ten years or longer, as of December 31, 2017 (cut-off period).
- OFWs who have paid at least five or more of their membership contributions.
- OFWs who have not previously received any support or benefits from any OWWA program for themselves or their families.
- Legal beneficiaries of qualified OFWs who have passed away.
It’s important to note that the information provided here is based on the knowledge available up until September 2021, and there may have been updates or changes to the OWWA Rebate Program since then. It’s recommended to verify the current details and requirements by contacting the OWWA directly or visiting their official website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Educational Assistance by Scholarship in Emergencies (Project EASE)
Project EASE is an OWWA program that aims to provide educational assistance of up to Php 10,000.00 per year for a maximum of 4 years at the college level. This assistance is available to qualified dependents of active OWWA member-OFWs who were repatriated since the declaration of the pandemic until the time when the pandemic is declared controlled and managed by the World Health Organization (WHO) or any other competent authorities.
Project EASE extends its coverage to eligible dependents of active OFW-members (whether land-based, sea-based, or Balik Manggagawa) at the time they were repatriated to the country. The eligible dependents of OWWA member-OFWs include:
- Children (natural or legally adopted) of the OWWA member-OFW who are unmarried and not more than 21 years old.
- Children of the OWWA member-OFW who are mentally or physically challenged, regardless of their age.
- Siblings of the OWWA member-OFW who are unmarried and not more than 21 years old.
- Spouse of the OWWA member-OFW, provided that the marriage is duly recognized by Philippine laws, and the spouse is not a member of OWWA.
Legal guardian of the OWWA member-OFW, in the absence of the parents (as evidenced by a court order or legal instrument).”
- Child of married or single parent OFW; or
- Sibling of single OFW
Some OWWA members who were not covered by Project EASE include:
- Those with existing Scholarship Grants under ODSP, EDSP, ELAP-Education, and CMWSP
- Inactive OWWA members
- Undocumented workers
Tuloy-Aral Project (TAP)
The Tuloy-Aral Project (TAP) is an initiative by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) designed to assist underprivileged children of former Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and children from impoverished families in continuing their education. Launched in December 2004, the program collaborates with Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) and various organizations to enlist donors who will fund the educational expenses of qualified beneficiaries, including both children of OFWs and those from marginalized backgrounds.
Through the program, selected donors are requested to provide $100 of financial support per year to their assigned child beneficiary. This contribution helps cover the educational needs and school-related expenditures of the beneficiaries throughout their elementary and high school education. The OWWA Family Welfare Officers in the respective regions oversee and monitor the implementation of the program.
By facilitating partnerships between generous donors and deserving children, the Tuloy-Aral Project aims to alleviate the financial burden of education for these disadvantaged students and enable them to pursue their studies without hindrance.
OFW Children’s Circle
The OWWA OFW Children’s Circle is a special program designed for the dependent children of OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) members. This program’s primary objective is to provide these children with access to information and services that can help them adapt to the challenges of having a parent working abroad. Additionally, the program aims to offer support to OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) families through various means such as psychosocial interventions, legal assistance, and financial aid.
The community established by the program serves as a safe and inclusive space for OFW children to engage with other kids, share their experiences, and find support from one another. Moreover, the community strives to promote the welfare and overall development of these children, recognizing their unique circumstances as dependents of OFWs.
6. Country Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)
The Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) is a compulsory orientation seminar designed for departing Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to provide them with crucial information that is highly beneficial. The seminar aims to familiarize them with country-specific and skill-specific work regulations, provide an overview of the destination country, and guide them through the various stages of their life abroad. It also covers topics such as health and safety, travel tips, airport procedures, and government programs and services.
Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program for Household Service Workers (CPDEP for HSWs)
The Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program for Household Service Workers (CPDEP for HSWs) is a two to six-day orientation seminar designed to provide departing household service workers with essential knowledge and skills to navigate the challenges they may encounter while working overseas. The program specifically addresses the difficulties faced by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and offers guidance on effectively overcoming them.
One of the main focuses of the program is to equip HSWs with strategies to overcome the language barrier they may encounter in their destination countries. Language plays a crucial role in communication and understanding, and by providing HSWs with language-related education, they can better engage with their employers and effectively communicate their needs and concerns.
Moreover, the CPDEP also places significant emphasis on familiarizing HSWs with the culture of the countries they will be working in. Each country has its own unique customs, traditions, and social norms, and it is essential for HSWs to have a good understanding of these cultural aspects. By doing so, they can adapt more easily to their new environment and avoid potential cultural misunderstandings or conflicts.
