Applying for OWWA Loan: Practical Difficulties, Pitfalls, and Everything in Between

P2-billion Reintegration Program for OFWs to help them start a good life in the Philippines. Sounds good, right? After all, the idea is you can settle and grow old here in the Philippines without having to worry about your financial situation. You know what they say, if it’s too good to be true, then most likely it’s not true.

Surely, OWWA means well. They wouldn’t offer this kind of services to Overseas Filipino Workers if their intention is not to help you, bagong bayani. Unfortunately, applying for OWWA Loan is not as easy as it seems.

Check out these pitfalls and difficulties when applying for an OWWA Loan and what you can do about it:

1) “The loan application requirements are hard to comply with.”

OWWA Loan is all about business loan, which means they will need all the necessary documents to prove that you are really opening a business. Therefore, you will need documents like Mayor’s Permit, Certificate of Registration with DTI, and Barangay Clearance among many others. This can be tedious and time-consuming to prepare since government offices won’t release it overnight.

Whether or not you want to apply for an OWWA Loan, make sure you secure the necessary permits and business documents to legitimize your business. This way, the documents are readily available in case you decide to apply for additional working capital. This will speed up the loan application process as well since the documents are complete.

Here is a detailed list of requirements needed when applying for OWWA Loan.

2) “I’m still working overseas.”

One of the common questions we get from OFWs is if they can apply for a loan eve if they are still working abroad. The answer is yes, although this can be a tedious process.

OWWA Loan is offered to active OWWA members who were also certified as OFW. You need to get that certification first since you will present it to Landbank as part of the requirements.

In case you’re still abroad, here’s what you can do to verify your OFW status:

  • Contact the Welfare Officer of the Philippine Embassy in the country where you are working. The Welfare Officer will verify your registration to OWWA as OFW.
  • Once verified, the Welfare Officer will refer you to an OWWA Office in the Philippines.
  • On your return to the Philippines, make sure to visit the said OWWA Office to get the certification.
  • Present the OFW Certification to Landbank together with the other requirements.

You can also execute a Special Power of Attorney authorizing your spouse or any immediate family member who are of legal age to act and transact on your behalf in case you need to go back to your work abroad.

3) “Do I still have to attend the Enterprise Development Training (EDT)?”

The answer is yes. In fact, a Certificate of Attendance as proof that you went through EDT is a necessary requirement when applying for a loan. Through EDT, you will be taught various strategies and techniques in managing, sustaining, and dealing with issues in your chosen business. Immersion program is also part of the training to give you an idea and experience on how to handle the business.

Check with the OWWA Office near you regarding the schedule for Enterprise Development Training since it will depend on the regional office. The duration of the training may also last for minimum of one day due to the immersion.

Check this post to learn more about Enterprise Development Training.

4) “I don’t have any property under my name.” 

Another common issue raised by many OFWs is the lack of property or any other asset under their name, which they can use as a collateral for their loan. Collateral is an important aspect of OWWA Loan because at the end of the day, OWWA wants assurance that they will be paid. Even if the OWWA Loan is principally a non-collateral loan, you need to present mortgageable assets for loan security purposes.

What’s your remedy?

Property under your name is just one of the many assets you can present as collateral. Aside from property (as proven by a TCT or CCT), you can also use the following types of assets:

  • OR/CR of vehicle (chattel mortgage)
  • Receivables
  • Lease Rental Contract (which also proves that the business is/will be operational)
  • Other contract agreements like Purchase Order or Deed of Assignment.

You may also apply with a co-borrower, preferably in good credit standing, to help facilitate the loan process.

5) “I need at least a million, but OWWA said they can only lend me less than that.” 

You surely want a higher amount when applying for a loan. After all, you can use the excess funds to other equally important expenses. Unfortunately, that won’t happen, especially if you can’t prove your capacity to pay.

Keep in mind that the P2-billion OFW Reintegration Program is a project between OWWA and Landbank. This means Landbank is also in charge of processing every loan application, which also means they will look closely at every loan applicant to determine whether s/he is worthy of credit. There are several factors to consider such as credit history and collateral among others. Your business plan will also be closely scrutinized to ensure viability and sustainability of your proposed business.

Even if you are granted a loan, there is no assurance that you will be granted as much as P2 million.

6) “I need money to buy/construct a house.” 

OWWA Loan is specifically for business purposes. This is why you are required to go through all the training and immersion program to help you prepare for the entrepreneurial life. Once OWWA sees that the purpose of your loan is for personal use, say construction or acquisition of property, then outright rejection is possible.

