Anti-Fraud Tips You Need To Remember

Earlier this year, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian revealed that his credit card was used to pay for food orders totaling hundreds of thousands. If this could happen to someone who is in power and position, what more on ordinary people like us?

This is why it is important to be extra careful and cautious, especially at a time when online shopping is more convenient. There will always be people who will take advantage of the situation and do whatever it takes to get your hard-earned money.

The good news is you can prevent that from happening. Here are some tips you need to remember to protect yourself against fraud:

  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication. This means aside from entering your password, the system will also ask for a code sent to your mobile number or answer to a security question before you can log-in. It’s hassle, yes, but this feature ensures that no one can easily access your account anytime.
  • Use Strong Passwords. This is a must. A strong password with combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and characters will keep you protected against possible hacking.
  • Visit Secure Websites. Did you notice the padlock icon beside the website URL? Is it color green? If you answered yes on both questions, then it means that the website is secured – and it’s a good thing. This also means that the website uses SSL or secure socket layer to encrypt activities on the website.
  • Think Before You Click. The truth is malicious links are often hidden through hyperlinks or links that will lead you to a different website. While these links seem safe, links leading to another website might compromise your information. Make sure to check the destination URL when you put the cursor over the link to give you an idea on where the link will take you.
  • Be Careful When You Click Ads. Ads are exciting but most of the time, the real product or app isn’t how they were perceived to be. Take it easy when clicking ads since it could lead to phishing and malware attacks among others. It will also help if you install ad blockers since aside from added protection, it will give you a smoother and more pleasant experience.
  • Reduce Your Use Of Public WiFi. It’s okay when you just need to check something but as much as possible, do not use public WiFi. Use the free WiFi offered by establishments for browsing but when you need to use online banking or the website requires credit card information, use your mobile data or do it at home.
  • If It’s Too Good To Be True, Then It’s Not True. Words that say you’ll “get rich quick” or “double your money in one week” sound enticing, yes? Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as that. Even the riskiest investment in the form of stocks cannot double or triple your money in a matter of days. Make sure to check what is being offered first and don’t easily fall for promises of high returns.
  • Avoid Sharing Personal Information. You will receive phone calls or emails asking information such as your personal or credit card details. Don’t easily divulge. This will make it easier for scammers to use your information against you.
  • Do Not Share Your Phone. Mobile browsing is common nowadays. Chances are you saved your details on your phone for easier browsing. This is why you need to be extra careful with your phone. Never share and keep your phone away from other people.
  • Never Share Passwords, Too. You don’t like sharing your phone, right? Then never share your passwords, too, no matter how close you are to that person. Your passwords in your several accounts is for your own use only. Keep your information safe.
  • Try Your Best To Pay In Cash. Credit card is convenient because you can buy any item and pay for it in installment. However, there is a possibility that someone could get your information and fraudulently use your account. If you can, then pay for your items in cash. This way, you don’t have to worry about monthly payments, too.

Scammers will always be there, looking for their next victim. Don’t easily fall on their traps and lose the money you earned. Although it won’t be 100 percent guarantee that you’ll be safe, these tips will still help in keeping yourself protected.

Frequently Asked Questions About OFW e-Card

How will you know if someone is an Overseas Filipino Worker? No ridicule or insult meant, but balikbayan boxes filled with pasalubong for the family is one. Also, one’s passport will tell if someone is an OFW since there must be a working visa stamped on it. Another sign would be Overseas Employment Certificate or an employment contract written in a foreign language with English transaction.

Perhaps, the most obvious would be having an OFW e-Card.

What is this card all about? How to get it? Why do you need to have one as an OFW?

Here’s a list of frequently asked questions about OFW e-Card:

What is OWWA’s OFW e-Card?

The e-Card is a proof that the holder is an active member of OWWA. Its aim is to provide faster and more convenient access to OWWA’s programs and services.

Take note that the OFW e-Card is currently in Phase 1, which means only Balik Manggagawa or those who will return to the same employer either in an old or new job site will be given.

