Overseas Filipino Workers are regarded as bagong bayani – and there are various reasons why. For starters, the amount of remittances sent to the Philippines increases the dollar reserves, thereby helping the economy. OFWs also gives their families a chance to improve lives.
This is why it is not surprising why OFWs are given several opportunities and special treatment because the government recognizes the hard work and sacrifices you have to go through in order to provide a better life and future for your family.
This leads you to the next point: what are the perks of being an OFW?
Exemption on Fees
It’s all because of the Overseas Employment Certificate or OEC. Being an OFW, specifically a legitimate one, means you will be exempted from various fees like airport terminal fee, travel tax, and documentary stamp tax.
In case you already paid for the airport terminal fee when you bought tickets online, you can ask for a refund upon departure at the airport terminal.
Tax-Free Shopping at Duty Free
If you want to do some additional shopping before heading home, then Duty Free Philippines can be your partner. You can enjoy tax-free shopping within 15 days from the time you arrived so you can give pasalubong to your family, relatives, and friends.
Just a gentle reminder: take it easy on your spending and don’t feel obligated to give everyone something.
Housing Loan from SSS or PAG-IBIG
Are you thinking of buying a house or giving your existing home a much-needed renovation? SSS or PAG-IBIG can help you on this since they offer housing facilities at lower rates compared to banks and other lending institutions.
SSS offers Direct Housing Facility Loan for OFWs where you can loan for as much as P2 million and payable up to 15 years maximum. On the other hand, PAG-IBIG also offers a housing loan facility for OFWs where you can borrow as much as P6 million.
Take note that you need to be a member of any of these government agencies and meet the required contributions to be able to avail of these housing benefits.
Free Language Courses at TESDA
Yes, you read that right. TESDA Language Skills Institute offers free language training for Spanish, English, Japanese, Mandarin, and Arabic to help Filipinos become more equipped in terms of language. This will come in handy when you are headed to any of the countries that speak any of these languages as well as an advantage on your part as OFW.
If you plan to enroll, then make sure you register early because slots are limited. Nonetheless, OFWs are given priority, but it’s best to reserve your slot early. You can check TESDA website for further details about this program.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration or OWWA is the agency that protects and promotes the welfare of OFWs and their dependents. In line with this, several benefits are being offered by the agency such as onsite assistance, livelihood trainings, education assistance for dependents, counseling, and legal assistance among others.
You can check these posts for a detailed list of services and benefits offered by OWWA.
Now that you know your benefits as OFW, make sure to take advantage of these. This is the government’s way of giving back to bagong bayani like you.