Still, don’t look at OWWA Loan negatively. This type of loan has benefits since the facility is specifically offered for Overseas Filipino Workers. Nonetheless, don’t limit yourself with OWWA Loan. There are many lenders who are willing to make loan processing easier and more convenient for you.

OWWA Loan for Seafarers: The What, Where, and How

There are two types of Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWS: land-based workers or seafarers.

According to the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, overseas Filipino worker or migrant worker is a “person who is to be engaged, is engaged, or has been engaged in remunerated activity in a state of which he or she is not a citizen (land-based) or on board a vessel navigating the foreign seas other than a government ship used for military or non-commercial purposes, or on an installation located offshore or on the high seas.” (seafarers)

Here’s the next question: Can seafarers also apply for OWWA loan?

Read on to find out. The P2-billion OFW Reintegration Program

The government provides many benefits for OFWs, whether you are land-based or working on seas. One of them is the OWWA loan under the reintegration program.

The main purpose of this program is to provide enterprise development intervention and loan facility for OFWs and their respective families. It also helps migrant workers to establish a viable business enterprise that could provide you a steady income and at the same time, create employment opportunities for people in your community.

Does this include seafarers?

The program does not define what type of overseas Filipino worker is covered by OWWA loan. Rather, the program highlighted “OFW who is also a certified OWWA member” as eligible borrowers, which means the borrower can either be land-based or a seafarer. At the same time, Overseas Workers Welfare Association or OWWA is mandated to provide programs for sea-based migrant workers including loan programs such as OWWA Loan.

This means as long as you belong to the OFW category, regardless if you are working on land or in the sea, you can avail of this type of loan facility. This also means as a seafarer, you can apply for OWWA loan in case you want to put up your own business allowed by the program, allowing you to borrow from P100,000 to P2 million.

Know more about OWWA Loan here.

Requirements for OWWA Loan for Seafarers:

In case you want to apply for a loan, you also have to submit certain requirements to process your application. This includes but not limited to:

  • OWWA certification stating that you are a bonafide OWWA member.
  • Special Power of Attorney (SPA) duly authenticated by the Philippine consul in case you are not in the Philippines.
  • Two (2) valid government IDs
  • Passport
  • Seaman’s Book
  • Proof of Billing
  • Business documents such as business proposal / feasibility study, business permit, and barangay certification where the business is located among others.
  • Collateral documents for security of loan such as real estate mortgage or chattel mortgage.

For detailed list of requirements, click here.

When availing of OWWA loan, you also need to undergo Enterprise Development Training as part of the requirements. Click here to know more about this.

Keep in mind that you need to go through a process for the approval of your OWWA loan. This post will give you an idea as to the step-by-step process when applying for this type of loan facility.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a seafarer or working on the ground. The government provides benefits for Overseas Filipino Workers for all the hard work and contribution you are giving to the country.

Enterprise Development Training: A Requirement You Need to Comply when Applying for OWWA Loan

One of the projects offered by the Overseas Welfare Workers Association or OWWA is the Enterprise Development and Loan Program, popularly known as OWWA Loan. Its primary aim is to aid Filipino migrant workers to go back and stay in the Philippines for good through business enterprise development.

Here’s the catch: if you wish to avail of the OWWA loan, you need to undergo Enterprise Development Training or EDT. In fact, it is one of the major requirements you need to comply with before your loan application is processed. Upon submission of your loan application, you need to show proof that you finished the course.

EDT has three phases, which you will learn more in detail below. Phase 1: Program Orientation and Business Appreciation

In this phase, you will be introduced to the concept of business, understanding a business venture, and the qualities you need to posses to help you in running and maintaining your chosen field. There will also be Personal Entrepreneurial Assessment to help you identify your strengths and possible weaknesses in handling a business.

At this phase, you will also be asked to present your business ideas and draft your business plan. Experts will be looking into your business plans, so pay attention as to the areas of improvement.

In case you have questions on the OWWA loan facility, this is the perfect phase to raise them so you will have a better understanding.

Then, you can move on to the next phase.

Phase 2: Project-Specific Training / Visit to Demo Farms / Immersion 

Your chosen business enterprise can be divided into two categories: AGRI and NON-AGRI.

If your proposed business is in the agricultural sector, you will have project-specific trainings and hands-on experience with relevant government agencies such as Department of Agriculture or Department of Agrarian Reform. You will also have social preparations sessions where you will attend trainings on bookkeeping or record keeping, and other skills training such as food handling, marketing strategies, and developing production skills.

If you prefer a business venture that is non-agricultural, OWWA will refer you to relevant agencies such as TESDA and DTI. You will be taught management and technical skills applicable to your proposed business, plus networking techniques to help your business grow. You will likewise be given a Basic Productivity Toolbox as part of the Social Preparation Intervention.