So far, new hires, direct hires, and Government Placement Branch or GPB-hired workers won’t be covered. We have yet to wait for an advisory on when Phase 2 will start, which will cover the said OFW groups.

Is it free?

Yes. The OFW e-Card is part of the services of OWWA. However, in case you lose your card, you will have to pay for a new one in order to get it.

Visit the OWWA Regional Welfare Office near you and ask about the procedure in case you lose your e-Card.

Can it be considered as a government-issued ID?

Yes. In fact, you can also present the ID in the Philippine Embassy or Consulate or Philippine Overseas Labor Office or POLO in case you need to avail of a particular service.

You can also use your e-Card as among the requirements when applying for a loan.

Who can apply?

OFWs who met the following requirements may apply:

  • Active OWWA membership with more than 90 days validity
  • Valid Overseas Employment Certificate / Exemption Number
  • Valid passport

What are the benefits you can get from using your OWWA OFW e-Card?

This includes the following:

  • Serves as an Exit Clearance when leaving the country
  • Valid government-issued ID
  • Easier and faster way to avail of programs and services of OWWA
  • Digital OWWA OFW e-Card, which is available through the OWWA Mobile App
  • Permanent OWWA / OFW membership number

How will you know the status of your OWWA membership?

Simply download the OWWA Mobile App to check the status of your membership. The app can be downloaded for free at App Store for iPhone users and Google Play Store for Android users.

You can also follow up through the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office in case you’re still in the Philippines or POLO-OWWA if you’re still overseas.

What if you’re no longer an active OWWA member but has an active employment contract. Can you still qualify?

Yes. You can still renew your OWWA membership through the following options:

  • Online – Fill out the Online Application Form to get an OWWA OFW e-Card. You can access the form by clicking this link. Or, you can renew your membership through the OWWA mobile app.
  • Overseas – Simply go to the POLO-OWWA office in the country where you’re working
  • Philippines – OWWA Regional Welfare Offices can accept OWWA membership renewal applications. You can also visit OWWA Satellite Offices located in NAIA Terminal 1, 2, and 3, POEA Ortigas, Trinoma, and Duty Free Fiesta Mall.

What if you don’t have an OEC?

It’s okay as long as you are Balik Manggagawa, or an OFW will will return to the same employer on the same job site. Just make sure you will register in the BM Online System so you can get a BM Exemption Number.

You can use this BM Exemption Number when filling out the online application form.

Will the OFW e-Card be delivered?

Unfortunately, no. You can only pick up your e-Card in any OWWA Regional Office near you.

Can you apply for an OFW e-Card even if you’re overseas?

Yes. You can still apply online by clicking this link.

Unfortunately, there are no delivery services yet. This means you can only get your ID based on your assigned pick up location. You can get your e-Card upon arrival in the Philippines.

If you wish to get your e-Card even if you’re still overseas, then you can assign someone to pick it up for you. Make sure that your authorized representative has an Authorization Letter and a copy of your Passport Identification Page. Simply present these documents so your representative can get your ID.

What are you waiting for? Get your OFW e-Card now to enjoy its benefits.

How To Get A Police Clearance Online

Pandemic resulted to many things, including your job overseas. Now that you’re back home, you are now looking for means to sustain you and your family’s needs. This means you’re back to job hunting.

Part of local employment is submitting tons of requirements, including police clearance. This pre-employment requirement is crucial because police clearance is a document that proves that the person has NO criminal or derogatory record based on the Philippine National Police Database.

Police Clearance is also valid for six months and comes with a unique QR code, which signifies authenticity.

Here’s some good news: you don’t need to line up, apply for a police clearance, and wait for an hour to get it. Through their website, you can now schedule an appointment and pay for the fees online. Unfortunately, the system does not support – yet – full online application. This means you still need to go to your chosen police station to get your biometrics and photo.

Nonetheless and to avoid the possibility of spreading of the virus, here’s how you can apply online.

Step 1: Prepare all your requirements.

Two valid IDs are needed when applying for a police clearance. These IDs must be original, not expired, and contains your name, clear photo, and signature.

