OWWA Programs and Services: Social and Family Welfare Services

Working as an Overseas Filipino Worker has a time limit. After two years (or depending on your employment contract), you have to go back to the Philippines and look for another work opportunity. This could also mean going through the same process of applying again.

Aside from this circumstance, there are instances when immediate repatriation is needed such as occurrence of a natural calamity or a case of political unrest. The good news is OWWA has programs that will help you in any of the two given situations. Repatriation Assistance Program

Repatriation means bringing distressed workers back in the Philippines. The program also includes negotiation with agents, employers, and authorities in the host country where you are located for immediate repatriation due to distress, physical or mental illness, or of human remains. Likewise, emergency repatriation is carried out in case of political unrest or natural calamities such as earthquake.

Services include:

  • Airport assistance
  • Psycho-social counselling
  • Temporary shelter at OWWA Halfway Home
  • Stress debriefing
  • Provision of transport services or fares to help you go back to your province

Regardless of OWWA member, all OFWs can avail of the Repatriation Program.

Reintegration Program 

Can you remember what OWWA loan is? This is in accordance with the P2-billion Reintegration Program alloted for Overseas Filipino Workers in providing income opportunities without leaving the country.

Reintegration program is the process of mainstreaming returning OFWs into the country. It offers livelihood opportunities to workers who don’t want to go back abroad and at the same time, an income-generating means for OFWs and their families on a sustainable basis.

There are two major components of this program:

  • Economic – This includes social preparation programs for community-based income-generating and livelihood projects, lending, and skills training and credit facilitation.
  • Psycho-social – This includes stress debriefing, family counselling, community organizing programs for the concerned OFW, social counselling, and training on values formation and capacity building among others.

An example of OWWA Reintegration Program is the Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program.

This program is a non-cash livelihood support or assistance program that provides immediate relief to returning migrant workers who were displaced from their jobs because of war or political conflicts in the country where they were deployed. This program is also intended for OFWs who were victims of illegal recruitment or human trafficking, got affected by policy reforms, and other distressful situations.

As part of this program, you will be able to get P10,000.00 livelihood assistance, which consists of techno skills and/or entrepreneurial training and starter kit/goods. You may also get other services to help you get back up on your feet through self-employment.

Take note that for this program, both active and non-active OWWA can avail of this program, which you have to apply within one year from your return. OFWs with finished employment contracts may not avail of this benefit.


OWWA Programs and Services: Training Programs for OFWs and Dependents

Being an active member of OWWA comes with a lot of benefits. Apart from the OWWA loan, social benefits, and educational assistance, OWWA also offers training programs to all its members, including their respective dependents.

Here are the available Training Programs you can avail of as an OWWA member: Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program (SESP)

SESP is offered to active overseas Filipino workers or their dependents who wish to enrol in six months or one year technical or vocational course accredited by TESDA and other government institutions. Courses include but not limited to:

  • Massage therapy
  • Food and beverage services
  • Automotive servicing with driving
  • Commercial cooking
  • Bartending
  • PC Operation and Computer Hardware Servicing
  • Healthcare services
  • Caregiving
  • Housekeeping
  • Electric installation and maintenance

SESP is in a form of financial assistance amounting to P14,500.00 per course. In case you want to enrol, you may choose from the list of courses conducted by respective OWWA-accredited training providers.

Who is eligible? 

Applicant must be an active OWWA member to be eligible for this program. In case you want to pass this on to your dependent, it will only be limited to:

  • If married:  Your spouse or child below 20 years and must not be currently enrolled.
  • If single: Only your brother or sister below 20 years old is allowed to apply.

Other than this, the applicant must be a Filipino citizen and at least elementary graduate.

What are the requirements? 

  • Proof of OWWA membership if applicant is the OFW
  • Proof of relationship to OFW-OWWA member if the applicant is the dependent or beneficiary (marriage contract for spouse and birth certificate for the dependent).
  • One OWWA membership contribution to one SESP benefit while the succeeding SESP availments must be three additional membership contributions.
  • Accomplished application form
  • 4 2×2 pictures (white background)
  • Photocopy of passport
  • School records such as diploma, report card, or Transcript of Records
  • Barangay clearance

After completing the training course, you or your beneficiary must pass Competency Assessment Test administered by TESDA or respective accredited testing center. Once you passed the assessment, you or your beneficiary will be awarded the National Certificate II (NC II), which you can use when applying for a job overseas.

Information Technology (IT) Training Program

Not everyone in the Philippines has access to computers or Internet compared to countries overseas. To bridge the gap, particularly communication gap between migrant worker and his/her family, OWWA introduced the IT Training Program exclusively for active OWWA members.

The IT Training Program aims to upgrade the worker’s IT skills and at the same time, allows you to become more familiar and knowledgeable with the Internet and how you can use it to communicate with your family back home.

