PAG-IBIG Offers Housing Loan Restructuring Program For Borrowers

Being an OFW is a sacrifice. You have to leave your family behind for at least two years to be able to give them a better and more secured life. This includes food on the table, bills being paid, education for your kids, and of course, a house you can call your own.

Buying your own house can be heavy on the budget, which is why many OFWs take advantage of PAG-IBIG’s Housing Loan Program. Compared to the housing loans offered by banks and other financial institutions, PAG-IBIG has lower interest rate for easier repayment scheme.

Unfortunately, Covid-19 happened. This prompted hundreds of thousands of Filipinos to go back home while there are still thousands more who cannot go back for variety of reasons. By going home, this means leaving your work that could greatly affect your cash flow. This could be a cause of concern especially if you have pending loans such as housing loan.

If you coursed your Housing Loan with PAG-IBIG, then there’s good news for you. PAG-IBIG is now offering a more affordable monthly amortization and payment relief through the Home Loan Restructuring Program.

Here’s what you need to know about it:

What is the Special Housing Loan Restructuring Program?

This program is offered by PAG-IBIG to all its Housing Loan borrowers who were greatly affected by the pandemic. Through the restructuring program, borrowers can enjoy:

  • Extended loan term
  • Lower monthly interest rate
  • Delayed payment for the principal loan amount, which can be paid towards the end of the loan term
  • Waiver of penalty charges imposed on unpaid monthly amortization
  • Payment relief, which means borrower can opt to start paying the loan anytime between December 2020 and March 2021

Through this program, borrowers will have a lower risk of losing the house.

In case you’re interested of buying a property from any PAG-IBIG Fund acquired asset, you can also apply under the Restructuring Fund.

Features Of Special Housing Loan Restructuring Program

  • Unpaid amortizations will be carried over and made part of the restructured loan
  • Interest rate of 6.375 percent per annum for three years
  • Loan term of up to 30 years, as long as the principal borrower does not reach the age of 70 by the time the loan matures
  • No documentary requirements needed for submission
  • No processing fee
  • No downpayment
  • The program comes with Mortgage/Sales Redemption Insurance and Non-Life Insurance, which serves as a guarantee of payment in case something happens to the principal borrower. Take note that the borrower must pay an equivalent of one year premium within 30 days from the time the loan application is approved.
  • Can be applied to more than one PAG-IBIG Housing Loans

Who can apply?

The Special Housing Loan Restructuring Program is open to all PAG-IBIG Housing Loan borrowers with unpaid monthly amortizations of up to 12 months by August 2020. This means if you were not able to pay the monthly amortization for 13 months and above, then you cannot qualify for this service.

Also, borrowers with cancelled PAG-IBIG Housing Loan or the property was already foreclosed or a subject of litigation cannot apply for this program.

How To Apply

To apply for this program, you can visit the Virtual PAG-IBIG website, which you can also access here. For OFWs, you can access the website here. The online process will be safer, faster, easier, and more secured.

After filling out the necessary information, you will receive a Reference Number, which serves as proof that the agency received your loan application. Keep this since you can use this to check the status of your loan application.

If approved, you will receive a text or email message saying that your loan application is approved. Make sure that your email address and mobile message are active.

What happens if your application is denied?

Don’t worry. PAG-IBIG offers the following programs to help their borrowers settle unpaid amortizations, update their status, and reduce the risk of losing their home:

  • Regular Housing Loan Restructuring Program
  • Non-Performing Asset Resolution Program
  • Plan of Payment

Make sure to avail of this program to enjoy payment relief offered by the agency. As per website, PAG-IBIG will accept applications until December 15 only.

7 Online Business Ideas You Can Try While Waiting For Deployment

It’s not easy to stay in the country, especially when you know that there are bigger and better opportunities overseas. You have mouths to feed and you need to ensure that your family will have a better future; hence you seek greener pastures.

Because of the pandemic, you have no choice but to either go back home or wait for the lifting of travel restrictions so you can apply overseas again. Unfortunately, bills won’t stop coming and your kids need gadgets as they go to their online classes. Your emergency fund is slowly depleting because of the never-ending expenses.