Acceptable IDs include:

  • OFW ID
  • Passport
  • Philhealth ID
  • TIN ID
  • Voter’s ID
  • Driver’s License
  • Postal ID

In case you can only present one ID, make sure you can provide a Certified True Copy of your Birth Certificate, preferably with original receipt.

Step 2: Register

Once you prepared all the documentary requirements, it’s time to register for an account with National Police Clearance System.

Also known as NPCS, this website provides online services to Filipinos to streamline and make application easier.

To register, visit the NPCS website, which you can also access here.

Click Register. The next screens will show Terms and Conditions. Make sure to read through each slide, check the boxes, and then click Next. On the last slide, click I Agree.

Thereafter, fill in the required details. Make sure that your email address is active and you know the password to be able to log in since this will be used to communicate with you.

After registration, check the confirmation message sent to your email address to verify your account. Then, click the verification link.

Step 3: Edit Your Profile

Sign in to your online account using your registered email address and password.

Once you logged in, click the Edit Profile and fill in the necessary details. Make sure that you click the Save Profile button.

Step 4: Online Appointment

After editing your profile, it’s time to set an appointment.

To do this, click Clearance Application button. Then, choose the nearest police station where you can get your police clearance. After, you will see the available schedules. Choose your desired schedule and then click Next.

To confirm your appointment, click Land Bank of the Philippines and then Save Appointment.

Take note that payment details will be displayed thereafter. Take note of these details, especially the reference number since you will use this for payment of police clearance.

Step 5: Payment

This is the limitation of this service. After setting an online appointment schedule, the rest must be done face-to-face.

At this point, you need to pay for the police clearance fee amounting to P160.00, which includes both the clearance fee of P150 and transaction fee of P10.

If you pay through Gcash, then input your Gcash account number in the LBP ePayment portal. Thereafter, it will display transaction details and payment summary.

If you prefer more convenience, then you can also pay through 7/11. Here’s how:

  • In the LBP ePayment portal, click Cash Payment and then click Submit.
  • Choose 7-Eleven as your payment channel and then click Proceed. Make sure that you copy the payment reference number and then pay it using 7-Eleven’s CliQQ mobile app. Make sure that you have a registered account with CliQQ to proceed.
  • Login to your CliQQ account. Choose Government from the list of billers.
  • Choose MYEGPH from the options. Then, enter the Reference Number, mobile number, and amount. Take note that for the amount, it should be P180.00 since the transaction or convenience fee is P30.00
  • Then, click Confirm. A bar code will be shown, which you will use when paying for your police clearance through the nearest 7/11 branch.

Step 6: Scheduled Appearance

Head to the police station on the day of your scheduled appointment. Make sure to bring two valid IDs, reference number from the NPCS website, and official receipt of the payment of Police Clearance. Present these documents to the officer-in-charge.

Thereafter, you will go through biometrics capture and then have your photo and signature taken.

Verification process will follow where the police officer will check your records on the PNP database. Don’t worry since this will only take minutes. Once ready, your name will be called to pick up your Police Clearance.

What happens if you have a hit?

In that case, you will have to undergo another verification process. Once this is settled, you can get your Police Clearance.

This is a good step towards automation and making everyone’s lives easier. Sadly, they cannot do away with the face-to-face because of he biometric processes but nevertheless, this is an improvement of service.

In the meantime, take advantage of this service.

What is SSS Unemployment Benefit?

Millions of Filipinos, including OFWs, were heavily affected caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of having a quiet life overseas that allows you to send sufficient amount of money to your family back home, you have no choice but to go back and look for ways on how to earn.

The government, through DOLE, were able to provide P10,000 financial assistance to repatriated OFWs. According to the DOLE website, the agency received more than 617,000 applications and were able to approve 280,253 requests so far (1). Although the government aims to accommodate all applications, there will always be a limitation on budget.

Then, there’s SSS Unemployment Benefits.

What is SSS Unemployment Benefit?

