List of OWWA Benefits Programs and Services for OFWs

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), an attached arm of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), was tasked to protect and promote the welfare and well-being of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents. It is a requirement for OFWs to become members of OWWA and there are many projects launched to benefit the welfare of OFWs. In case you are wondering what are these OWWA programs and services, we have outlined in this article the list of projects that you can avail as an OFW.

Also Read: Balik Pinay Balik Hanapbuhay Livelihood Program for Filipina OFWs

OWWA provides programs and services to assist all its members in all its regional and overseas offices. The agency can also provide appropriate representation with employers, agents, and host authorities on behalf of the OFW.

Not many people are aware of the benefits they can get from being a member of the OWWA. So check this comprehensive list of programs and services available to all members (OFWs and their dependents) to guide you better.

list of owwa programs and services

What are the OWWA Benefits?

As a member of OWWA, you are eligible to receive a number of benefits. Take note that OWWA is a form of government insurance when you need help in times of crisis especially as an OFW abroad. Here are the benefits of being an OWWA member:

  1. Social Benefits
  2. Education Scholarship and Training Benefits
  3. Welfare Programs
  4. Reintegration Program
  5. Repatriation Assistance Benefits

The above benefits have subcategories and subprojects which means that there are a number of programs available for you to maximize receiving these benefits. It is up to you to ensure that you get your premiums, whether it be cash assistance or other forms of compensation and assistance.

Below you can check out the detailed list of coverage and projects available for each benefit. Please be guided accordingly:

1. Social Benefits

As a member of OWWA, you can receive social benefits intended to cater for the needs that arise from various events or circumstances, such as calamities, bereavement, medical problems, and relief.

Disability and Dismemberment Benefit

A member is provided up to a maximum of Php 100,000.00 for injuries that are accident-related.

Requirements

      1. Foreign Medical Certificate
      2. Medical Certificate with Medical Examination Procedure (e.g., X-Ray, MRI, CT Scan, etc.) issued by the attending Physician
      3. For Sea-based OFW – Accident Report or Master’s Report

Death and Burial Benefits

In case of death of the member, they are entitled to an amount associated with the cause of death.

  • Natural Cause of Death – Php 100,000.00
  • Accidental Cause of Death – Php 200,000.00

On top of the death benefit, the beneficiaries will receive a rider amounting to Php 20,000.00 for the burial expenses.

Requirements

      • Two (2) Valid IDs and One (1) piece ID Picture of the Claimant
      • Original Death Certificate: either issued by a Local Civil Registrar (LCR) or is authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
      • For OFWs who died abroad – Foreign Death Certificate with Airway Bill and Consular Mortuary Certificate/No Objection Certificate
      • For Accidental Death – Accident Report
      • Burial Permit
      • Funeral Expenses Official Receipt
      • Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) of OFW issued by the PSA
      • Any of the documents issued by the LCR or PSA:

If the claimant is the

      • Spouse of the OFW – Marriage Certificate
      • Father or Mother of the OFW – Birth Certificate of the OFW
      • Child of the OFW – Birth Certificate of the Child (Claimant) and Death Certificate of the Deceased Spouse of the OFW

Supplemental Medical Assistance for OFWs (Medplus)

This is a supplemental medical relief for OFWs, active OWWA and PhilHealth members, who are afflicted with dreaded diseases and were hospitalized. It is a financial assistance equivalent to the PhilHealth Benefits not exceeding Php 50,000.00 per member.

Requirements

      • Accomplished Medplus Application Form
      • Copy of PhilHealth Benefit Payment Notice
      • One (1) Copy of Passport-size Picture
      • Proof of OWWA Membership Contribution
      • Notarized Special Power of Attorney by the OFW – if the OFW is in abroad and the filer-claimant is the next-of-kin
      • If the OFW is deceased, Death Certificate of Deceased OFW and Marriage Contract or Birth Certificate of NOK-claimant (Authorized by PSA)

Welfare Assistance Program (WAP)

A program existed to active or non-active OWWA Members alike or their families who are not yet eligible to any of the existing Social Benefit Programs and Services.