Through the CPDEP, HSWs receive comprehensive pre-departure education that equips them with the necessary tools to navigate the challenges they may face while working abroad. By addressing the language barrier and cultural differences, the program aims to enhance the overall experience of HSWs and promote their successful integration into their respective host countries.
7. OWWA e-Services
OWWA also features online services for its members which include the following:
OFW Assistance Information System (OASIS)
The OFW Assistance Information System (OASIS) is an online platform developed by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) to enhance the delivery of services to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). By registering on OASIS, OFWs provide crucial information to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO), OWWA, and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), enabling these agencies to address concerns and provide appropriate services such as repatriation, testing, quarantine, and transportation.
OASIS, together with all the information submitted during the registration process, is governed by the Data Privacy Act of 2012. After registering on OASIS, users will receive an acknowledgment email confirming their registration and providing a link to update their current information.
OASIS aims to streamline and improve assistance services for OFWs by leveraging technology and data management. It allows relevant government agencies to have access to accurate and up-to-date information, enabling them to efficiently respond to the needs of OFWs and provide the necessary support during various situations they may encounter while working abroad.
OFW e-CARD Application
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) provides a platform for OFW e-Card Application, aiming to simplify the process for migrant Filipino workers and their families to obtain the OFW e-Card. This identification card enables active, legal, documented OFWs to access all OWWA services regardless of their location. The OFW e-Card Application service streamlines the procedure for departing OFWs to acquire a valid government-issued OWWA ID, which also serves as a passport to OWWA Welfare Services, Scholarships, Training Programs, and Social Benefits.
OWWA Rebate Portal
The OWWA Rebate Portal is an online platform that allows member OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) to take advantage of the rebate program and maximize the benefits of their OWWA membership. This portal enables member OFWs to conveniently access the service and receive a percentage of their OWWA contribution based on the number of years they have been active members.
By utilizing the OWWA Rebate Portal, member OFWs can easily apply for the rebate program and avail themselves of the financial incentives associated with their OWWA membership. The rebate amount is determined by the duration of their active membership, rewarding those who have been long-standing contributors to the OWWA fund.
The portal serves as a user-friendly interface, allowing member OFWs to navigate through the process smoothly. They can submit their rebate application online, providing the necessary information and documentation required to verify their eligibility for the program. Once the application is successfully processed, the rebate amount will be credited to the member’s designated account or disbursed through other agreed-upon means.
The establishment of the OWWA Rebate Portal aims to streamline the rebate program, making it more accessible and efficient for member OFWs. It acknowledges the contributions and sacrifices of OFWs and provides them with a tangible benefit that recognizes their commitment to supporting the welfare and development of fellow Filipino workers.
OFW e-CARD Tracker
The OFW e-CARD Tracker is an online service provided by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for all active members. This feature enables them to monitor the progress of their OFW e-Card. Members can easily check the status of their e-Card by using either the tracking number or passport number, along with the OFW’s date of birth. This tracking service also provides information on the delivery status of the OFW e-Card.
OWWA Mobile App
The OWWA Mobile App is a convenient electronic service offered to active OWWA members, allowing them to access their OWWA member profiles and conveniently pay their membership and renewal fees. This mobile app can be easily downloaded for free from both the Google Play Store and Apple Store.
With the OWWA Mobile App, active OWWA members can enjoy various benefits and features. They can securely log in to their accounts and view their member profiles, which include essential information such as their personal details, employment status, and membership history. This allows members to have easy access to their OWWA records and stay updated on their membership status.
Additionally, the app provides a hassle-free payment system for membership and renewal fees. Members can conveniently make payments through the app using various payment methods, ensuring a seamless and efficient transaction process.
By offering the OWWA Mobile App, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration aims to enhance the overall experience and accessibility for its active members. It empowers members to manage their OWWA membership conveniently, providing them with a user-friendly platform that is accessible anytime and anywhere.
Please note that the information provided above is accurate up to September 2021, and there may have been updates or changes to the OWWA Mobile App since then.
OWWA Appointment Scheduler
The OWWA website provides a convenient feature that allows users to schedule appointments with any OWWA branch in order to access various services or obtain information about programs that require a personal visit. By utilizing the online appointment setting facility, active OWWA members have the ability to reserve a time slot to visit any POLO or OWWA Regional office and successfully carry out their transactions.