Also known as Unemployment Insurance or Involuntary Separation Benefit, this program is a cash benefit granted to employees who were involuntarily separated from work. Involuntary separation from work includes retrenchment, downsizing, closure or cessation of operations, redundancy, or installation of labor-saving devices among others.

If qualified, the SSS member can get twice the half of average monthly salary credit or ASMC.

Employees who may be covered by this cash benefit are:

  • Employees employed in the Philippines
  • kasambahay or househelp
  • Overseas Filipino Workers, both land-based and sea-based

What are the qualifications:

  • Employee must not be above 60 years old at the time of involuntary separation
  • If the employee is an underground or surface mineworker, s/he must not be above 50 years old
  • If the employee is a racehorse jockey, s/he must not be more than 55 years old
  • Employee paid at least 36 monthly contribution, 12 of which must be within the 18-month period before the month of involuntary separation
  • Employee must not be dismissed due to serious misconduct, commission of a crime, gross and habitual neglect of duties, fraud, and other reasons that will justify the termination of employment
  • Employee did not receive any unemployment benefit for the last three years from the time the termination was severed.

How To Apply For SSS Unemployment Insurance

There are two ways on how you can apply: online application or personal appearance.

Here’s how you can apply online, which is the recommended option to minimize contact:

  1. Log-in to My.SSS account. You can access the website here.
  2. Click E-Services tab.
  3. Choose Apply for Unemployment Benefit Claim.
  4. Fill in the online form. Make sure to provide complete and truthful information.
  5. After carefully reading the certification, click Submit.
  6. Check your email. SSS will send an email requiring you to submit documents such as POLO Certification and Notice of Termination from employer or notarized Affidavit of Termination from Employment, whichever is applicable.

If you prefer personal appearance, then here’s how you can apply at SSS branch near you:

  1. Fill out DOLE Certification. You can get this from POLO where the employer is operating or DOLE Provincial or Field office nearest to you.
  2. Make sure you have the following requirements for submission – Notice of Termination from employer or Affidavit of Termination from Employment, UMID-ATM card, UBP bank card or bank statement showing your name, savings account number, bank branch, and address.
  3. Prepare any valid government-issued ID such as passport, SSS card, Seafarer’s ID and Record Book, UMID card, NBI Clearance, Postal ID, and Driver’s License among others. In case you don’t have any of these IDs mentioned, you can present the original and photocopy of two IDs or documents with picture and signature.
  4. Submit the mentioned documents to the SSS Unemployment Benefits officer-in-charge.

Things To Remember:

Keep in mind that the benefits will be deposited to your SSS UMID card or UMID-ATM card. It can also be deposited in the member’s UBP Quick Card Account. In case you don’t have this, you can apply for an initial UMID-ATM since this is where SSS will credit the unemployment benefits.

In the meantime, you can opt for non-bank cash pick-up or PESONet bank transfer.

Make sure to claim for this benefit within one year from involuntary separation. Otherwise, you will forfeit your claim for unemployment insurance.

How many times can you claim this benefit? Apparently, you can apply once every three years for unemployment insurance. Take advantage of this now since the amount could be helpful to sustain you and your family.

You can check out this brochure for more info about SSS Unemployment Insurance.



Know Your Rights As A Tenant, Especially In This Time Of Pandemic

One of the reasons why you decided to work overseas is because you want to have your own home. This is also the reason why you are taking multiple jobs while overseas to make sure that you can send money back home and save a few more for your future dream home.

If you haven’t fulfilled that yet, then that’s fine. Renting your own place could be an alternative – for now. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced you to go back home and wait for travel restrictions to ease to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

Since you lost your main source of income, which also means there will be difficulty in paying the rent, the question now is this: can your landlord evict you from the place you and your family are staying?

What are your rights as a tenant?

As a tenant, your rights are protected under the Rent Control Act of 2009. Some of your rights include:

  • Limit On Rent Increase – Although landlords can impose an increase in rent every year, there is a limitation as to how much the increase can be. Rent increase should be anywhere between two and 11 percent and must only be imposed once a year.
  • No To Excessive Deposit And Advance – Under the said law, landlord can collect not more than two months deposit and one month advance rent or a total of three months. This security deposit must be kept under the landlord’s account and will be returned to the tenant upon expiration of contract. Take note that these deposits and advance may be used by the landlord to compensate for losses such as failure to pay rental fee, unpaid utility bills, and/or damage to the property.
  • Eviction Must Be Legal – Eviction is allowed when there is a justifiable reason.

