Working overseas, particularly for hospitalization and seafarer work purposes, can be difficult at certain points. There are times that an OFW or a seaman may need a support system when he or she is in the state of psychological, emotional, financial, or social struggle.

That is why certain government agencies exist to fill up such gaps for the benefit of our OFWs and seamen out there. One of which who plays a significant role in the country and to the international channels as well is the Overseas Workers Welfare Organization.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Organization, or OWWA for short, is a government agency in extension of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) which is the main employment governmental department of the Philippines. It exists for the protection and promotion of the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and its dependents. It provides programs and services for the promotion of social protection of the OFWs worldwide. Basically, they act as the main support system for the OFWs, seaman or seafarers and ex-abroad workers or retired OFW. Several programs and benefits include OWWA OFW loan programs, benefits for seaman, OWWA scholarships, and other ultimate benefits.

The Ultimate Benefits of OWWA to OFW and Seaman

Maximizing the OWWA Advantage and Usage

For US$25, you can issue yourself a membership of the OWWA and you are entitled to several benefits. These ultimate benefits are as follows:

Social Benefits

This is the first OWWA benefit that covers its member for the provision of the following benefits within the contract duration, which is per contract basis, 2 years contract max:

  1. Disability and Dismemberment Benefits This is a social benefit stating that the member is entitled to disability or dismemberment benefit of up to P100, 000.00 for injuries caused while working overseas. Those who are qualified under this are active OWWA members only.
  2. Death Benefit Entitlement of receiving of the family of an active OFW at the time of his death amounts P100, 000.00, P200, 000.00 if the cause of death is natural and accident, respectively.  On top of death benefit, a rider of P20, 000.00 will be received by the beneficiaries for the funeral expenses.  Qualified are beneficiaries of active OWWA.

Education and Training Assistance

A. Pre-Departure Education Program

  • Country Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)– This is a compulsory orientation to OFWs for work environment adaptation. Its primary objective is to provide OFWs with the means to cope with their new work environment especially during their inception overseas.  The 1-day PDOS is attended by all workers of their entirety of skills prior to their deployment abroad.
  • Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) – This seminar is for Household Service Workers (HSWs) that spans for four to six days (4-6). The CPDEP is jointly conducted by accredited NGO PDOS providers and OWWA.  The NGO-accredited PDOS providers administer the PDOS on the first day, while OWWA handles the language, culture and stress management sessions on the succeeding days.

B.TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR FILIPINO SEAFARERS

  • Seafarer’s Upgrading Program (SUP)The program intends to provide job-related training in upgrading the knowledge, skills and develop expertise among Filipino seafarers in accordance with technological advancements and global maritime standards in the form of financial assistance.

C. SCHOLARSHIPS FOR DEPENDENTS

  • Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP)The EDSP is a scholarship grant offered to qualified beneficiaries/dependents of active OWWA members who intend to enroll a 4-5 year baccalaureate course in any preferred colleges/universities.
  • OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (OFWDSP)The OFWDSP is an educational assistance to qualified dependents of active OWWA-member OFWs who intend to pursue any 4 or 5 year baccalaureate degree or associate degree in state college or university.
  • Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP) – The CMWSP is a scholarship program extended to deserving migrant workers and/or their immediate descendants who intend to pursue 4 or 5 year courses in the priority fields in Science and Technology.
  • Educational Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP) – Scholarship for the dependents of OFWs who were active OWWA members at the time of death.  Only one child, usually the eldest child of member-OFW is given scholarship grant.

D. TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR OFWs AND DEPENDENTS

  • Skills-for-Employment –Scholarship Program (SESP) – It is in the form of training assistance with OWWA assuming the training cost in vocational/technical courses accredited by TESDA and other government institutions as prescribed in the existing implementing guidelines.
  • Information Technology (IT) Training Program – This computer literacy program provides OFWs and their families training and access to technology intended to bridge the communication gap between the OFW and his/her family and allow them to communicate with each other through the internet.

Workers Welfare Assistance Program

  • On-site Assistance and services – This is the extensive assistance to OFWs at the jobsites by the Philippine Overseas Labor Officials (POLO). Servers given are assistance on OFW’s whereabouts, psychosocial counselling, and mediation or conciliation with employers.
  • In –Country – This is OWWA’s assistance extended to OFWs or families based at the homefront. Requests from families and next-of-kins (NOKs) are serviced extensively from OWWA overseas posts. Post-repatriation assistance includes temporary shelter at inclusive OWWA Halfway House, transportation allowance to their provinces, and more.

owwa_receipt

Workers Welfare Assistance Program

  • On-site Assistance and services – This is the extensive assistance to OFWs at the jobsites by the Philippine Overseas Labor Officials (POLO). Servers given are assistance on OFW’s whereabouts, psychosocial counselling, and mediation or conciliation with employers.
  • In –Country – This is OWWA’s assistance extended to OFWs or families based at the homefront. Requests from families and next-of-kins (NOKs) are serviced extensively from OWWA overseas posts. Post-repatriation assistance includes temporary shelter at inclusive OWWA Halfway House, transportation allowance to their provinces, and more.

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

  • OFW-EDLP, formerly known as OFW-Reintegration Program (ORP) – this is an enterprise development intervention and loan facility of OWWA, in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) intended to support enterprise development among OFWs and their families.

Contact Number (Office of the Administrator)

Telephone8917601 local 5401 / 5402 / 5403 / 5418
Telefax551-66-51
Fax833-01-87
834-01-24
834-01-48
TEXT(0917) TXT OWWA
Email[email protected]
Websitewww.owwa.gov.ph

Important Tips: A Wrap-up

Simply put, being an active member of the OWWA is the core tip in order to enjoy the maximum benefits possible for you included in the OWWA Programs and Services. Complying to requirements and getting yourself updated makes this possible.

OWWA is indeed a vital support system for the OFWs and seafarers worldwide. They serve as a gateway for the path of more vibrant and exquisite overseas work experience.

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Marvin Tamayo Cantona
Marvin Tamayo Cantona

naoperahan ako sa ulo last 2011 at ako ay pinauwi ng pinas lumapit ako sa owwa sa pasay para humingi ng tulong dahil mayron naman kaming social benefits pero nakiusap ang owwa na wala daw munang tulong dahil sa gyera sa gitnang silangan. ngayon pwedi kopa rin bang e clain yung tulong na hinihingi ko nun kc hindi na ako nakabalik sa employer ko sa saudi