Coverage

      • Calamity Assistance – If the OWWA members-OFW are affected by natural or human-induced calamities or disasters.
      • Bereavement Assistance – This is for the families of the deceased OFWs – OWWA members.
      • Medical Assistance – This is for OWWA Members-OFW who have illnesses that are not covered by Medplus, and if the OWWA Members-OFW sustained injuries due to accidents/crimes.
      • Relief Assistance – For OWWA Members-OFW who are displaced or laid-off due to economic, political, or health situations.

2. Education and Training Benefits

There are a number of OWWA scholarship and training programs available for members. The Education and Training Services and Programs are intended to help and provide assistance to the OFWs – to prepare them before deployment, inform them of the basic theories, and trainings and skills for them to learn; and their qualified dependents – to be provided with assistance in their education.

Pre-Departure Education Program

Below are some educational training and skill upgrade programs available before you leave the Philippines to your host country.

Country-Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)

This is compulsory attended by all workers (all skills) prior to their deployment, a one-day orientation to OFWs consisting of modules on:

    • Employment Contract
    • Country of Destination
    • Stages of OWFS’ Life in Abroad
    • Health and Safety
    • Financial Literacy
    • Travel Tips and Airport Procedures
    • Government Programs and Services

Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP)

This is four or six-day orientation seminar attended by Domestic Workers consisting of:

    • Language Training
    • Culture Familiarization
    • Stress Management

Training Programs for Filipino Seafarers

Seafarers can take advantage of the OWWA projects available for seamen and seawomen.

Seafarer’s Upgrading Program (SUP)

This is a job-related training assistance for upgrading courses up to an amount of Php 7,500.00.

Requirements

      • Proof of OWWA Membership
      • Accomplished Application Form
      • Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book and/or Valid Passport
      • Two (2) pieces of 2×2 ID Picture

Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program

This is a scholarship granted to seafarers either graduates of BS Mechanical Engineering and BS Electrical Engineering who intends to pursue BS Marine Engineering, in the following order of priority:

  • Active Members of OWWA
  • Immediate Dependents/Beneficiaries
  • Next-of-Kin of OFWs – up to the first degree

Requirements

    • Birth Certificate or Proof of Relationship to the OFW
    • Transcript of Records
    • Having of no current and pending application for scholarship with other Scholarship grantors

Scholarships for OFW Dependents

Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP)

This is a scholarship grant for qualified dependents of active OWWA members who are intending to enrol a 4–5-year course in any of their desired colleges/universities; with a financial assistance worth Php 60,000.00 every school year.

Qualifications for Incoming Freshmen

      • The member OFW must be an active OWWA Member
      • Single
      • Not more than 21-years
      • An average grade of at least 80% and belong to the upper 20% of the graduating class
      • Must pass the qualification exam conducted by the DOST and belongs to the Top 400 Passer

Qualifications for enrolled 2nd to 5th year College

      • Single
      • Not more than thirty (30)-years
      • A GWA not lower than B letter grade or 85% equivalent in all academic and non-academic subjects during the last school year

Requirements

      • Two (2) Copies of Accomplished EDSP Application Form
      • Two (2) pieces of 2×2 ID Picture
      • Birth Certificate (PSA Issued)
      • Certificate of Good Moral Character
      • Certification from the Principal that the applicant have an average grade of at least 80% and belong to the upper 20% of the graduating class
      • School Records (Form 137, Transcript of Records, Certificate of True Copy of Grades for College Students)

OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP)

This is an educational assistance amounting to Php 20,000.00 every school year to the dependent of an active OWWA member-OFW whose salary is not more than USD 600.00.