At this point, you decided to venture into online business to earn extra. Even with limited funds, you can still do these business ideas, some perfect for the coming Christmas:

Covid-19 Essential Items

Because of the pandemic, there is a sudden demand for face masks and face shield. Alcohol and other disinfectants are also among the most sought after products. These are now considered as essential items and whatever happens, people will buy these products because they are needed.

Find a supplier with a friendly, reasonable rate and then sell the items online. Your prices must also be within the SRP otherwise, people won’t buy from you. Consider selling items in bundle, say face mask plus face shield, or give free delivery to attract customers. Once you build your customer base, you can start adding other products.

Homecooked Meals

This is among the popular businesses today. Despite the presence of many food sellers, selling homecooked can still be a good business for the simplest reason: who doesn’t eat?

If you have a dish that you can be proud of, then go ahead and offer it. The good thing about this business is that you don’t need to shell out a huge amount of capital. Simply buy the ingredients and containers and you can start selling your famous dishes.

Baked Sweets And Goodies

If cooking is not your thing, then try baking instead. A lot of people can’t say no to a box of chocolate chip cookies or brownies. Everyone needs a bag of pandesal, too.

You can follow the mainstream but if you want to stand out, then try coming up with new food combinations. This will make it easier for you to break into the market.

Make Your Own Beverages

Have you noticed the sudden rise in coffee sellers? You probably saw on Facebook a lot of people selling handcrafted beverages, too. There are even some who focus on cocktails, which can also be a potential for business.

Coffee, milk tea, fruit juices, or even as simple as samalamig, selling drinks can be a good business because who doesn’t need it, right?

Sell Your Preloved Items

For sure, you got tons of items bought when you were still working overseas. You might have unused clothes, shoes, or even items like watch and perfume lying around the house. Why not sell these items and make money out of it.

You can also sell preloved items. Just make sure these items are in very good condition so you can make a good deal out of it.

Become A Reseller

Being a reseller is one of the easiest things you can do if you want to venture into online selling. There are many things you can sell such as food, skincare products, clothes, books, and the list is endless. The good thing about this business is that you don’t have to make a particular product. In case stocks are running out, you simply have to order again from your supplier.

Still, don’t take lightly. Even if it’s not yours, per se, you are responsible for the brand/s you are carrying.

Courier Service

Companies like Grab and Lalamove are on the rise these days because many people are resorting to online shopping. If you have a motorcycle, then maximize it and offer courier services.

Some startup companies prefer in-house delivery service so if you’re up for it, then offer your services. Or advertise this service on your social media accounts. Just make sure to follow health protocols so you won’t get Covid-19.

Earning additional income these days will help a lot in augmenting financial difficulties. Keep in mind that online selling will not be easy. You need to set yourself apart from the other sellers to make your business stand out.

There is no perfect formula but it helps if you will offer unique products, sell items with reasonable prices, immediately respond to customers, and be respectful. Who knows, it might be a stepping stone to something bigger.

POEA Guidelines On Deployment And Repatriation Of Filipino Seafarers

Overseas Filipino Workers are heavily affected because of the pandemic. According to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, more than 174,000 OFWs were repatriated since the start of the pandemic (1).

However, repatriation is easier for land-based workers since their location can be identified easily. What about seafarers?

Unfortunately, it is more challenging for seafarers to be repatriated by the government. An estimated 300,000 migrant seafarers around the world were unable to disembark and forced to stay in the shipping vessel due to restrictions (2). In the Philippines, about 80,000 Filipino seamen are stranded at sea and have lapsed contracts, although the government is doing the best it can to bring them home (3). Nonetheless, job openings keep on coming and there are still thousands who are considering getting a job at sea.

In line with this, the government, through the POEA, released Governing Board Resolution No. 13, which serves as a guide on the deployment and repatriation of Filipino seafarers.

Here’s what you need to know:

When the seafarer cannot be deployed due to Covid-19 –

Let’s say you already have a signed Employment Contract and all your documentation requirements are complete. You are also scheduled to leave on a certain date – until Covid-19 happened.

