The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a part of the government body that is tasked to look after and to provide support and protection, and to see through the welfare and well-being of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
The many OWWA services which include insurance, healthcare benefits, disability and death benefits, scholarship and financial assistance for education and training program, workers assistance and on-site services, social services and family welfare assistance, livelihood support bridging program, and a livelihood development program.
The names of all OWWA members are maintained by the OWWA and POEA in a database which is updated regularly. Members are issued an Official Receiptupon payment of the contribution fee and likewise be issued an OWWA e-card.
OWWA membership, either through the compulsory or voluntary coverage, shall be effective upon payment of the membership contribution or expires when a OFWs contract expires. Except for members who register online, their membership does not exceed 2 years.
Membership shall be renewed upon payment of contribution or contract renewal / issuance of new contract. In the case of voluntary membership, coverage shall be renewed upon payment of contribution.
Here are the different services and benefits that an OWWA member and their dependents can enjoy:
INSURANCE AND HEALTH CARE BENEFITS
1. Life or Accident insurance
- an OWWA membership entitles an OFW to Php 100,000 for the duration of his employment contract
2. Disability Dismemberment Benefit
- It ranges from Php 2,000 to Php 50,000
3. Total Disability Benefit
- Worth around Php 100,000 in the event of permanent disability
4. Burial Benefit
- Php 20,000 in case of the member’s death.Basic Requirements for Life Insurance, Disability, Dismemberment and Burial Benefits:
Passport (for Land-based OFW) Seaman’s Service Record Book (for Sea-based OFW)
5. Certificate of Membership issued by the OWWA Membership Processing Center (MPC)
6. OFW/Seaman’s undertaking executed by claimant (for Death claim)
Documentary Requirements for Life Insurance Benefits
- Original Death Certificate issued by Local Civil Registrar (LCR) or Authenticated by Philippine Statistic Authority (PSA) or Foreign Death Certificate for OFW who died abroad and accident report for death due to accident.
- Official receipt of funeral expenses
- Burial Permit
- ID picture of claimant (2 pieces)
- Any of the following applicable documents certified by LCR
- Marriage certificate – IF claimant is the spouse
- Birth certificate of OFW – IF claimant is the Mother or Father
- Birth certificate of child and death certificate of deceased spouse – IF claimant is the child
- Certificate of no marriage
In the absence of birth and/or marriage certificate, the following must be submitted:
- Baptismal/marriage certificate certified by the Parish priest /office
- Certificate from LCR that fact of marriage/birth is not recorded in the civil registry
- Affidavit of two (2) disinterested persons re facts of birth / marriage and claimant’s relationship to the deceased
Documentary Requirements for Disability Benefit
- Foreign medical certificate
- Medical certificate issued by the local attending Physician with medical examination procedure, e.g., X-ray, MRI, CT Scan
- Accident report
Any 2 (original and avid copy) of the following: Passport, Office ID, Postal ID, Driver’s license, Original NBI clearance, Senior Citizenship ID.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROGRAMS
An OWWA member can assign a beneficiary to have the benefit of the education and training programs of which they can choose what they want but they need to be deliberated when they proceed in acquiring the benefit.
1. Education for Development Scholarship Program (ESDP)
This program is a program offered to beneficiaries of OWWA members where they can select a 4-5 year baccalaureate program with Php30, 000 per semester of financial help. The OWWA pays the tuition fee directly to the school and release the remaining upon the scholar’s submission of grades for the semester.
Financial assistance amounting to P 30,000.00 per semester.
The scholar may choose his desired program/course offered by a CHED-accredited college or university. The scholarship shall continue until completion of the course (4-5 years), regardless of the status of OFW membership provided the Scholarship Agreement is complied with OWW’s Skills-for-Employment Scholarship program is a tie up with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) that offers a land-based or sea- based OWWA member or dependent with Php 7,250 and Php 14,000 financial assistance for a 6-month program and 1-year program respectively.