After this stage, you will move on to the last phase.

Phase 3: Business Plan Writing Seminar

You already have a business plan at the start of your EDT. At this stage, you will be asked to incorporate all your learnings from phases 1 and 2 into your business plan. Land Bank will give you basic knowledge on how to prepare a business plan to boost your chances of approval.

Once you completed the three phases of Enterprise Development Training, you will be given a Certificate of Attendance to prove that you went through the process. Then, complete the other requirements needed to process your OWWA Loan application. Thereafter, you will be endorsed to Land Bank, where a 40-day verification period will run as part of the application process.

Step-By-Step Procedure on How to Apply for OWWA Loan

At this point, you know what OWWA Loan is, its main purpose, how it works, the business allowed by the loan facility, the requirements you need to comply with, and who the eligible borrowers are. It’s time to bring them all together to guide you better in applying for this loan facility specifically designed for Filipino migrant workers.

Here is a step-by-step procedure on how to apply for OWWA Loan: Step 1: Attend and complete the Enterprise Development Training or EDT. Learn more about EDT in detail here.

Step 2: Prepare the pre-processing requirements needed for processing of your loan application. This includes proof of OWWA membership, Certificate of Attendance foe EDT, and two (2) valid IDs among others. Check this post to know the detailed list of requirement you need to prepare before submitting your loan application.

Note: Make sure that your requirements are complete upon submission of OWWA Loan application. This will make it easier and faster for you to process your loan application. The requirements will be submitted either in OWWA Main Office or regional offices, whichever is more convenient for you.

Step 3: Submission of Business Plan to the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) upon certification and endorsement of OWWA. At this phase, LBP will evaluate your project proposal based on the borrower’s credit worthiness and project viability. Likewise, Land Bank will package your loan application based on their credit facilities proposal.

Step 4: Loan evaluation, packaging, and approval. This will take 45 days upon receipt of loan requirements, which is why it is important that you prepare all the necessary documents when applying for an OWWA Loan.

Keep in mind that attending EDT and submitting all the requirements will not guarantee automatic approval. Credit institutions follow certain guidelines in approving every loan application and as long as you can show the viability of your proposed business and prove your credit worthiness, the higher your chances will be.

Find Out If You Are an Eligible Borrower for OWWA Loan

At this point, you know what an OWWA Loan is, how it aims to help Filipino migrant workers build a sustainable life in the Philippines, and the requirements you need to accomplish to process your loan application.

Here’s the next question: Are you an eligible borrower?

Apparently, being a migrant worker is not enough so you could avail of the benefits of OWWA Loan. Apart from the requirements you need to submit, the borrower itself – and that means you – must also fulfill the requirements provided for by OWWA.

How will you know if you are an eligible borrower? You must be a certified OWWA member, whether active or non-active. You must be able to prove such by presenting POEA-attested employment certificate, passport with POEA-LAC stamp, or your E-card. Consequently, you must also complete the Enterprise Development Training (EDT) before you can be allowed to avail of this loan facility. You can learn more about EDT here.

Let’s say you want to apply for OWWA Loan, but you are working abroad. The good news is you can still apply as long as you are represented by any of the following:

  • If Married – Your legal spouse.
  • If Single, Separated-in-Fact, or Widower – Your parents who are not older than 60 years old upon maturity of the loan or your child/ren at least 18 years at the time of availment of OWWA loan.

Another cause of concern is the age of the borrower. If you or your attorney-in-fact (a person you authorized to perform business-related transactions in your behalf by virtue of a power of attorney) will be more than 60 years old at the time of loan maturity, you will be required to have a co-maker. Your co-maker can be your children at least 18 years of age or your sibling.

Keep in mind that if you plan to start your business venture, you can avail of OWWA Loan within three years from your date of arrival in the Philippines. The three-year rule will not apply if you have an ongoing business already.

With these requirements, are you an eligible borrower? Make sure you are to make the processing of your loan easier and hassle-free.

Prepare These Requirements When You Apply for OWWA Loan

The OWWA Loan facility provides a promising venue for Overseas Filipino Workers to start a new life and provide a sustainable future for their families without leaving the country. Apparently, there are requirements you need to comply with to make sure your application for OWWA Loan is approved. Here is a detailed list of requirements you need to submit if you are an INDIVIDUAL BORROWER:

  • Proof that you are a bona fide OWWA member.
  • Proof of OWWA contribution such as POEA-attested employment certificate, your passport with POEA-LAC stamp, E-card, or OWWA Information Sheet.
  • Business Plan or Feasibility Study of your proposed business. Take note that your business must be among the eligible projects allowed by OWWA.
  • Two (2) valid IDs with signature.
  • Barangay Certification as proof of residency based on your given address.
  • Proof of billing address.
  • Sketch of your place of residence.
  • Income Tax Return (ITR) for at least three years.
  • Statement of Assets and Liabilities.
  • Mayor’s Permit where the business is/will be located.
  • Marriage Certificate for married borrowers or Birth Certificate for single availee.
  • Collateral / Security documents, whether real estate or chattel mortgage.
  • If the business is already existing: BIR-filed financial statements for at least three years, latest interim financial statements, and Certificate of Registration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

You must also complete the Enterprise Development Training, which will be discussed further in a separate post.