Due to travel restrictions that resulted to flight cancellations and regulations issued either by the Philippine government or your country destination, you cannot be deployed.

In that case, the seafarer shall be provided food and accommodation at the principal or employer’s cost. This will be until the seafarer is deployed OR the contract was cancelled.

When the seafarer was deployed BUT become stranded during transit –

You were finally allowed to leave the country. On your way to the country destination, you were stranded because of Covid-19 related reasons. You can’t even go home due to flight limitations.

If you were stranded during transit, then you will also have the right to paid basic pay, accommodation, food, and medical benefits at the cost of the principal or employer. This is until the seafarer is able to join the vessel.

If the seafarer’s service was terminated for a just cause but not related to Covid-19 –

If the seafarer is stranded and cannot go back home because of the pandemic, then the employer shall provide food, accommodation, and medical benefits at their cost until the seafarer can go back to the Philippines.

The employer or principal can recover the costs in accordance with the Employment Contract or Collective Bargaining Agreement.

In case of repatriation –

When a seafarer is bound for repatriation due to reasons related to Covid-19, then s/he is entitled to paid basic pay, accommodation, food, and medical benefits at the expense of the principal or employer. This is until the seafarer is repatriated and able to come home in accordance to Philippine protocols on OFW repatriation.

OFWs may avail of the Balik Probinsiya program so you can go back to your province. In the meantime and while in the quarantine facility, seafarers shall be provided food and accommodation at principal or employer’s expenses, unless otherwise provided by the government.

In case the seafarer cannot be repatriated

There are several situations to consider:

  • If the seafarer cannot join the ship and currently in a quarantine facility shouldered by the principal or employer, then paid basic pay as well as benefits such as food and medical must be given until the seafarer either joins the ship or goes back to the Philippines.
  • If the seafarer completed his period of contractual service and his/her replacement is already on board, then s/he must be paid basic pay and afforded food, accommodation, and medical benefits by the employer or principal until s/he gets back home.
  • If the seafarer is still ashore despite the end of employment contract, then same benefits mentioned previously must be given.

Take note that these guidelines are in effect until March 15, 2022. It may be lifted or extended, depending on the situation. Nonetheless, let us all hope and pray for better days ahead.


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Project EASE: P10,000 Financial Assistance For OFW Children

According to the Department of Education, there are seven million Filipino children who did not enroll for the school year 2020 – 2021 (1). This is not a good sign.

Unenrollment may be due to several factors: lack of confidence on how effective distance learning is or limitation on tools and access to technology. On the other hand, the most common reason is lack of funds as a result of the parents’ unemployment.

For OFW families, this could also be the problem. The OFW sector is heavily hit by the pandemic as thousands of migrant workers were either repatriated or no longer allowed to leave due to strict restrictions whether in the Philippines or host country (2).

In line with the this, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration or OWWA launched Project EASE, an educational aid for OFW families.

What Is Project EASE?

Educational Assistance through Scholarship in Emergencies or Project EASE is an education assistance to qualified college-dependents of active OWWA members whose employment was affected by the pandemic since February 1, 2020. By active members, this could mean:

  • Land-based workers
  • Sea-based workers
  • Balik Manggagawa

This educational assistance provides P10,000 per annum for a maximum of four years.

So far, the agency allocated P400 million for the implementation of the project on its first year.

Who are qualified for this educational assistance?

Eligible dependent of active OWWA members include:

  • Child of married or single parent – OFW
  • Sibling of single OFW

The beneficiary can also be an incoming college freshman or currently enrolled in college.

For married OFW couples, you are only entitled to only one slot.

Take note that if your dependent is already getting other educational assistance from OWWA such as Education for Development Scholarship Program or EDSP, ODSP, or ELAP-Education, then s/he can no longer avail of the benefits of Project EASE.

What are the requirements?