When can a tenant be evicted?

The law allows landlords to evict tenants for the following reasons:

  • Expiration of Lease Contract. At this point, landlord has the option not to renew the tenant, especially those who are unruly and delinquent.
  • Overdue rental payments for at lease three months.
  • Necessary house repairs to ensure that the place is suitable and viable for living. In this case, the evicted tenant is given the priority to rent the place should s/he wishes to.
  • Subleasing the entire or a part of the leased property without the owner’s consent.
  • The owner or landlord will legitimately use the rented property. In this case, landlord must give notice to the tenant at least three months before the expiration of contract.

That being said, what constitutes illegal eviction?

  • If the landlord or owner decided to sell or mortgage the leased property, the new owner has to respect the existing lease contract. More importantly, the new owner cannot evict the tenant unless there is a justifiable reason.
  • Violating the Anti-Covid-19 Discrimination ordinance, particularly in Makati, Quezon City, Manila, Muntinlupa, and Pasig City. Landlord cannot evict the tenant regardless if you are infected or is suspected to have Covid-19. Consequently, healthcare workers cannot be evicted from leased property.
  • Failure to pay the rent during quarantine and grace periods are not grounds for eviction.

In case any of these situations happened, make sure you talk to your landlord first so you could come up with an amicable solution. Otherwise, you can request assistance from the barangay, which has the authority to settle disputes involving landlord and rental rights.

DTI Memorandum Circular 20-12

Under the said circular of the Department of Trade and Industry and pursuant to the Bayanihan Heal as One Act, property owners cannot evict tenants in ECQ, MECQ, and GCQ areas for failure to pay rental fee. There is also a mandatory 30-day grace period for tenants to start paying their rental fee.

The said circular also states that unpaid rents during the quarantine period can be settled in six monthly installments without penalties, interest, additional fees, and other charges.

Further, landlord must inform the tenant regarding the option to pay in installments.

Refusal to comply by the landlord could result to imposition of fine, jail time of two months, or both. As a tenant, you can also inform DTI regarding the illegal eviction practice so that appropriate criminal case can be filed to the landlord.

This is an extraordinary time for everyone, including landlords and tenants. At this point, it is best to keep an open communication with your landlord so you can negotiate and compromise. While you’re struggling to pay the rent, surely, your landlord is also in need of the rental payments to make ends meet.

As what they say, lahat madadaan sa magandang usapan.

Looking For A New Job In The Time Of Pandemic

Losing a job is one of the many concerns affecting millions of Filipinos here and overseas. Many OFWs are also repatriated, with the repatriation count more than 50,000. As much as you want to continue with your employment overseas, most countries still have restrictions to limit the arrival of non-citizens.

What do you do now? How do you go from here? What can you do to ensure that your family still has food on the table and bills will be paid at the end of the day?

Since your overseas employment is affected, you have no choice but to look for available options in the Philippines. You may not be earning the same amount of money from working abroad but this could help you get through the tough times.

Below are tips and tricks that will help as you look for a new job – for now:

Tip No. 1: Ask your recruitment agency.

The truth is the opportunities for overseas employment are still there. In fact, many legitimate recruitment agencies continuously post job openings for various countries like Taiwan, Qatar, and UAE.

Contact your preferred agency or look into their website or social media pages to see their job openings. If a job fits your skills. then apply for it. Submit your application online and who knows, you might be able to work again.

Tip No. 2: Look into job database websites.

Apart from the recruitment agency, several job database websites regularly post job openings. Take a look into that as well since there might be a job that is suitable to your skills.

Again, the pay may be less than what you are earning abroad but a job in the Philippines is better than nothing. Explore your options. Don’t forget to update your resume and include latest work experience as well as any trainings you had.