Active OWWA membership is also required for this training program.

OWWA Programs and Benefits: Educational Assistance for OFW’s Dependents

You know that as OWWA member, one of the benefits you can enjoy is educational programs and financial assistance. Here’s a good news for you: even your dependents, meaning your children, can also enjoy the same benefits that you do. In fact, OWWA offers scholarships for qualified dependents of overseas Filipino workers.

Below are the programs offered: Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP)

EDSP is a scholarship grant offered to qualified dependents or beneficiaries of active OWWA members. It is in a form of financial assistance of up to P60,000.00 per school year.

If qualified, your child may enroll in any four- or five-year baccalaureate course in any preferred college or university.

Nonetheless, only one per family of an active OWWA member is eligible for this program. Also, your child (dependent-applicant) must not be a recipient of other scholarship grants and has not taken EDSP qualifying examination and any post-secondary, vocational, or undergraduate units in college.

In case you are interested, here are the requirements:

  • OFW must have an active OWWA membership.
  • The dependent-applicant must not be more than 21 years old.
  • The dependent-applicant must have must have an average of at least 80%.
  • The dependent-applicant must belong in the upper 20% of the batch on his/her third year in high school.
  • The dependent-applicant must belong to the graduating class at the time of application.
  • The dependent-applicant must pass and should belong to the top 200 passers in the examination to be conducted by DOST.
  • The dependent-applicant must pass the entrance examination required in the college or university where he/she intends to enroll.

Application for EDSP starts every June of each school year. Deadline of submission of application will be every first week of August or as prescribed by ROCS.

OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (OFWDSP)

This scholarship grant is offered to qualified dependents of OFW-OWWA members who plans to pursue a four- or five-year baccalaureate degree or associate degree in state college or university. The scholarship grant will be in the for of P20,000.00 per year financial assistance.

OWWA offers OFWDSP to 1,250 qualified students. This will be distributed equally among the poorest provinces and cities throughout the country.

Below are the requirements to qualify for this program:

  • Legal dependent of the OFW must be an active OWWA member and whose salary is below $400.
  • Only applicable to one child or one sibling per OFW family.
  • The dependent must not be more than 21 years of age.
  • Legal dependent must be a high school graduate, and is physically, morally, and mentally fit.
  • Legal dependent must pass the entrance examination conducted by the state college or university where he/she intends to enrol. Said examination will be conducted in OWWA regional offices.
  • The dependent-applicant must not be a recipient of other scholarship grants.
  • Qualified dependent must not be a previous availee of EDSP or CMWSP. Read about CMWSP here.

In case the couple are both OFWs, only one scholarship slot will be alloted for them.

Educational Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP)

OWWA understands that unforeseen circumstances may lead to the death of OFW-OWWA member. In case this happens, the agency offers ELAP or Educational Livelihood Assistance Program to the deceased worker’s dependent.

ELAP is a program intended for OFW dependents of active OWWA member at the time of his/her death. Only one child, commonly the eldest child, will enjoy this benefit. This is also in the form of allowance e amounting to P5,000.00 for elementary, P8,000.00 for high school, and P10,000.00 if the child is in college.

The surviving spouse, if married, or mother/father, if single, will receive P15,000.00 livelihood assistance.

Note: As of this writing, these programs are temporarily suspended due to the K-12 program. This will resume in school year 2018-2019.

OWWA Programs and Services: Seafarers Upgrading Program

As an OWWA member, you get to enjoy many benefits such as getting an OWWA Loan, social benefits, and even educational assistance. If you are a seafarer, the agency also offers an education program as part of its continuing effort to improve the skills and knowledge of every overseas Filipino Worker.

Introducing, the Seafarers Upgrading Program. What is the program all about? 

Also known as SUP, the Seafarers Upgrading Program is a job-related training that helps upgrade the skills and knowledge, and develop expertise among Filipino seafarers. Over the years, there will be technological advances and constant updating of global maritime standards as provided for by the International Maritime Organizations (IMO). Through SUP, Filipino seafarers will not only be knowledgeable and skilled to cope with the changes globally but also equipped with competitive advantage.

The Seafarers Upgrading Program is in a form of financial assistance worth P7,500.00. OWWA will assume the costs of training and you get to choose your preferred training course that are accredited by Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA). The accredited courses will also be conducted by OWWA’s recognized training providers where you plan to enrol.

What are the courses offered? 

OWWA offers courses pertaining to Deck, Engine, Culinary, Specialized and Safety, and Galley and Steward Department.

OWWA updates its list of courses to keep up with the global standards. In 2016, OWWA expanded its coverage and included the following courses:

  • Ship’s Catering Services NC 1
  • Advanced Training for Liquified Gas Tanker Cargo Operations
  • General Operator’s Certificate for Global Maritime Distress and Safety System

What are the requirements to qualify for this program? 