  1. Accomplished Application Form. You can access the form by clicking on this link.
  2. Valid passport of OFW-member
  3. Flight ticket of boarding pass or arrival stamp/sticker attached in the passport. This will serve as evidence that the active OWWA member arrived in the country after February 1, 2020.
  4. Official Receipt or other proof of validation that will show that the OFW is also an active OWWA member
  5. Student-applicant’s proof of relationship to OWWA member such as Birth Certificate for married or single parent OFW OR Certificate of No Marriage and Birth Certificates of both the OFW and the sibling if active member is single.
  6. Certificate of Grades of the student-applicant indicating the grades from last school year or semester. Take note that there should be NO failing grade in any subject.

How to Apply For Project EASE

  1. Fill out the online application form.
  2. Submit all the requirements through the OWWA RWO email. You can check this link for the OWWA Regional Welfare Office that covers your area.
  3. You will receive a tracking number or serial reference, which will be sent on your registered mobile number or email address. You can use this reference to monitor the status of your application. In case of incomplete documents, the respective OWWA RWO will also inform you through SMS or email.
  4. If approved, OWWA will send you a Scholarship Agreement. Download, print, and then sign the document. This must also be notarized.
  5. Send the Scholarship Agreement via courier on the designated OWWA RWO that handled the application.
  6. Financial assistance will be sent to the designated bank account. Take note that the bank account must be under the name of the beneficiary. Otherwise, you will be required to open a savings account under your child or sibling’s name.

Keep in mind that this educational assistance will not cover your child or sibling’s entire tuition fee. Nonetheless, it could help augment various expenses like books and other school materials.

For more details, you can visit OWWA website.

Note: Balikbayad is NOT affiliated or related with OWWA. This article is merely for informational purposes only.




Dealing With Unemployment At The Time Of Pandemic

The latest data shows that 45.5 percent or 23.7 million Filipinos are unemployed as of July 2020. This is an all-time high considering the unemployment rate last December 2019, which is at 17.5 percent. The highest unemployment rate prior to lockdown was recorded

There are many reasons attributed to unemployment. Apparently, the most obvious of such is the longest-running lockdown that forced people to stay at home and caused businesses to close, initially temporarily and eventually, permanently.

OFWs are also affected. Those who were in their host countries were repatriated since their employers were likewise forced to shut down or suspend their business and lay off “redundant” workers. OFWs who were about to go to their respective host countries were forced to stay home due to the lockdown.

But first, what is unemployment?

For the Social Weather Stations or SWS, unemployment means the worker or employee:

  • Voluntarily left his or her job
  • Looking for a job for the first time
  • Lost their existing employment due to economic circumstances beyond their control

In this situation, the Covid-19 pandemic caused many businesses, specifically Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises or MSMEs, to close down and stop their operations to minimize business losses.

Worse, no sector was spared. Regardless of where you are in the country, unemployment rate is at its peak, which is at 40-something mark. Women were greatly affected with unemployment rate at 56 percent.

In terms of age group, the younger generation were affected the most. Unemployment rate for those between 18 and 24 years of age is pegged at 63 percent. This age group was followed by those between 25 and 34 years old at 49 percent.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find a job as of this writing. The country – and many others around the world – is experiencing recession. This means the economy is gloomy and it will take time before the country gets back on its feet.

What can you do if you become unemployed?

This doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do about this. If you are part of the statistics, then there are ways to help you ride this out and survive.

These tips might help:

  • Claim for Unemployment Benefits

Even if you lost your job as a result of pandemic, employers are still obligated to give you your separation pay and other benefits. Talk to the HR Department and submit necessary requirements to make a claim.

  • Make Use Of Government Assistance Programs

The good news is help is still available. The government, through Bayanihan Heal As One Act, launched several financial assistance programs through various agencies.

Still, take note that not all request for financial assistance will be granted. This will still depend on the availability of funds despite submitting complete requirements.

  • Watch Out For Any Job Openings

Despite high unemployment rate, there are still companies that are hiring. Consider looking into job hiring sites to check if there are openings fit for your skills and work experience.

Online work is also available these days. Make sure you ask around from friends and relatives if they know someone who are in need of your skills.

Looking for a new job could be tiring, but you have to try it, right?

  • Start Your Own Small Business

While waiting for a new job, consider starting your own small business.

A lot of people turned to social media to promote their products or service. You can do the same. The income may not be as big compared to how much you’re earning overseas, but this could be a good source.