- Must be a child of a married OWWA member or brother / sister of an unmarried OWWA member
- Must be 21 years old or below
- Must be a Filipino citizen
- Be in good health and with good moral character
- Must have an average grade of at least 80% and belong to the upper 20% of the graduating class
Education and Training Program DocumentaryRequirements
- Accomplished application forms (2 sets)
- 1″x 1″ ID pictures (2 copies)
- Proof of relationship to Member (copy of Birth Certificate of applicant and of the Member if related as brother or sister duly certified by the Local Civil Registrar or NSO)
- Form 137 or Transcript of Records with Principal’s Certification on Scholastic Standing
- Proof of OWWA membership (i.e. Official Receipt of OWWA Contribution/Certification from OWWA Membership Processing Center)
- Health Certificate attesting to physical fitness of applicant (Form B)
- Certificate of Good Moral Character issued by the School Principal/Guidance Counselor (Form C)
- Certification that applicant belongs to upper 20% of graduating class issued by school principal (2 sets)
- Statement of applicant that he/she has not earned units in any post-secondary / undergraduate course (Form E)
- Sworn Statement that he/she has no pending application for resident immigrant status in any country and does not have dual citizenship signed by parent or legal guardians (Form F)
2. Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program (SESP)
This program however is in line with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), to land-based or sea-based OWWA member-OFW’s or their dependents/beneficiaries.
A qualified beneficiary or individual may undergo either a one-year technical of a six-month vocational course offered following the regular school year calendar. Upon receipt of the scholarship voucher, the grantee may enroll in any TESDA-registered program. Program choices shall be supportive of the land – and sea-based skills requirement. Financial assistance for a one-year program is P14, 500.00 while for a six-month program is P7, 250.00.
It will be directly submitted to the institution. If the tuition fee is more than the financial assistance, the scholar will shoulder the difference. If the tuition fee is less, the difference will be given to the scholar upon completion of the course.
Course offerings include
- Agriculture and Fishery
- Communication/Electronics/Information Technology
- Decorative Crafts and Ceramics
- Furniture and Fixtures
- Gifts, Toys and Housewares
- Health, Social Services; and other community, social and personal services.
- Land Transport
- Metals and Engineering
- Processed Food and Beverages
- Tourism (Hotel and Restaurant)
Requirements to have this benefit:
- Must be an active OWWA member (land-based or sea-based) or beneficiary/dependent of an active OWWA member
- Must pass the TESDA qualifying examination or Multiple Aptitude Battery Test (MABT) on the program of choice
- Must have at least one (1) recorded membership contribution
Three (3) additional membership contributions are required for subsequent availment. After completing the course, must submit for competency assessment and certification administered by TESDA or its accredited testing center.
- A child not older than 21 years old or spouse of a married OFW
- Brother/sister not older than 21 years old of an unmarried OFW
- Accomplished application forms (2 sets)
- 1″x1″ ID pictures (2 copies)
- Form 137 / HS Report Card or Transcript of Records/ official copy of grades
- Proof of OWWA Membership: official receipt of OWWA contribution / OFW E-Card
- If a Member’s beneficiary: proof of relationship to OWWA member (e.g. copy of marriage contract and/or birth certificate of both OFW and applicant- dependent duly certified by the Local Civil Registrar)
3. Seafarer’s Upgrading Program (SUP)
The SUP is intended to provide OWWA-member seafarers job-related training in priority maritime courses identified by the Maritime Training Council. What it’s supposed to accomplish is to upgrade the skills and develop the expertise of Filipino seafarers in accordance with technological advancements and international maritime standards.
Beneficiaries under the SUP can receive financial assistance from OWWA for training costs ranging from a minimum of P 1,200.00 to a maximum of P 7,500.00. These amounts are inclusive of meal and transportation allowances in the case of trainees referred to the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP).
Filipino seafarers who are active OWWA members may avail of the program. Beneficiaries may subsequently avail of the SUP after payment of three (3) additional membership contributions and if training is availed of within the prescribed period.
The Seafarers’ Upgrading Program is intended to provide OWWA-member seafarers job-related training in priority maritime courses identified by the Maritime Training Council. It is designed to upgrade the skills, and develop the expertise of Filipino seafarers in accordance with technological advancements and international maritime standards.
Availment and Documentary Requirements:
All Filipino seafarers who are OWWA members are entitled to avail of the program once every three (3) contributions. Availment may be assured upon first (1st) payment. Documents required are:
- Accomplished application form
- Seamen’s Identification and Record Book (SRIB)
- Proof of OWWA Membership (OR Of contribution)
- 1×1 photo (2 copies)
- Latest residence certificate
4. DOLE-OWWA Tulay Microsoft Project
In partnership with Microsoft Philippines, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and OWWA launched Tulay or Bridge Education Program, which provides OFWs IT training and access to technology that will enable them and their families to communicate through the internet.
