How to Apply OWWA Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA)

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Filipinos who want to become seafarers, OWWA has a scholarship program called Mariner’s Dugtong Aral Program (MDA) which is a bridging program for selected engineering students. This is a financial grant allotted to those who want to take up a Mariner Engineering course to become Marine Officers.

The OWWA’s response to the government’s Bridging Program is “Dugtong,” which means “bridging” in Filipino.

Also Read: How to Apply OWWA Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP)

The Mariner’s Dugtong Aral Program (MDA) is a scholarship grant for aspiring seafarers with bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering (BSME) or electrical engineering (BSEE) who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering (BSMarE) and work as qualified Marine Officers on ocean-going vessels after passing the licensure examination through referrals from manning agencies.

In this article, we share more details what this scholarship grant is about, the qualifications and requirements to be eligible for the financial assistance, and steps on how to apply for the MDA program.

owwa mariners dugtong aral program

What is Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA) and its Benefits?

The MDA program for is an education assistance for would-be seafarers and it offers scholarships worth a maximum of Php 38,120.00 plus Php 15,000.00 for a 3-month stipend.

This is intended for qualified graduates of BS Mechanical Engineering and BS Electrical Engineering, leading to a BS Marine Engineering degree. These are for qualified Marine Officers who want to board an ocean vessel.

What are the Qualifications for MDA Program?

In order for you to apply for the Mariner’s Dugtong Aral Bridging Program, seafarers need to meet the minimum qualifications, which include:

  • Active OWWA members who are OFW-seafarers
  • You must be a Filipino citizen.
  • OFWs’ immediate dependents/beneficiaries who are active or former members of OWWA, both land-based and sea-based
  • OFWs’ relatives to the first degree of consanguinity
    • OFWs who are married – dependents are single child under the age of 30
    • OFWs who are single – single child/sibling/niece under the age of 30

What are the Requirements of MDA?

Below are the document requirements that you need to secure if you plan to apply for this scholarship program for seafarers.

  1. Application Form Finished
  2. Membership in the OWWA must be illustrated (OR Of contribution)
  3. 2″x2″ photograph (2 copies)
  4. The most recent proof of residency
  5. Proof of relationship to the OFW maybe any of the following:
  • Birth Certificate of the child if the active members OFW is married or Single Parent
  • CENOMAR of ofw and birth certificate of OFW sibling, if the active OWWA member OFW is single.
  1. Transcript of Records
  2. Bachelor’s degrees in:
  • Mechanical Engineering (BSME)
  • Electrical Engineering (BSEE)
  1. Declaration that there are no current or pending scholarship applications with OWWA or other NGAs/NGOs
  2. Any of the following:
  • Passport
  • Seafarer’s ID
  • Record Book

How to Apply for OWWA MDA Program?

Please follow the step by step guide on how you can apply for the MDA program for seafarers in the details below:

  1. Get an application form from your local OWWA office.
  2. Complete all of the documentation specifications.
  3. Submit all documents to the nearest OWWA Office
  4. Wait for the call from OWWA if you are in the applicants slot.

Important Reminders for OWWA MDA Project

Here’s a list of important reminders and notes about the process in applying for this  MDA program. Please be guided accordingly:

  • For the purpose of tracking the status of the application, the applicant will receive a serial reference/tracking number via SMS or email.
  • Applicants who submitted incomplete or invalid requirements will be informed of the missing/invalidated requirements via SMS or email.
  • After an application has been accepted, a downloadable and printable Scholarship Agreement will be sent to the applicant for signature and notarization.
  • Scholarship Agreements that have been signed and notarized are returned to the concerned RWO by any courier service.
  • The eligible beneficiaries of the Marine’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program will be announced, and the assistance will be paid through bank remittances, direct to the student beneficiary’s bank account.
  • To receive the remittance annually, eligible beneficiaries of Marine’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program must have an active account number in their name. Otherwise, you’ll have to open a savings account in the name of your child or relative.
  • Bear in mind that this educational aid will not cover the entire tuition fee for your child or sibling. Nonetheless, it can be used to supplement various expenditures such as books and other school supplies.
  • Only after the MDA application has been approved will the applicant receive a Notice of Award (NOA).
  • Upon enrollment in the course, the NOA must be submitted to the approved training center. The training centers are already aware of this, so all you have to do now is show them your NOA when enrolling.
  • The NOA is only valid for 45 days after it is accepted. Make sure you get your hands on it within 45 days. You won’t get another NOA if you don’t use it within the time limit. You will have to wait for the next scheduled appointment.

NOTE: You may contact your nearest OWWA regional office through their respective Facebook page or here:

Frequently Asked Questions

You may check out these common questions and answers about the OWWA Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program:

1. What amount is the monetary assistance?

The scholarships is worth a maximum of Php 38,120.00 plus Php 15,000.00 for a 3-month stipend for qualified graduates

2. Can we both get Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program as an OFW couple who are both eligible for the program?

NO, OFW couples who are both eligible for the program shall be entitled to only ONE (1) SLOT ONLY.

3. May I still participate in the program if the cost exceeds the program’s amount?

Yes, you may still participate in the program, but you will be liable for any costs exceeding the program’s covered amount.

4. Is the NOA valid for a certain number of days/months?

  • The NOA is only valid for 45 days after it is accepted. Make sure you get your hands on it within 45 days.
  • You won’t get another NOA if you don’t use it within the time limit. You will have to wait for the next scheduled appointment.


Summary So here are the details on how you can sign up for the OWWA MDA program. To the qualified applicants who want to continue their education and maybe apply for a career as a Mariner/Seaman/Seawoman, do take advantage of this opportunity because it is really helpful to have a subsidized cost for education. The OWWA Mariners Dugtong Aral can help a lot because of the financial assistance they provide.

For additional questions:

OWWA Hotline: 1348

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