Check out this post for small business ideas you can try.

Unemployment is a tough situation to be in, especially at the time of pandemic. Still, don’t lose hope. You and your family will get through this.

Small Business Ideas You Can Try Even With Low Capital

If you’re an OFW, you’re either in the country where you’re working or back in the Philippines, which is most likely the latter.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, more than 31,000 OFWs as of May 2020 – and this number is still increasing (1). Aside from this, thousands of Filipino workers are unable to leave the country to work overseas. Surely, this created an impact, especially financially.

Still, this doesn’t mean it’s over. The pandemic affected everyone’s way of life and living but this doesn’t mean you cannot do something about it. While you’re still awaiting deployment or planning to look for a new job, here are business ideas you can do first and who knows, this could venture into something bigger:


Who doesn’t love sweets? If you or anyone in the family have a knack for baking, then you can put those skills into good use and start baking. The good thing about this business is that you need less than P10k for capital, especially if you already have basic tools like mixer and measuring devices.

Chocolate chip cookies and brownies are common favorites but if you want people to notice, then think of something that is not yet offered in the market. Remember the ube cheese pandesal craze?


If baking is not your passion, then cooking could bring in some extra cash – and this is doing good, so far. Many people are always in the lookout for new dishes to try and if you happen to have a family favorite, then why not share and sell it?

Weekly meal plans are also click these days since many people are starting to become more conscious. If you opted for this, then careful meal planning is necessary since you have to prepare four meals for one week.

Costing is crucial, so don’t sell your products too low to lose profit or too high to lose customers. Explore your options when sourcing your products. Supermarkets have higher prices but you are assured of the safety and cleanliness of the food products.


Grab, Lalamove, and Mr. Speedy are in demand nowadays. If you prefer a set-up you can control, why not partner with online sellers you know and offer delivery services? You will have to service a few instead of waiting for the transaction to come in. You can negotiate your fees as well, so it’s a win-win situation for both parties.

Still, this requires a smartphone and motorcycle. If you already have one, then make use of it now. Otherwise, you have to buy one, which will cost P40,000 or less, depending on the brand.


Milk tea are popular for quite sometime. But if you want to stand out in the market, then offer drinks that caters to health-conscious individuals or those who are into a specific diet.

Selling drinks is among the low-cost but profitable business ideas because let’s face it, who doesn’t drink, right? It’s a hit, too, regardless of the weather.


if you or anyone in the family has a knack for anything tech-related, then consider this business. Web design is in demand these days because many companies are transitioning and slowly going digital. A lot of startup companies are also in need of this service, so take advantage of this as well.


Thinking of what to sell and making these products can be time consuming. The good news is there are tons of online sellers who are looking for resellers of their products. This way, they could reach a wider market – and this is where you come in.

What’s good about being a reseller is that you don’t have to be involved in the actual process. You can also re-sell multiple products, as long these products are not directly competing. This could result to higher income as well.

Storage is an important factor, especially if you will resell frozen goods. Make sure you have sufficient space as well and always be mindful of your inventory.

This pandemic compromised your plans for your family but this doesn’t mean you cannot do something to salvage the situation. Business may be slow and small at first but with hard work, effort, and help from family and friends to support your venture in social media, things will get better soon. Have faith.



The Possible Effects Of Covid-19 On OFWs And Overseas Employment, In General

According to the Department of Labor and Employment, almost 100,000 OFWs were stranded worldwide because of the coronavirus. These OFWs were either affected by:

  • Lockdown policies in their respective host countries
  • Distressed workers who are seeking repatriation
  • Expired contracts but cannot go back to the Philippines due to travel restrictions

Majority of these workers are coming from Middle East countries.

Here comes the scary part: this is just the beginning. Aside from tourism, overseas employment will most likely be affected by the pandemic.

Here’s how:

Lower Remittance

In 2019, OFW remittances went as high as $33.9 billion or 10 percent of the country’s GDP (1). These remittances have a positive impact on the country’s foreign exchange earnings. As a result, there is balance of payments, it strengthens the Philippine currency, and an increase in foreign reserves.