Qualifications

      • A child of an active OWWA member or the sibling of an unmarried OWWA member
      • Must pass the entrance examination conducted by the state college/university in RWO where he/she intends to enrol
      • Must not be granted by other scholarships

Requirements

      • Two (2) Copies of Accomplished Application Form
      • Two (2) pieces 2×2 Picture
      • Proof of Relationship to the OWWA Member
      • Medical Certificate from any DOH-Accredited Hospital/Medical Center
      • Certificate of Good Moral Character
      • Original Copy of the Scholarship Agreement
      • School Records (Form 137/138, Transcript of Records, Certificate of True Copy of Grades for College Students)

Educational Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP)

This is a scholarship program for Active OWWA Members’ dependents at the time of their death, including convicted OFWs. The eldest child is most likely be granted the scholarship.

    • Allowance for Elementary Php 5,000.00
    • Allowance for High School Php 8,000.00
    • Allowance for College Php 10,000.00
    • Livelihood Assistance Php 15,000.00 worth of Package

Education Requirements

      • Accomplished Application Form
      • Two (2) pieces Passport-size Picture
      • Proof of Relationship to the OWWA Member
      • Proof of OWWA Membership of the OFW
      • School Records (Form 137/138, Transcript of Records, Certificate of True Copy of Grades for College Students)
      • Medical Certificate from any DOH-Accredited Hospital/Medical Center
      • Certificate of Good Moral Character
      • Original Copy of the Scholarship Agreement

Economic Requirements

      • Accomplished Application Form
      • Two (2) pieces Passport-size Picture
      • Proof of Relationship to the OWWA Member
      • Proof of OWWA Membership of the OFW
      • Certificate of Receipt of the Livelihood Package
      • Consent from the Intended Beneficiary stating that he/she is not interested in the project and is delegating the authority to his/her designated beneficiary

Additional Requirements for Dependents of Convicted OFWs

      • Name of Member-OFWs in the Official List from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of OFWs who are convicted and meted out of the death penalty in Foreign Countries as of February 2016
      • If the OWWA Members who are not in the list, a certification from DFA is required

Special Projects: Project EASE and Tabang OFW

Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, OWWA has developed special educational scholarship projects called Project EASE and Tabang OFW which is intended for qualified OFW dependents who have been displaced or lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

  • Project EASE – an educational assistance of PHP 10,000 per year for a period of 4 years
  • Tabang OFW – one-time educational assistance worth PHP 30,000 for qualified OFW dependents

3. Welfare Programs

These are programs designed for OFWs to ensure protection and assistance from economic risks and insecurities of life.

On-Site Assistance and Services for OFWs at their Job Sites

  • Assistance on the whereabouts of the OFW
  • Airport Assistance
  • Psychosocial Counselling
  • Mediation/Conciliation with the Employer
  • Hospital/prison/work camp visitations
  • Legal assistance to OFWs

In-Country Assistance for OFWs and Families at the Home Front

  • Post-Repatriation Assistance
  • Temporary Shelter at the OWWA Halfway House
  • Transportation Allowance to their Provinces
  • Stress Debriefing or Counselling
  • Referrals
  • Requests of Families/Next-of-Kins (NOKs) from OWWA Overseas Posts for assistance

4. Reintegration Program

The OFW Reintegration Program is implemented as a way to mainstream returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) into the Philippines.

Reintegration Preparedness (On-Site)

The following are training programs reiterated for OFWs who are at their country destination.

  • Value Formation Training
  • Financial Literacy
  • Entrepreneurial Development Training
  • Techno-skills and Capacity Building

Reintegration (In-Country)

The following services are carried out for when the OFWs return to the Philippines and are planning to start a livelihood in the country.

  • Job Referrals
  • Business Counselling
  • Community Organizing
  • Financial Literacy Seminars
  • Networks with Support Institutions – Social Preparation by OWWA Regional Welfare Offices

Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program (BPBHP)

This is an assistance intended to providing relief for returning OFWs (Distressed/Displaced) with a start-up or additional capital worth Php 20,000.00.