Tip No. 3: Consider online work.

If going out of the house for work doesn’t sound pleasant to you, then try online work.

Online jobs are in demand these days. Take advantage of that and apply to jobs that caters to your skills. The good thing about this is that you don’t have to go out and increase your risk of getting the virus. Everything will be done online, so make sure you also have a stable Internet connection if you will consider this option.

Tip No. 4: Use your connection.

Not all employment opportunities are posted on job database. Some are referral from friends, neighbors, or even relatives.

Now that you’re in the country, why not tap your circle? Ask around if they know someone who might need your skills and experience? They could also refer you to their company in case there are job openings. Of course, you still have to apply but at least, your chances are higher since you were referred by someone from the company itself.

This is why it is important that you maintain a good relationship with anyone. Avoid confrontations or burning bridges with someone. You’ll never know when you’ll need them.

Tip No. 5: Create your own work.

Or another option would be to start your own employment.

The government has several financial assistance programs for OFWs. Take advantage of that and use it to help you grow your money.

Starting an online business now is easier and more convenient because of the available platforms. Utilize those platforms to your advantage. It’s okay to start small because with consistency and hard work, you might be able to grow your business.

The point is don’t give up. It seems like there is a limitation to possibilities but eventually, this pandemic will be over. You will get through this.

#NewNormal : What You Can Do While Waiting For Deployment

Times like this are challenging and frustrating. You want to provide a better life and a more secure future for your family but Covid-19 happened. Worse, you might be stuck home and waiting for deployment until the Philippine government or the country you’re going to gives a green light.

What do you do with your time here? Don’t waste it.

The good news is there are many things you can do online. If you have Internet access, then take this opportunity to learn something new or improve your skills set.

Because of the pandemic, there is a sudden shift from offline work to online. Jobs that are related to technology will also be in demand nowadays since a lot of people will prefer staying home and doing what they can with several clicks.

As you await deployment, here are some productive things you can do:

Improve Digital Skills

Again, there is a shift from offline to online. Business owners, regardless of asset size, are also starting to set up their digital market to expand their reach and make it easier for potential customers to find them.

If this is the trend, then it’s time to improve your digital skills. Make yourself more aware of technological terms. Expand your vocabulary and knowledge to include concepts like e-commerce, online marketing strategy, and social media. There’s so much you can do on Facebook so make sure to explore that as well.

Who knows, this could pave way towards a new career path.

Take Online Courses

Did you know that TESDA offers free courses for OFWs through its Abot OFW program?

It covers several sectors including construction, automotive, processed food and beverage, visual arts, information and communication technology, and electronics among many others.

Make sure to grab this opportunity not only to learn more about your chosen field but also to improve your skills. You can even include your finished courses in your resume, which is a big plus for employers.

You can check out and enrol here.

Watch Video Tutorials

Here is another reason why you will appreciate technology: you learn a lot from it.

If you’re the type who prefers learning by yourself and not into course outline, then you can still improve your skills and learn something new by watching videos. All you need to do is to type in the search bar and you can find tons of information about it.

Still, the key here is consistency. Make sure you allot certain time of the day everyday for this to make sure that you will get better and be able to improve your skills further.

Start Small

The online market is in these days. Why not try this as well? It may not give you the income you’re expecting but at least, it could help you get by.

Food business is a growing market. Instead of joining the bandwagon and serving what others are selling, try to come up with your own product. Try combining different foods and who knows, you could be starting your own trend.

Creativity is important. Be creative in finding new food combinations. It is also important to be creative in presenting your product to the buying public. Make sure to take good photos as well to entice them to buy.

If you’re not into food, then that’s fine, too. You could sell anything, especially in-demand products like school supplies, work-from-home essentials, and homeschooling materials. Take advantage of the distance learning trend for additional income.

Don’t lose hope. This is just a roadblock but it doesn’t mean you cannot win against this. Things will get better soon and it’s up to you on how you want to face the pandemic.

4 Government Assistance Programs For OFWs

Covid-19 pandemic affected a lot of industries – tourism, food sector, hotel industry, and even retail. Apparently, there’s another sector that is greatly affected by this situation: OFWs.

