In a previous post, we shared about POEA, its mandate, and the key services this agency offers to OFWs. Apparently, POEA cannot work alone. It needs another arm in ensuring that the rights and welfare of Filipino migrant workers are prioritized.
This is where OWWA or the Overseas Welfare Workers Administration comes into the picture.
Whether you are an existing Overseas Filipino Worker or an aspiring one, here’s what you need to know about OWWA and find out how they can help you.
Who is OWWA?
Similar to POEA, OWWA is also an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment. The agency’s primary role is to protect and promote the welfare and well-being of OFWs and their respective families.
OWWA has two-fold mandate:
- Delivery of welfare services and benefits
- Ensure capital build-up and fund viability
Its main difference with POEA is that OWWA handles OFW concerns who are already working abroad.
What are the programs and services do OWWA offer?
Social Benefits (can be availed during the duration of the contract)
- Disability and dismemberment benefits up to P100,000 for injuries sustained overseas
- Death benefits up to P100,000 for natural death and P200,000 if death is caused by accident
Education and Training Assistance
- Country-specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS), a mandatory seminar for all departing migrant workers,
- Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP), which is for Household Service Workers
- Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP)
- Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), which is a scholarship grant for qualified OFW beneficiaries or dependents who plans to enroll in a four- or five-year course in any preferred college or university.
- OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (OFWDSP), which is a scholarship grant for qualified OFW beneficiaries or dependents who plans to enroll in a four- or five-year course in a state college or university.
- Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Program (CMWSP) for either the migrant worker or immediate descendants who want to enroll in any Science and Technology course.
- Educational Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP), which is in the form of allowance. This is given in case of death of OFW-OWWA member.
- Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) for technical or vocational courses
- Information Technology (IT) Training Program
Workers Welfare Assistance Program
- On-site assistance and services such as airport assistance, psycho-social counselling, mediation or conciliation with employer, and providing legal assistance among others.
- In-country assistance extended to OFW families
- Post-repatriation assistance such as temporary shelter, stress debriefing, transportation allowance, and referral.
Social Services and Family Welfare Services
- Repatriation Assistance Program for distressed, physically or mentally ill, and of human remains of the migrant worker.
- Reintegration Program or popularly known as OWWA Loan. The purpose of this program is to help OFWs find the most appropriate and sustainable business so you will no longer have to leave the country. Click here to know more about OWWA Loan.
Take note that OWWA membership is imperative to make sure you enjoy these programs and benefits. To become a member, you must pay a membership fee worth $25 (or its peso equivalent) once you apply as OFW.
Are you still curious about OWWA benefits? You can check this site to learn more about your benefits as OFWs.