More importantly, it goes straight to the household. This means OFW families have sufficient spending power to buy not just what they need but also what they want.

Sadly, overseas employment is greatly affected by the pandemic. This means there will be lower remittances, too.

The New Normal In The Workplace

The hashtag #newnormal is trending – and it’s not surprising why. A lot of adjustments will be made by different industries to minimize the spread of the virus.

The same goes for the workplace.

Most companies around the world are making necessary adjustments to reduce the possibility of infection. Surely, social distancing will be strictly implemented. Companies will also be forced to institute a rotational workforce to reduce the number of workers inside the company premises. They might also implement shortened work hours in the company.

Lower Overseas Employment Opportunities

Countries around the world are enforcing travel restrictions to minimize the possibility of spreading the virus. More so, the government will prioritize their own citizens first. There could also be economic issues involved as every country in the world is trying to recover. Sadly, this will greatly affect overseas employment opportunities.

In the meantime, you can still look for jobs that will fit your credentials. When everything is slowly getting back to normal, you can apply again.

Temporary Or Indefinite Unemployment

This is true whether here or abroad. There are a lot of OFWs stranded abroad because thy are unable to go back home due to the travel ban. There are also a lot of workers who are still in the Philippines and cannot go to their host country because of the restrictions imposed. Worse, there are companies that opt not to renew or cancel the worker’s contract due to economic difficulties.

Changes In In-Demand Jobs

Because of the pandemic, there is a higher demand for healthcare workers both here and overseas. This could be a good income opportunity.

Aside from those in the medical field, there is also a growing demand for workers who are knowledgeable in technology. People will constantly look for ways to make their lives easier, especially when it comes to shopping and paying the bills. Apps will constantly by developed and creation of websites will be on the rise; hence work opportunities.

Still, this doesn’t mean other fields are no longer needed. Companies are waiting it out and when everyone is safe, the demand will rise again.

Health Is Key

There’s a reason why companies require future employees to go through medical exam. They need to know and make sure that you are fit to work.

Because of Covid-19, there is a possibility that medical exams will be taken more seriously. Companies need to ensure that you are fit to work, whether physically, mentally, and emotionally. This way, both parties can focus on work and not worry about being sent home.



DOLE-AKAP Program For OFWs

The Covid-19 pandemic hit us hard, regardless of where you are in the world. But one of the groups who were heavily affected was you, overseas Filipino workers.

The reality is there is a threat of losing your job because the company you’re working for sustained heavy financial losses and may have to downsize. You cannot get side jobs for additional income because people need money for themselves as well. There are also a lot of OFWs who had no choice but to be repatriated.

What is the government’s response to the burden carried out by thousands of OFWs? DOLE-AKAP program.

What is DOLE-AKAP for OFWs?

This program of the Department of Labor and Employment is intended for displaced OFWs as a result of Covid-19. Its main purpose is to provide one-time financial assistance of USD 200.00 or P10,000 or its equivalent to the local currency where the OFW is currently located.

This is part of DOLE’s Covid-19 Adjustment Measure Program or CAMP amounting to P1.5 billion.

DOLE-AKAP covers:

  • Regular or Documented Workers – these are OFWs with valid passport, has appropriate visa or permit to work in the receiving country, and has Contract of Employment processed by POEA or POLO.
  • Qualified, Undocumented Workers – these are OFWs originally regular or documented workers but lost their status for some reason, OR whose contracts were not processed by POEA or POLO but have taken actions to regularize their contracts and status, OR active OWWA members at the time of the availment.
  • Balik Manggagawa – these are OFWs who are unable to return to their host country due to Covid-19.

What are the qualifications?

  • Worker must experience job displacement due to the receiving country’s lockdown or quarantine policies.
  • Worker was infected by Covid-19.
  • Must still be in the overseas jobsite and currently experiencing “no work, no pay,” or in the Philippines as Balik-Manggagawa, or already repatriated in the country
  • Has not yet received any financial support or assistance from employer or receiving country

How to Apply For DOLE-AKAP?