OFWs around the world experienced job loss, thereby forcing them to go back home through repatriation. There are even many OFWs left in their respective host countries but were unable to work or worse, were terminated from employment. Many OFWs were also unable to go to their host country due to government’s travel restriction policies.

The good news is there are still assistance programs sponsored by several government agencies to help OFWs in this trying times.

These are:

Financial Assistance Through DOLE-AKAP Program

This is a one-time financial assistance amounting to P10,000 for affected OFWs. It covers documented workers, Balik-Manggagawa, and undocumented workers but are currently processing their status. You can apply through DOLE or respective POLO in case you are still overseas.

Keep in mind that despite fulfilling all the requirements, there is no assurance that your application will be approved.

You can learn more about this program here.

Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program

Not all OFWs are Metro Manila residents. There are still many overseas workers who live in the provinces. Or some prefer to settle in the city to seek greener pastures.

This program aims to decongest the urban areas and encourage people to go back to their respective provinces. At the same time, this will help boost countryside development. Support and incentives such as transportation, education, and livelihood among others will likewise be given.

You can apply through the Balik Probinsya center in your barangay or apply online by clicking this link.

Livelihood Program Through OWWA

One of the many benefits provided by OWWA or Overseas Workers Welfare Administration is Reintegration program or the mainstreaming of returning OFWs into the Philippine society. This includes financial literacy, job referrals, and business counseling among others.

Due to the pandemic, the agency introduced Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program. This is a livelihood support and assistance program wherein qualified OFWs may receive P20,000, which can be used for start-up or additional capital for the livelihood project.

Requirements include:

  • Application Form
  • Letter of Undertaking that the cash assistance will be used for self-employment or for starting or expansion of own business
  • Certificate of Entrepreneurial Development Training or EDT
  • Business plan or proposal approved by Regional Welfare Office Director, which indicates that the proposed business is feasible and sustainable
  • Proof of repatriation or return to the country such as passport, airline ticket, and other travel documents

If you’re serious about putting up your own business, then you can apply for the Enterprise Development and Loan Program. You can borrow as much as P2 million with 7.5 percent per annum interest rate. However, requirements and procedure are stricter since it has longer terms.

Free Training From TESDA’s ABOT OFW Program

Now that you’re back in the country, you might want to consider looking into trainings offered by TESDA. Various courses were offered including welding, electric installation and maintenance, processed food and beverage, wholesale and retail trading, Information and Communication technology, decorative crafts, and footwear and leather goods among others.

Apart from the free training programs, TESDA also offers scholarship programs for more detailed training. Last May 2020 and with the rising demand on food products, TESDA offers a scholarship program on integrated organic farming,

You can register for any of the TESDA programs through this link.

These assistance programs may not bring the lost earnings but these will be helpful in getting you back on your feet. Look into these closely and give it a try. Who knows, this could lead to something bigger that won’t require you to go work overseas.

4 Positivity Tips To Remember Amidst The Pandemic

It’s hard to maintain a positive outlook, especially during this time. Covid-19 changed the lives of millions of people around the world.

All of a sudden, there was a restriction on movement. You cannot do the things you normally do and enjoy. You have to assume that everyone around you could be a carrier of the virus; hence social distancing measures. In a snap, everything changed.

Because of this, a lot of people went through anxiety or struggled with some mental health issue . There was a feeling of uncertainty, especially when you have a family to feed and loans to pay back home. You could or already lost your job, which is another source of worry.

It may be easier said than done, but there are some things you can do to stay positive amidst the situation:

Tip No. 1: Limit Your Access To Social Media

Social media can be a source of anxiety, especially now that we are bombarded with a lot of fake and negative news. In fact, it can be toxic.

There’s nothing wrong with being informed but as much as possible, reduce the time you spend on social media. Set a time limit and make sure to stick to it. You may not notice but limiting your access will have a good impact on your mental health because you’re able to lessen toxicity.