Requirements

      • Application Form – with an Undertaking that the cash assistance is solely for self-employment or for starting/expansion of livelihood
      • Certificate of Entrepreneurial Development Training
      • Business Proposal approved by RWO Director with an indication of sustainability/feasibility of the chosen livelihood
      • Proof of Return or Repatriation to the Philippines (e.g., passport, travel documents, airline ticket)

Overseas Filipino Workers – Enterprise Development Loan Program (OFW-EDLP)

Formerly known as the OFW – Reintegration Program, this is an enterprise development intervention and loan facility of OWWA to support OFWs and their families’ enterprise development, partnered with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

Qualifications

      • Must be an OWWA Member (Active or Non-Active)
      • Completion of Enhanced Entrepreneurial Development Training (EEDT)
      • For OFWs who are working abroad/about to leave, you may be represented by:
      • If Married – by the Legal Spouse
      • If Single, Widow, Widower, or Separated-in-Fact – either by the Parents not more than sixty (60) years old, or Children at least eighteen (18) years old

The OFW-EDLP program has the following terms and details:

    • Interest Rate: 5%/annum for entire duration of loan
    • Loan Purpose: Working Capital and Fixed Asset Acquisition
    • Project Cost-Sharing: Borrower’s Equity: 20% min of the Total Project Cost
    • Loan Amount: Dependent on Project Needs and Amount of Equity Participation of the Borrower

For Individual Loan Borrowers (Single Proprietorship)

          • Minimum of Php 100,000.00
          • Maximum of Php 2,000,000.00

For Group Loan Borrowers (Partnerships, Corporations, Cooperatives)

          • Minimum of Php 100,000.00
          • Maximum of Php 5,000,000.00

Loan Repayment

          • Short-Term: Maximum of one (1) year
          • Term Loan: Basing on Cash Flow (not exceeding 7 years, inclusive of maximum of two (2) years grace period)

Loan Security or Collateral

          • Object of Financing
          • Mortgage Able Project Assets (machines or equipment) and other assets of the Borrower

Eligible Projects

          • Franchising Business
          • Contract Tie-up with Corporations within the Top 1,000
          • Agricultural and Non-Agricultural Production
          • Manufacturing
          • Construction
          • Rental Business
          • Service
          • Trading Business
          • Transport Service

The enterprise should be able to generate cash flows sufficient enough to pay the projected amortization of the lone.

Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-Unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong PUSO)

This is a one-time grant assistance aims to support the formation, improvement, and restoration of OFW organizations’ livelihood project. This is in the form of raw materials, equipment, tools and jigs, and other support services with an amount of grant up to a maximum of Php 1,000,000.00 for organizations with more than 51 members.

Requirements

      • Application Form
      • For start-up projects – Certificate of Entrepreneurial Development Training (CEDT)
      • Copy of DOLE/SEC/CDA Registration
      • Certificate indicating that the OFC-Applicant is a bonafide OFW Group recognized by OWWA – from the Regional Welfare Office (RWO) Director
      • Beneficiary Prole
      • Business Permit
      • Business Proposal with an indication that the proponent has an equity equivalent of at least 20% of the Total Project Cost
      • Board Resolution designating a Business Manage who will be authorized to file or apply on behalf of the organization

5. Repatriation Assistance Benefits

The Repatriation Assistance Program aims to bring back distressed OFWs and human remains. An emergency repatriation is executed in the events of political unrest or natural calamities. The workers are provided with the following assistance:

  • Airport Assistance
  • Temporary Shelter at the OWWA Halfway Home
  • Psychosocial Counselling
  • Stress Debriefing
  • Transport Services to their respective Provinces

Video: Recap of OWWA Benefits and Programs

To give a quick recap of the benefits and programs of being an OWWA member, please check out this video below by OWWA Deputy Administrator Mocha Uson:

Summary

So as you can see, OWWA has many benefits, programs, services, and projects that you can take advantage as a Filipino working abroad. So make sure that you document your work and become an active member of OWWA.

After all, it is mandatory for all documented OFWs to renew their membership. Please ensure your account is active and you pay the minimal fee to continue enjoying the benefits and programs available for you.

OWWA Contact Information

To learn more information about OWWA, you can check their official website and social media pages for tips and updates as these are the most active channels:

Website: http://www.owwa.gov.ph/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OWWAofficial/

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