  • Must have valid OWWA membership contribution at the time of your application. This membership contribution could be single contribution for first time availment or availed once every three contributions.
  • Proof of OWWA membership such as original receipt for payment of contribution
  • Accomplished application form
  • 2 2×2 picture
  • Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book and/or Passport

Take advantage of these courses to improve your skills and knowledge. You might need them in the future.

OWWA Programs and Services: Education Programs for OFWs

OWWA offers many benefits for its members. Aside from the OWWA Loan, the agency also provides education programs for all OWWA members.

Here’s what you should know about this program: Country Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) 

Before a worker is deployed overseas, OWWA provides pre-departure education programs to guide you and help you adjust to your would-be life. One of these programs is PDOS.

The primary objective of PDOS is to help OFWs cope with the new work environment, culture, and life during the first few months of working abroad.

Also, PDOS is a one-day mandatory and compulsory orientation to help overseas Filipino workers adapt and adjust to the work environment abroad. Since it is country-specific, this program allows you to get to know the language, religion, traditions, practices, culture, food, and way of life of your country destination. This helps minimize the possibility of “culture shock,” feeling of isolation, or reduce fears when working overseas.

Take note that all workers of all skill levels are required to attend PDOS.

Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) 

If you will work overseas as a Household Service Worker (HSW), then this education program is for you.

The CPDEP is a four- or six-day orientation seminar for all household service workers and conducted by both OWWA and accredited NGO PDOS providers.

On the first day, NGO PDOS provider will administer PDOS, which means you don’t have to attend the compulsory PDOS mentioned above. For the remaining days, OWWA will handle culture, language, and stress management to help you cope with the demands and issues when working overseas.

Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP) 

The government recognizes the skill and intellect of every Filipino worker. If you intend to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree, OWWA can help you with that through Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program.

In this program, deserving migrant workers and/or your child allows you to pursue a 4- or 5-year courses, specifically in Science and Technology. This is in pursuant to Republic Act No. 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act of `1995.

Exam will be administered by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) wherein only 100 passers will be qualified for the program. If you pass, you will be able to get an educational assistance of P60,000 per year from the PCSO to finance your schooling.

Note: As of this writing, the program is suspended due to the K-12 program. This program will resume on school year 2018-2019.

OWWA Programs and Services: Workers Welfare Assistance Program

The Philippine government understands the plight of Overseas Filipino Workers and the sacrifices you need to make to be able to provide a better future for your family. This is why the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is born, which specifically focuses on migrant workers.

Aside from helping you put up your own business through OWWA Loan facility, OWWA also provides services including Workers Welfare Assistance Program.

This service is classified into two categories:

  1. On-site assistance and services
  2. In-country services  On-site Assistance and Services 

OWWA is present in 31 overseas posts located at 27 different countries. This service is extended to Filipino migrant workers to assist you at your respective job site by the Philippine Overseas Labor officials. This service covers the following:

  • Assistance on OFW’s information and whereabouts
  • Airport assistance upon deployment
  • Psycho-social counseling
  • Mediation or conciliation with your employer to settle differences and misunderstanding in an amicable manner
  • Hospital / prison / work camp visitations
  • Legal assistance to overseas Filipino workers who wish to pursue labor or welfare case against your employer in the host country.

In-Country Services 

This type of assistance is extended not just to the Filipino migrant workers but also their respective families at the homefront. This covers request from families or next-of-kins (NOKs) for assistance from overseas posts of OWWA.

Aside from this, the in-country services provide post-repatriation assistance when the migrant worker is back in the Philippines. This covers the following benefits:

  • Temporary shelter at the OWWA Halfway House
  • Stress Debriefing or Counselling
  • Transportation allowance to your respective province
  • Referrals

To be able to enjoy these benefits, it is imperative that you pay the $25 membership contribution. This fee covers many other benefits and the Workers Welfare Assistance Program is just one of them.


OWWA Programs and Services: Social Benefits for Overseas Filipino Workers

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a government agency tasked to promote and protect the welfare of OFWs and their beneficiaries. As part of this mandate, the agency has set forth several benefits to all its members.

Among them are the following: Disability and Dismemberment Benefits

You will never know what will happen to you when working overseas. This is why it is important to observe extra care and precaution to keep you safe and healthy at all times.

On the other hand, there are cases when accidents happen, no matter how careful you are in performing your duties at work. In case you sustained injuries due to an accident while working overseas, the OWWA provides up to P100,000 disability and dismemberment benefits.

