Did you know that there are certain loans that you can apply for as an OWWA member? As an OFW or seaman, you can use these loans to establish a business or add capital to an existing enterprise, thus helping you generate more income and support your family. This is especially true for OFWs who plan to go home to the Philippines for good. There are livelihood loan programs as well as financial assistance projects that aim to help Filipinos working abroad to return to the country.
Since 1977, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has been protecting and promoting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families. It currently has 31 overseas offices in 27 countries, making its programs and services more accessible to Filipinos all over the world.
Among these OWWA benefits and programs are loans that OFWs can use to start their own business or enterprise. In this article, we will be talking about OWWA’s loan programs: who can apply, how much they can borrow, interest rates, and other relevant information.
- List of OWWA Negosyo Loan / Pangkabuhayan Loans
- Is there an OWWA Personal Loan available?
- How to Get OWWA Calamity Loan
- What is the existing OWWA Loan for Seaman?
- How to Get OWWA Salary Loan
- Is there an OWWA Housing Loan?
- OFW Stories of OWWA Negosyo Programs / Livelihood Assistance
- VIDEO: How to Apply for OFW Loan from OWWA
- FAQs on the OWWA Business Loan
- 1. What are the businesses that would qualify for the OFW-EDLP loan?
- 2. What are the requirements in applying for the OWWA loan?
- 3. Where can I learn more information about the EDLP program?
- 4. Can I apply for an OFW loan from OWWA even if I am not an active member?
- 5. Where can I inquire for more information about these OWWA programs?
List of OWWA Negosyo Loan / Pangkabuhayan Loans
Many OFWs dream about establishing their own businesses back home. It is good to start saving a portion of your salary in order to invest in your future ventures. OWWA offers some loan options to get you started with your own business. As an OWWA member, you can can achieve this dream by availing of the following OWWA loan programs:
1. Overseas Filipino Workers – Enterprise Development and Loan Program (OFW-EDLP)
As the name suggests, this loan program seeks to help OFWs establish their own businesses, thus enabling them to earn a profit, so that eventually they would not need to go abroad and be apart from their loved ones in the Philippines.
Previously known as the OFW Reintegration Program (ORP), the OFW-EDLP stands for Overseas Filipino Workers – Enterprise Development and Loan Program (OFW-EDLP). This is an initiative of OWWA, in coordination with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and Land Bank of the Philippines.
Under the OFW-EDLP program, the loan amount depends on the specific need and amount of equity of each borrower. Individual loan borrowers (single proprietorship) can borrow at least PHP 100,000 up to PHP 2 million, whereas group loan borrowers (e.g. cooperatives, corporations, partnerships) can borrow at least PHP 100,000 up to PHP 5 million.
The interest rate is at 7.5% per year for the duration of the loan, while the equity should be at least 20% of the Total Project Cost (TPC). Moreover, the purpose of the loan should be as working capital and/or fixed asset acquisition.
Who can apply for this loan program? The qualifications are as follows:
- OWWA member (active or non-active)
- Has completed the Enhanced Entrepreneurial Development Training (EEDT)
- If the OFW is married and currently abroad, he/she may be represented by his/her spouse.
- If the OFW is single, separated, a widow, or a widower, he/she may be represented by his/her parents who are not more than 60 years old, or by his/her children who are at least 18 years old.
NOTE: The EEDT is a training program that provides OFWs with knowledge and skills on finance, business management, and other related topics.
Want to check out an OFW success story using OFW-EDLP program? Read this story of a Filipino who was a former cruise ship employee. He was able to set up his own piggery and meat business in his province – OWWA at Your Service: Filipino OFW EDLP Business Loan Beneficiary
2. Helping the Economy Recover thru OFW Enterprise Start-Ups (HEROES) Loan Program
Technically speaking, the HEROES loan program is not a program of OWWA; however, you need to be an OWWA member as part of the requirements for this loan.
The HEROES loan program is part of the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) fund, which is under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It is managed by the Small Business Corporation (SB Corporation), a government-owned and government-controlled corporation that aims to help micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, including those owned by OFWs.
Notably, SB Corporation has allotted PHP 100 million for said the program, which seeks to help repatriated OFWs who have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this program, they will have the chance to become entrepreneurs and support their families.
Under the HEROES program, repatriated OFWs can borrow at least PHP 10,000 up to PHP 100,000… without interest and collateral. However, for loans with repayment terms of 24 months, there is a service fee of 6%; whereas for loans with repayment terms of 36 months, there is a service fee of 8%, and the loan terms are inclusive of a 12-month grace period.
For those who are interested to apply for the HEROES loan program, take note that you will need to submit a video presentation about your business proposal (including the nature of business, market opportunity, management capability, etc.), among other key requirements.
Is there an OWWA Personal Loan available?
Currently, OWWA does NOT offer any personal loans. It offers only business loans (e.g. OFW -Enterprise Development and HEROES Loan Program), which focus on developing enterprises.
That being said, the agency provides financial assistance programs, scholarship programs, welfare programs, livelihood cash assistance projects, and other special initiatives that include cash aid, but these are NOT personal loans.
How to Get OWWA Calamity Loan
OWWA does NOT offer calamity loans; rather, it provides Calamity Assistance. This is a special program for OWWA members and their families who have been affected by calamities such as flooding, typhoons, or earthquakes. It amounts to PHP 3,000 per member.
Take note that Calamity Assistance is NOT a loan, so you don’t have to pay back any amount to OWWA.
What is the existing OWWA Loan for Seaman?
The loan projects for seafarers are the same options as those loans for OFWs. There is NO specific seaman’s loan offered by OWWA. Rather, the agency’s business loans are available to land-based AND sea-based OFWs. So seafarers can still apply for the OFW-EDLP program, avail of the other cash assistance programs like scholarships, business pangkabuhayan, welfare assistance, social & health benefits, etc.