If you are still onsite / in the country where you are currently working –

Make sure you coordinate with your respective POLO. Each POLO has respective downloaded application forms. Once you secured a copy, fill it up and submit with it the following documents:

  • Copy of passport or travel document
  • Proof of overseas employment like work visa, residence ID, or OEC
  • Proof of loss of employment on the account of Covid-19
  • Proof that you are currently regularizing your worker status

POLO will evaluate your application within five working days. If approved, concerned POLO will release USD 200 through bank transfer or money remittance.

If you were repatriated / Balik-Manggagawa –

Step 1: Visit DOLE-AKAP online. You can access it by clicking here.

Step 2: Fill out the necessary information. Then click Next.

Step 3: Upload the following documents:

  • Passport or Travel Document
  • Flight ticket, boarding pass, or arrival stamp sticker on your passport. This serves as evidence that you returned to the Philippines.
  • Proof of overseas employment such as work visa, OEC, or Permit to Stay
  • Proof of loss employment due to Covid-19 or that the receiving country are included in the list of heavily-affected countries such as Notice of Termination of Employment, closure of the company issued by foreign recruitment agency or employer, Incident Report on termination of employment submitted to respective POLO, or Certification of Displacement issued by the Philippine Embassy or Consulate or POLO
  • For undocumented workers, upload proof of your intention to regularize your stay in the host country such as work visa, employment contract, and payslip.

Step 4: Once uploaded, click Submit. A confirmation prompt will appear.

Step 5: Check your email for the system-generated confirmation receipt. Take note of this.

Step 6: OWWA officers will review your application. They will contact you so make sure you have all the necessary documents on hand. Once approved, your application will be submitted to the DOLE Regional Office concerned.

Step 7: The cash aid will be transferred to your account within five working days.

As of this writing, 86,000 OFWs, both in and out of the Philippines, were given cash aid by the agency. The agency is currently targetting up to 150,000 overseas Filipino workers who were affected by the pandemic.

How To Cope With Covid-19 While Overseas

You already heard or read about it somewhere. As of this writing, hundreds of thousands of people around the world are infected with Covid-19. Thousands were already dead since the virus was discovered late last year. Worse, millions around the world are unsure as to what will happen and how to recover when all of this is over.

This includes you.

You might be worried of the future since your bread and butter is temporarily halted. Because of the lockdown imposed by the government where you are located, you cannot work – and no work means no pay as well. Surely, you are more worried about your family back home, who is also dependent on remittances.

Times like this can be stressful. You might be anxious and has this urgency to go home but you can’t because of the imposed lockdown. The government, as much as they want, might not recommend repatriation because of the increased risk.

While this may be easier said that done, here are some tips to help you cope with coronavirus even while overseas:

Tip No. 1: Observe Proper Hygiene

Regardless of where you are, hygiene is a must. Covid-19 can be spread easily if we don’t practice proper hygiene, especially when going out.

Wash your hands regularly, sanitize and disinfect your home, and keep yourself clean at all times. Some say wearing a mask is not helpful, but you’ll never know who you’ll interact with so it’s better to have some protection. It won’t hurt if you use gloves, too, especially when going out.

Tip No. 2: Practice Social Distancing

This is a must. Close contact is among the easiest ways to spread the virus. As much as possible, practice social distancing or at least one meter away from other people.

Avoid crowded places. If possible, bulk up as much as you can to minimize your trips outside and increase your chances of catching the virus.

If you know someone who is sick, regardless of the cause, then it is best to stay away from that person – for now.

Tip No. 3: Maximize Technology

You could be missing your family now more than ever. Unfortunately, you cannot go home because of the risk.

Thankfully, there’s technology. Unlike decades ago, all you need is an Internet connection and Facebook account, and you can talk to your loved ones back home. Make sure to keep them updated of your situation because surely, they are worrying about you, too.

Tip No. 4: It’s Time To Bring Out Your Emergency Fund

We cannot stress enough the importance of having an emergency fund. Again, you’ll never know what will happen so it is best to be prepared.

The issue with imposed lockdowns means you cannot work as much as you want to. This could affect your current money status since you still need some to survive. If that’s the case, then you will need to use your Emergency Fund since, well, the situation is considered as emergency.