Nevertheless, make sure you submit the following requirements to avail of this benefit:

  • Foreign medical certificate
  • Medical certificate issued by local attending physician. Make sure you attach medical examination procedure conducted such as X-ray, CT scan, or MRI.
  • Accident Report for land-based workers or Master’s Report for seafarers

Death Benefits

Apart from accidents, death is another circumstance you don’t want to happen. In case of death, the active migrant worker’s family is entitled to receive P100,000 if the cause of death is natural, or P200,000 if death is due to an accident.

Aside from the said amounts, depending on the cause of death, the family of the deceased OFW will also receive another P20,000 for funeral expenses.

Below are the requirements needed to avail of death benefits:

  • Original Death Certificate issued by the local civil registrar or authenticated by National Census and Statistics Office (NCSO).
  • In case the OFW died abroad, beneficiary must submit Foreign Death Certificate, Airway Bill and Consular Mortuary Certificate or No Objection Certificate
  • Accident Report for Death due to Accident
  • Official Receipt of funeral expenses
  • Affidavit of Undertaking executed by claimant or Police Report if death is caused by an accident
  • Burial Permit
  • 2 valid IDs and 1 ID picture of claimant
  • If deceased worker is single, submit Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)

Apart from these requirements, the claimant must submit any of the following documents certified by Local Civil Registrar (LCR) or NCSO:

  • Marriage certificate, if claimant is the spouse
  • Birth certificate of the deceased OFW, if claimant is the parents
  • Birth certificate of the child and Death certificate of the deceased spouse, if the claimant is the child of the deceased migrant worker

In case there is no birth or marriage certificate, the following must be submitted:

  • Certificate from LCR showing that the birth or marriage certificate is not recorded in the civil registry
  • Baptismal or Marriage certificate certified by the Parish priest or office
  • Affidavit of two disinterested persons regarding fact of birth/marriage and claimant’s relationship to the deceased and photocopy of two valid IDs

The concerned OWWA regional office will also provide psycho-social counseling to the family of the deceased OFW.

It is important that the OFW must pay $25 membership contribution to become an OWWA member and be able to enjoy these benefits.

Get to Know Your OWWA Benefits as Overseas Filipino Worker

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a government agency that follows a two-fold mandate

  1. To deliver welfare services and benefits
  2. To ensure capital buildup and fund viability

Aside from helping you fund your business venture through OWWA Loan, the agency offers other benefits, which you and your dependents can enjoy.

Read on to learn more about these benefits: Social Benefits

  1. Disability and Dismemberment Benefits – As an OWWA member, you can enjoy up to P100,000 for injuries sustained from an accident while working abroad.
  2. Death Benefits – The family of the migrant worker may receive P100,000 for natural cause of death or P200,000 in case death is by accident. Aside from these monetary benefits, the beneficiaries will receive P20,000 for funeral expenses.

Education Assistance for OFWs and Their Dependents

  1. Country Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) – This is a one-day compulsory orientation that all migrant workers must attend before deployment. The aim of this course is to help OFWs adjust to the work environment and culture of their destination country, especially during the first few months of working overseas.
  2. Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) – This seminar must be attended by Household Service Workers (HSW) for four or six days. It is conducted by accredited NGO PDOS providers, which administers PDOS on the first day, and OWWA, which tackles culture, language, and stress management sessions in succeeding days.
  3. Seafarer’s Upgrading Program (SUP) – The program helps in upgrading the knowledge and skills, and in developing expertise among Filipino seafarers in line with the technological advancements and global maritime standards.
  4. Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) – This scholarship grant is offered to qualified dependents/beneficiaries of active OWWA members who want to enroll in a four- or five-year course in preferred college or university. Maximum financial assistance is P60,000 per year.
  5. OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (OFWDSP) – This is an educational assistance to qualified dependents of active OWWA-member OFWs who want to pursue a four- or five-year course in state college or university.
  6. Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP) – This scholarship program is extended to deserving migrant workers and/or immediate descendants who want to take four- or five-year course in the field of Science and Technology.
  7. Educational Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP) – This scholarship program is for dependents of migrant workers who were active members of OWWA at the time of death.

Training Programs for OFWs and Their Dependents  

  1. Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) – This is a training assistance program with OWWA where the applicant, whether OFW or beneficiary, can choose a training course from the list of OWWA-recognized training providers.
  2. Information Technology (IT) Training Program – This is a computer literacy program and also helps OFWs and their beneficiaries upgrade their IT Skills.

Workers Welfare Assistance Program

  • On-site assistance and services
  • In-country assistance

Social Services and Family Welfare Services  

  1. Repatriation Assistance Program – This program facilitates immediate repatriation of OFWs who are physically/mentally ill, and of human remains.
  2. Reintegration Program – This program is intended to help OFWs in returning to the country by providing livelihood opportunities.

To enjoy these benefits, make sure you pay a membership fee of $25. It may cost a dent on your monthly income, but at the end of the day, it is best to be prepared because you will never know what will happen.