As a way to honor overseas Filipino workers, there are several privileges our beloved migrant workers can avail of privileges that are exclusive to them and their immediate family members.
1. OWWA Benefits
As paying members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, OFWs are eligible to a number of benefits such as medical, life and travel insurance. They receive language and cultural and orientation seminars before their outbound flights, avail of business loans and receive assistance when they are displaced from their job abroad . Their children may also qualify for college scholarship grant. In case of death, their beneficiaries also receive financial assistance from the government. This isn’t the same case for those who are not certified as OWWA members.
2. Courtesy lane for OFW passport applications
OFWs who happen to be in the Philippines can avail of expedited processing of passport renewals at Robinsons Galleria at Ortigas Center. Not only reservation is not needed, the process is also quick and easy for OFWs. They just have to bring their employment contract and onward flight ticket.
3. Exclusive entrance for OFWs at NAIA Terminal 3
OFWs have their dedicated lane at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
4. Privileges for VIPinoy Card holders
Although application for the program has discontinued on October 1, 2017, this membership entitles OFWs and their families free access to Family Lounges at Ayala Malls, Priority Lane, Reserved seats in selected mall concerts & events, and discounts in Ayala Malls Cinemas until 2018.
5. Privileges for SM Global Pinoy Center members
SM also has a program for OFWs called SM Global Pinoy Center that offers perks and privileges for OFWs and their families as they spend their time together at SM Malls. Inside these venues, OFWs and their families can avail of free refreshments, free internet browsing, remittance pick-up, foreign exchange services, and free international calls.
6. Travel tax discounts for OFW spouse and dependents
Standard travel tax for Filipinos flying outside of the country is P1,620. But OFW spouse and unmarried children below 21 can avail of Privileged Reduced Rate of P400 for first class and P300 for economy class seats.
7. Bahay Para sa Bagong Bayani Program by Landbank
OFWs who are holding active employment contract are eligible to buy vacant lots, house and lot, townhouse or condo units as well as refinance an existing mortgage or renovate an existing property using the 3B (Bahay Para sa Bagong Bayani) program of Landbank.
8. Direct Housing Loan by SSS
OFWs who are SSS members who contributed at least 36 months and are active paying members for the past 24 months prior to application may qualify for housing loan of up to P2 million.
9. Tax-Free Shopping at Duty-Free Philippines
An OFW can bring in the country that will not be taxed, OFWs can also do additional tax-free shopping in Duty-Free Philippines. Provided that they visit within 15 days after their travel and 30 days during Christmas season. //www.philippine-embassy.org.sg/the-philippines-2/duty-and-tax-free-privileges/
10. Reimburse Medical Bills From PhilHealth
Overseas Filipinos confined at medical facilities abroad are entitled to PhilHealth benefits through claim reimbursements. Members are given 180 days upon discharge to submit their claim documents to any of the PhilHealth offices in the Philippines.
11. OFW Exclusive Immigration Booths at NAIA
OFWs departing or arriving at NAIA can avail of special lanes at immigration counters.
12. Pag-IBIG Voluntary Savings Program
Republic Act 9679 established the Home Development Mutual Fund Law of 2009. This provides OFWs a savings plan with preferential interest rates. For monthly contribution of P500, savings will reach P34,921.79 after five years assuming the standard 6% rebate is in place. Likewise, after ten years of P5,000 monthly contribution, savings will reach P816,550.25.
13. Free Language Courses from TESDA
OFWs and pre-qualified OFWs can avail of free language courses offered by TESDA.