The OWWA also allows GROUP BORROWERS such as cooperatives, partnerships, associations, or corporations to avail of this loan facility. If you are borrowing as a group, here are the requirements you need to submit:

  • Proof of OWWA contribution, at least that of the officers.
  • Business Plan or Feasibility study of the proposed business.
  • Security / Collateral documents, which will be discussed further below.
  • Board or Partnership Resolution signifying intent to undertake or expand a business / project with the help of OWWA loan facility.

For Corporations: 

  • Proof of Registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Ratified By-Laws

For Partnerships:

  • Proof of Registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Mutually Agreed Terms

For Cooperatives

  • Proof of Cooperative Development Authority
  • Articles of Incorporation

For Associations

  • Proof of Registration with Department of Labor and Employment
  • Constitution
  • By-Laws

Keep in mind that the Loan Security or Collateral shall be any of the following:

  • Torrens Certificate Title (TCT) Condominium Certificate of Title (CCT), Tax Declaration, and other pertinent documents related to planned mortgageable assets.
  • OR/CR for Chattel Mortgage
  • Lease Rental Contract
  • Receivables
  • Other contract agreements related to the execution of Deed of Assignment or Purchase Order.

It is imperative that you comply with all the requirements so that your loan application will be processed as soon as possible. This way, processing of the loan and release of funds will be faster, thereby allowing you to start sooner in your business venture.

OWWA Loan – What You Need to Know

A Glimpse of What You Need to Know about OWWA Loan

The Overseas Workers Welfare Association or OWWA is a membership institution that conducts programs and offers services for overseas Filipino workers or OFW. Among the services the institution offers is applying for a loan facility. This gives you an opportunity to start a new life sans the burden imposed by commercial financial institutions.

If you plan to avail of OWWA loan, here’s what you need to know about this facility before applying for one:

What you need to know about OWWA Loans
Quick Facts about OWWA loan

Basis of OWWA Loan Program

The OWWA loan is in accordance to the P2-billion reintegration program of the government to help OFWs not only find but also build sustainable businesses to support them and their families. This way, they won’t have to go back abroad to make a living and generate sustainable income for the family.

Proposed business must be in line with any of the following:

  • Health care
  • Agri-business
  • Tourism
  • Franchising
  • Education
  • Construction or rental business
  • Transport service
  • Service or trading

Likewise, the purpose of the loan must be for working capital and fixed asset acquisition only and not for personal use.

The OWWA Loan Program

OWWA allows every overseas worker P100,000.00 to P2,000,000.00 for individual borrowers and up to P5,000,000.00 for group borrowers. You have an option to avail of short-term loan, which lasts for 12 months, or long-term loans shall not exceed seven years. For long-term loans, a two-year maximum grace period is included on the principal.

Interest rate for both short- and long-term loans is pegged at 7.5% per annum.

Basic Requirements

Only OFW applicants certified and endorsed by OWWA can avail of the loan program, which will be coursed through by Land Bank. To be certified, the applicant must comply with the basic requirements:

  • Overseas worker applying for the OWWA loan facility must provide a certification from OWWA to prove his/her status as bona fide OFW.
  • The applicant must attend and finish the Enterprise Development Training.
  • Submit proposed business together with purchase order and service contract or contract growing agreement.
  • Applicant must likewise present copies of, but not limited to the following:
  • Bio-data of the applicant
  • Certificate of Registration with DTI
  • Mayor’s permit where the business is located
  • Income tax return or ITR for at least three years
  • BIR-filed financial statements for at least three years, if applicable
  • Statement of assets and liabilities
  • Interim financial statements, if available
  • Loan security or collateral, which could be the object of financing or mortgageable assets like project assets or other assets of the borrowers

Where to Submit

Once you have the necessary documents, submit the requirements in OWWA Main Office located at F.B. Harrison St., Pasay, Metro Manila. You can also submit the requirements in the nearest regional office near your area. OWWA regional offices are located in various cities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Loan evaluation, processing, and approval will be completed within 45 days from submission of complete requirements.