As long as you are an active member of OWWA and you comply with the loan requirements, you can apply for business loans, regardless of whether you are a seafarer or not.
How to Get OWWA Salary Loan
If you are wondering if you can get a salary loan from OWWA, the answer is NO. There is no existing OWWA salary loan for OFWs and seaman.
Usually, through banks, lending companies, or private organizations, the salary loan is the first type of loan that they can apply for. However, OWWA does not have one available. We will keep you posted should there be updates on this. For now, it is just the livelihood loan programs that you can avail yourself if you want to get a loan from OWWA.
Is there an OWWA Housing Loan?
Just to be clear, OWWA does NOT offer any housing loans. On the other hand, OFWs can apply for housing loans through the Home Development Mutual Fund (a.k.a. Pag-IBIG Fund), the Social Security System (SSS), private banks, and other institutions.
Pag-IBIG Fund is a government-owned corporation that provides affordable shelter financing as well as a national savings program for Filipinos. OFW members can apply for housing loans, home improvement loans, multi-purpose loans, and other services through this agency.
Meanwhile, the SSS happens to have a Direct Housing Loan Facility for OFWs, among other services. Through this facility, OFWs can apply for a housing loan. This program is offered to Filipinos who are: (a) currently deployed abroad; (b) currently awaiting for deployment or renewal abroad); (c) citizens or immigrants in foreign countries but wish to buy a house for their families in the Philippines; or (d) long-term overseas residents who plan to buy a house for their retirement in the Philippines and/or for their families in the country.
OFW Stories of OWWA Negosyo Programs / Livelihood Assistance
Here are some negosyo (business) success stories of overseas Filipinos who have used the OWWA money coming from the existing projects like the OWWA Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Livelihood Program for OFWs and Balik Pinay Balik Hanapbuhay Livelihood Program for Filipina OFWs.
It’s not about how big the money of the capital you should have, cause other Filipinos have built a livelihood with minimal amount. May you find these OFW stories helpful and inspiring to make you aware that you can also set up your humble livelihood or even a thriving business company in the Philippines:
- Interview with Evelyn, former Jeddah OFW, Now with a Tailoiring Business via Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay
- Interview with Gemma, former Dubai OFW, Now with Digital Marketing Agency via Balik Pinay! Balik Hanapbuhay!
- Interview with Marilou, former Qatar OFW, Now with Salon Business via Balik Pinas! Project
- Interview with Rommelyn, former Jeddah OFW, Now with Sari-Sari Store and Food Business via Balik Pinas Program
If you wish to get a loan from OWWA, please learn to have an entrepreneurial mindset and undergo training implemented to successfully apply for these business loans.
VIDEO: How to Apply for OFW Loan from OWWA
Check out this video about the OWWA business loan as shared via Mommy Thoughts, a vlogger on YouTube. In this video, she presents a quick guide about how to apply for the agency’s business loan for OFWs (i.e. OFW – Enterprise Development and Loan Program).
According to the vlogger, this program is a big help to OFWs who have returned home — and those who are planning to return to the Philippines — as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
FAQs on the OWWA Business Loan
Indeed, the OFW – Enterprise Development and Loan Program offered by OWWA is a big help to returning OFWs. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about the program.
1. What are the businesses that would qualify for the OFW-EDLP loan?
Applicants who are engaged in the following businesses may apply for the loan program:
- Franchising business;
- Rental business;
- Construction business;
- Service/Trading business;
- Transportation service;
- Agricultural and non-agricultural production;
- Contract tie-up with the country’s top 1000 corporations; and
- Other viable projects, whether existing or new.
2. What are the requirements in applying for the OWWA loan?
To qualify for the OFW-EDLP, you need to prepare the following requirements:
- Application form;
- Two (2) valid IDs;
- Proof of billing address;
- Sketch of place of residence;
- Business plan or proposal;
- Statement of assets and liabilities;
- Barangay certification of residency; and
- Certificate from OWWA stating that you are an OFW and that you have completed the Enhanced Entrepreneurial Development Training (EEDT).
3. Where can I learn more information about the EDLP program?
If you are eager to know more about the OFW-EDLP, you can contact OWWA or Land Bank of the Philippines through the details below.
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA):
- Customer Hotline Number – 1348
- Mobile Numbers – +63 917 898 6992 (Globe) / + 63 998 981 6992
Land Bank of the Philippines:
- Customer Hotline Number – +632 8 405 7000
- Domestic Toll-Free Number – 1 800 10 405 7000
- Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Can I apply for an OFW loan from OWWA even if I am not an active member?
You have to be an active member of OWWA in order to get an OFW loan. Please activate your membership by paying only a minimum fee of USD 25 which is valid for 2 years. OWWA has also made it easier for you to apply for your membership via OWWA mobile app.
5. Where can I inquire for more information about these OWWA programs?
If you would like to seek more info about the loans or other OFW programs by OWWA, you can visit the nearest POLO-OWWA office if you are currently abroad, or you can also visit the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare office in your province.
Through the Overseas Filipino Workers – Enterprise Development Program (OFW-EDLP) and the Helping the Economy Recover thru OFW Enterprise Start-Ups (HEROES) Loan Program, overseas Filipino workers, especially those who are affected by the pandemic, have the chance to rebuild their lives. By establishing their own businesses or enhancing existing ones, they can look forward to generating income and supporting their families here in the Philippines.
These programs are made possible by OWWA, Land Bank, DBP, SB Corporation, and other partner institutions. As long as you are an active member of OWWA, you can apply for business loans to boost your livelihood. So always make sure that your OWWA membership is active!
For more information about these loan programs, as well as other services for OFWs and their families, please visit the official website of OWWA at https://owwa.gov.ph/.