The Tulay or Bridge Education Program is a part of Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential (UP) which is a global initiative aimed to provide technology and skills for under-served individuals. Hardworking overseas workers and their families learn the basics of computer applications such as MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, as well as internet and e-mail use at the Community Technology Learning Centers (CTLC).
Through this program, the OWWA can expect OFWs to gain IT skills that will enhance their work, thus increasing their value in the workplace. These new acquired skills can help them become more competitive in pursuing a career in the country upon their return.
The CTLCs being maintained and operated by DOLE-OWWA are located at the OWWA Central Office, OWWA Satellite Office in POEA, OWWA Regional Welfare Offices in La Union, Cebu, and Cagayan de Oro. OWWA overseas posts with CTLCs are Riyadh (KSA), Hong Kong, Taichung (Taiwan).
5. Tuloy-Aral Project
The Tuloy-Aral Project was launched last December 2004 with the objective of assisting the children of less fortunate former OFWs as well as other poor and needy elementary and high school children. The DOLE and the OWWA regional offices, with the assistance of DSWD, identify children of former OFWs needing financial assistance to send to school. The DSWD or DOLE/OWWA prepares a family profile that shall serve as the basis for the selection of the beneficiary.
The Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) are tasked to promote and identify OFWs who are successful, financially stable and in good standing to act as prospective foster parents. OFW organizations may also volunteer to act as foster parents.
Identified foster parents are requested to provide a US $ 100.00 financial support per year to the child-beneficiary to enable him/her to continue his/her elementary or high school education. The amount will help cover for expenses such as books, school supplies, materials for projects, transportation, authorized school contributions, and allowance for the whole school year.
The OWWA Family Welfare Officers monitor each child’s progress in school. The Tuloy-Aral project is nationwide in coverage as it is being replicated in each region of the country.
SOCIAL SERVICES AND FAMILY WELFARE ASSISTANCE
Family Welfare and Assistance Program
- REPATRIATION PROGRAM- provision of services to facilitate immediate repatriation of distressed OFWs, medically ill OFWs, human remains, etc. like airport assistance, domestic transport, temporary shelter, etc.
- REINTEGRATION PROGRAM
The Reintegration covers two (2) major components – economic and psycho-social components. The psycho-social components includes community organizing program or organizing of OFW family circles and services like social counseling, family counseling, stress debriefing, and training on capacity building, value formation, etc. The economic component on the other hand, includes social preparation programs for livelihood projects or community-based income generating projects, skills training and credit facilitation and lending. At present, the economic component has two (2) loan programs: the OWWA-NLSF Livelihood Development Programs for OFWs (LDPO) and the OFW Groceria Project.
The OWWA-NLSF LDPO Project
This program is a joint undertaking of OWWA and National Livelihood Support Fund (NLSF) to address the economic component of the OFW Reintegration Program. It is meant to improve access to entrepreneurial development opportunities and credit facilities to OFWs, their families, and organizations.
Possible enterprises include:
(A) Trading (general merchandise and buy and sell, etc.)
(B) Services (repair shops, restaurants, parlors, etc.)
(C) Manufacturing (meat/fruit processing, shoes, etc.)
(D) Agri-business (tilapia culture, piggery, poultry, etc.).
The OWWA-NLSF Livelihood Development Program currently has the Collateral Loan Window for individual and group borrowers
Acceptable Purposes of Loan:
- Working capital – for purchase of merchandise goods and/or raw materials
- Business assets acquisition (except lot) – for purchase of machines/equipment
- Business site construction or improvement
Eligible Borrowers of this loan:
- Member-OFWs and former member-OFWs
- Their immediate family members (one family member per one OFW)
- For MARRIED OFWs: spouses or children of legal age
- For SINGLE OFWs: parents or siblings of legal age
- OWWA LDPO beneficiaries with good repayment records
- Legally organized groups of OFWs (partnerships / corporations, OFW organizations / associations / cooperatives & Federations)
NOTE: Partnerships with less than five (5) members are entitled to a maximum of P200,000.00 each member
- Service Fee = Four percent (4%)
- Facilitation Fee = Three percent (3%)
- Total interest rate per annum plus fees not to exceed 16%
For Individual Borrowers
- Financial Statement in case of existing business or self-employed
- Proof of OWWA Contribution (passport with POEA-LAC stamp, information sheet from OWWA, POEA-attested Employment Certificate, or E-card)
Business Plan / Project Feasibility Study
- Business permit / license (pre-release condition)
- Collateral papers (REM or chattel mortgage)
Additional Requirements if availed is an immediate family member:
- Marriage Contract and consent (for MARRIED borrowers)
- Birth Certificate and authorization (for SINGLE OFWs)
For Group Borrowers
- Business Plan
- Proof of OWWA Contribution at least among officers
- Promissory Note for Non-collateral Loan Window
- Financial Statement in case of existing business
- Collateral Papers / Ownership Titles
Additional Requirements for group loan borrowers:
- Registration with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for partnerships & corporations; Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) for cooperatives; and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for associations.
