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.