Tip No. 2: Don’t Believe Everything You Read

This is another issue with social media. There are tons of information available online and honestly, it’s becoming harder to distinguish which among those info are real or not.

As a rule, don’t believe everything you see and read. Verify your news sources first before you share anything. Stick to credible and trustworthy news sites to make sure that you are properly informed. Otherwise, you could be a victim of a fake news.

Tip No. 3: Connect With Your Family

This is important. Family should be our source of strength and comfort. Make it a habit to continuously talk to them and keep them informed of what’s happening.

The good news is there are tons of platforms available that will allow you to talk to your family even if you are miles away. Instead of checking your Facebook, do a video chat or send them messages. The point is take advantage of that because at this point, you need assurance and love from the people back home.

Tip No. 4: Look For An Outlet

It’s easy to be negative and focus on the bad side of things. Unfortunately, this is not healthy in general.

It is hard but take this opportunity to discover something new. You can try enrolling in free classes to keep yourself updated. This is something you can boast of in your resume as well. Or rediscover old hobbies. Or try something new by learning a new skill.

Having an outlet will help in keeping you distracted from all the negativity in this world. Instead of focusing on the not-so-good side, you take this opportunity to improve yourself, which can also be helpful in the long run. Plus, don’t you just love it when you unlock a new skill? Who knows, this could lead to something great and could potentially open doors for you.

How To Cope In Case You Lost Your Job During Covid-19 Pandemic

Since the world became aware of coronavirus, everyone was in panic. What will happen next? Will this infect us? How can we go on with our lives amidst the pandemic?

But the most important question right now is what happens to your job, especially since you are working overseas.

Since the strict implementation of the lockdown, thousands of OFWs were either repatriated or not allowed to leave the country. Worse, millions of Filipinos are now jobless – the highest rate so far.

Times like this are extremely difficult, especially if you lost your job you so worked hard for. There is no assurance that everything will be okay in a few months time, but we do hope these tips will help you get through:

It’s Not Your Fault

Covid-19 affected everyone. Companies, even if they don’t want to, were forced to close down to minimize losses.

In case you lost your job, don’t blame yourself. This won’t help as well.

Acknowledge Your Emotions

You might be experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions due to job loss – anger, fear, worry, anxiety, and the list goes on. That’s normal. You have a family to feed and a long list of loans and other payables to pay so feeling these emotions is part of the process.

Acknowledge these emotions but don’t let these consume you. Otherwise, it will affect your way of thinking, which will make it harder for you to strategize on what to do next. Keep in mind that these feelings are temporary and you will get through this eventually.

Since you’re at it, take this time to reflect as well. Examine what you could’ve done to improve your performance. This is a good opportunity to look into how you were at work and vow to do better the next time.

Claim Your Employment Benefits

This is important. You might lose your job but this doesn’t your employer is exempted from not giving what is due to you. Make sure you demand your salary and benefits as stated in your employment contract.

Aside from your employer, the government also offers financial assistance amounting to P10,000 to OFWs. You can avail of this benefit as well. This one-time cash assistance may not be that much but it is still helpful.

Reach Out To Your Family

This is also important. At this point, you need the comfort and love coming from your family. Tell them what happened and be honest about your situation. Do not sugarcoat your reality because they need to be aware of what’s happening as well. This way, they can also make adjustments.

Of course, they will need your job but they will understand your situation and help you get through it.

Look For A Distraction

Dealing with job loss especially during this time can be difficult. While it’s okay to acknowledge those emotions, don’t focus on those alone. Instead, look for a distraction.

It could be rediscovering an old hobby or learning a new skill. You might also want to take advantage of courses online to help you improve your portfolio. Treat this as an opportunity and put it into good use.

Examine Other Sources Of Income

In the meantime, look for other sources of income. Online selling is in these days, so that’s an option you can try. Online jobs are also popular, which could give you extra income. If you have a particular service you can offer, say housekeeping or maintenance work, then do so.

There are many opportunities so don’t be afraid to explore.

We understand the situation you are in. Do know that this, too, shall pass. Take this time to explore something new and who knows, it could lead to something bigger.