- Basic organizational instruments:
- Articles of Incorporation for corporations
Ratified group By-Laws or Mutually Agreed Term for partnerships
A. Articles of Incorporation for cooperatives
B. Constitution and By-laws for associations
- Board resolution or group/partnership resolution specifying intent to undertake a group/partnership project or expand a group/partnership project using capital to be borrowed from the OWWA-NLSF-LDPO
Loan applications may be filed at all OWWA Regional Welfare Offices together with the following standard requirements:
1. Sketch and routes of residence and/or business site
2. Accomplished application form (with 2×2 picture)
3. Other requirements if applicable:
- Price quotation
- Bill of materials or building plan
Assets Acceptable as Collateral and Required Documents (For Collateral Loan Window)
1. Real Estate Property
unmortgaged with no delinquent realty tax and with appraised value of not less than the loanable amount.
2. Chattel / motor vehicles / machines / equipment (brand new up to 3 years)
OFW GROCERIA PROJECT
The OFW Groceria looks to improve the socio-economic situation of the overseas Filipino workers and their families. And for that, they would be providing livelihood and self-employment opportunities through the establishment of 1,000 grocery stores nationwide.
The project is an interest-free loan assistance package extended in the form of merchandise goods worth P 50,000.00 per qualified OFW Family Circle (OFC) beneficiary nationwide.
- OFW Family Circles (OFCs) composed of OFW families organized by the OWWA’s Family Welfare Officers, NGOs, Philippine Council for OFW Reintegration (PhilCORE) members, faith-based organizations, OFW returnees and displaced OFWs; and
- OFW federations, organizations, associations, and cooperatives.
1. Project Site: Must have
A. Relatively big number of families/dependents of OFWs
- Presence of strong OFW organization or OFCs in the area
2. OFW Organization/ Family Circle:
A. Must have at least five (5) members (OFW returnees or dependents) registered with SEC or 15 members registered with the DOLE or CDA
- Members must be permanent residents of the community
- Must have good reputation and relationship with community
- Must be willing to undergo training in entrepreneurship, project management and leadership
1. Business Plan (Pro-forma, to be provided by OWWA)
2. Application Form
3. Proof of OWWA contribution of OFW relative
4. Registration with the DOLE or any of the following:
5. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)
- Department of Trade and Industry (DTI
- Local Government Units (LGU)/Barangay Micro-business Enterprises (BMBE)
5. Any of the following organization / association documents:
6. Articles of Incorporation and By-laws (for corporations)
- Articles of Cooperation and By-laws (for cooperatives)
- Constitution and By-laws (for organizations/associations)
- Certification from organization members authorizing officers to contract loan
- Oath of Undertaking
If you;re interested or if you have an OFW relative, friend, or family, you can have them read this or let them know what this organization is. OWWA maintains a 24/7 Operations Center designed to quickly respond to OFW and public inquiries on OWWA programs and services.
Manned by OWWA personnel who work in shifts, the Operations Center provides information and advice as well as facilitative services to OFWs in distress overseas; follow-up requests for assistance; global developments on worker migration; and coordination with OWWA regional welfare offices on OFW concerns.
The 24/7 Operations Center is located at:
OWWA Building, 7th corner F.B. Harrison Sts., Pasay City Metro Manila, Philippines
and can be contacted through:
Landline: (+632)833-OWWA or (+632)833-6992
GLOBE HOTLINE 2917 (Press “3” for OWWA)
Mobile/SMS text messaging: (0917)TXT-OWWA or (0917)898-6992
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com
As an OWWA member, they have the privileges that each member should enjoy the most out of. Aside from the benefits, it looks after the rights of every affiliate and gives assurances that the sacrifices they make working away from home are worth it.
Source: OWWA , Efren Nolasco