Tip No. 5: Take Care Of Yourself

Unfortunately, Covid-19 is deadlier on elderly people and those who are immuno-compromised or with underlying medical conditions. Even if you don’t have hypertension or diabetes among many medical conditions, this doesn’t mean you will be spared from contracting the virus.

That being said, make sure to take care of yourself not just for your own sake but also for your family. Get sufficient amount of sleep, exercise as much as you can, and eat healthy. A strong immune system is what people need these days and you need that as well.

Soon, this will be over and everyone could go back to their normal lives. While we all wait for that day, brace for impact and stay as healthy as you can.

7 Signs You Should Leave Your Job Overseas

They say OFW life is not for everyone. That could be true. Can you just imagine battling with homesickness and living in a foreign country you’ve never been to?

Being an OFW requires tons of sacrifices – starting from the application process to adjusting to your new life overseas. Even going back home can be stressful as well, especially if you cannot present the required documents.

Nonetheless, there are instances that tell you that it’s time to go home even without finishing your contract. As much as it hurts to leave early, you have no choice.

Here are signs that tell you that you need to leave your job:

Sign No. 1: You Are Sickly

There is a reason why employers require medical exam. They need to know that you are physically fit to handle the job. Otherwise, your application will be rejected.

If you notice that you are becoming sickly up to the point where you cannot fulfill your job properly, then it’s probably best to go home. Your employer will most likely terminate your contract since you are not physically fit for the job.

Sign No. 2: Your Mental Health Is Suffering

Aside from being physically fit, OFWs must also be mentally fit.

Being away from your family could take a toll in your mental health. Some might be depressed, will experience homesickness, or will get paranoid. While it’s normal to be sad and feel worried, what employers don’t like is when these emotions are taking a toll on the job.

Perhaps, OFW life is not for you.

Sign No. 3: You Experience Abuse

This is a serious situation. Abuse, in whatever form, is and will never be tolerated. This could mean verbal abuse, bullying,

If you experience abuse from your employer or even your co-employees, then it’s best to go home. Make sure you coordinate with the Philippine Embassy since they have a Repatriation Program that helps distressed Filipinos into going back home.

Sign No. 4: You Were Scammed

Sometimes, it’s not your employer’s fault as to why you need to go back home. Sadly, illegal recruitment is still prevalent and if you happen to be a victim, you need to consider going back to the Philippines.

First, illegal recruitment is prohibited by law. Second, this would mean that you are an undocumented OFW. If the officials in the country where you’re working finds out that you don’t have legitimate papers, then consequences will follow. Some will put you in jail while others may have you deported.

The bottom line is be more careful and vigilant. Pay extra attention to the agency you are dealing with and check its status in the POEA website to see if it is a legitimate and licensed recruitment agency.

Sign No. 5: You Don’t Have Enough Opportunity For Growth

Surely, you don’t want to do the same things over and over. As much as possible, you want to improve and get better in your chosen career path.

But if you notice that you’ve been doing the same job, or you’re not given the opportunity to showcase your skill, or your voice doesn’t matter, or there is limited room for improvement and growth, then it’s time for a check.

Perhaps, there is a different path somewhere around the world where you will be able to thrive and showcase who you are.

Sign No. 6: The Salary Is Not Enough

Let’s face it. The real reason why you sought greener pastures outside the country is because of the amount of money you will make. You have tons of responsibilities and you want to make sure that you will be able to do something about those.

But if you are not being properly compensated considering your skills or work experience, or your employer is stripping your benefits despite what was written in the employment contract, the maybe it’s best to leave your job abroad.

Know your worth because you deserve fair compensation.

Sign No. 7: You Want A Career Change

Here’s the thing about being an adult: sometimes, you still cannot figure out what you want. You’ll only learn about what you really need when you are tasked to do something and you realized that you weren’t happy. You want to try something new because you need not only bigger pay but also the opportunity to try something new.

Plus, you’re getting bored with your job and everything seems like a routine to you. In that case, you need to figure it out what you really want.

Given these signs, do you need to leave your job overseas? Only you can answer that.