Saturday, February 28, 2015

Benefits and Services of OWWA for OFW Members

The Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a government agency tasked to protect the interest of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) by providing services that would be beneficial for them. One becomes an OWWA member by paying the USD25 membership contribution.

All registered members of can avail the many OWWA services that range from  health care, disability and death benefits, scholarships and financial assistance for education and training, workers assistance and on-site services, and social services and family welfare assistance .

Here are the different services that an OWWA member and their dependents can enjoy:

A. Medical/Healthcare, Disability and Death Benefits

1.      Disability and Dismemberment Benefit. A member is entitled to disability/dismemberment benefit of up to Php 50,000.

2.      Total Disability Benefit. A member is entitled to Php 100,000.00 in case of total permanent disability.

3.      Death Benefit. A member is entitled to a benefit of Php 100,000.00 for the duration of his employment contract for death due to natural cause, and Php 200,000.00 for death due to accident.

4.      Burial Benefit. A burial benefit of Php 20,000.00 shall be provided as a rider in case of the member’s death.

B. Education and Training Benefits

  1. Pre-Departure Education Program (PDEP). The PDEP is a mandatory training for all departing migrant workers. A component of the PDOS is the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) where classes on language training, culture familiarization and stress management for the OFWs are held to prepare them for their new life overseas. The components of the PDEP are:

i)        Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) for household service workers, where classes on language training, culture familiarization and stress management for the OFWs are held to prepare them for their new life overseas.
2)     Country-specific Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) for OFWs bound for Canada and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Participants are presented with a comprehensive module with sessions on contract familiarization, profile of the country of destination, stages of the OFW’s life, health and safety, airport procedures and government programs.

3)     Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program. The SESP is a technical or vocational training scholarship to qualified OFWs and their beneficiaries. The SESP covers short-term (up to two years) vocational or technician’s course for OFWs and their dependents. A maximum of Php 14,500.00 per course shall be provided to qualified OFWs or their beneficiary.

4)     Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP). One hundred fifty (150) college scholarships are awarded to dependents of OFWs to pursue four- to five-year baccalaureate courses. A maximum of Php 60,000.00 per year shall be provided to qualified beneficiaries of OFWs.

For more information and to download the EDSP Application Form, please follow this link.

5)     OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (OFW DSP). OWWA provides financial assistance of Php 20,000.00 per year to poor but deserving dependents of OFWs with a monthly salary of not more than US$400.00/month. Qualifiers enroll in a four- to five-year baccalaureate or associate course leading are entitled to a baccalaureate or associate degree in a state college or university.

For more information about OFW DSP, please follow this link.

C. Seafarers’ Comprehensive Education and Training Programs. Resulting from the maritime industry’s high demand for seafarers and the enhancement of competency for officer positions, OWWA undertakes stop-gap measures to ensure considerable supply of seafarers in the mid-management level and secure the place of our sea-based OFWs in the industry.

a)     Seafarers’ Upgrading Program. The program intends to provide training assistance to seafarers for upgrading and updating of knowledge and skills through sponsorships. Up to Php 7,500.00 in scholarship grants are available per seafarer.
b)     Mariners’ Dugtong-Aral. “Dugtong,” which means “bridging” in Filipino, is OWWA’s response to the government’s Bridging Program. The MDA is a scholarship grant given to qualified graduates of BS Mechanical Engineering (BSME) and BS Electrical Engineering (BSEE) who wish to graduate as BS Marine Engineering (BS MarE) and board ocean-going vessels as qualified Marine Officers through referrals made by manning agencies after hurdling the licensure examination.
c)     Incentive Program for Top 200 Maritime Cadets (Cadetship Program). OWWA shall grant a Php 30,000.00 financial incentive to the top 200 cadets of BS Marine Transportation and BS Marine Engineering who passed the Maritime School Assessment Program (MSAP) as part of the education for development scholarship program of OWWA for prospective OWWA members.
d)     Maritime Educational Development Loan Program (MEDLOP) For Prospective Marine Officers and Engineers with Guaranteed International Onboard Employment (Study Now, Pay Later Scheme). MEDLOP is an interest-free financial assistance to defray costs of tertiary education of prospective Marine Officers and Engineers. The manning agency will be the applicant and sponsor for the MEDLOP and shall select the student to whom it shall extend the loan.

6)     OWWA-Microsoft Tulay. “Tulay,” meaning “bridge” in Filipino, is a pioneering project between the OWWA and Microsoft Corporation that brings information and communication technology training to OFWs, to broaden their career opportunities, and facilitate long-distance communication between them and their families. It offers free information and communication technology (ICT) skills training, access to technology and communication via the Internet. At present, there are Community Technology Learning Centers (CTLC) in every OWWA regional welfare office in the Philippines and in some key overseas OWWA posts.
7)      Tuloy-Aral Project. The Tuloy-Aral (“continuation of education”) or TAP is an educational assistance project which aids the less fortunate children of former OFWs to enable them to continue their elementary and high school education in the Philippines by providing a US$100 financial support per year to the child-beneficiary. Donors may be OFWs, OFW organizations, and other interested individuals or groups.

8)     Tuloy-Kolehiyo. Extended coverage of the established TAP is the Tuloy Kolehiyo (“continuation of college education”) to include the tertiary education leading to either an associate or baccalaureate degree. The beneficiaries are entitled to either semestral stipend or actual costs of tuition and miscellaneous fees, offered by participating educational institutions, but not to exceed the maximum amount Php 15,000 per school year.

D. Workers Assistance and On-Site Services

The OWWA sustains and maintains assistance to members in all its regional and overseas offices. On behalf of the OFW, the OWWA may provide appropriate representation with employers, agents, and host government authorities. Services include:

1)     Locating OFW’S whereabouts, providing information and guidance, counseling and conciliation services, medical and legal assistance, community organization, workplace and hospital visitation, outreach missions, etc.
2)     Repatriation Program which includes negotiation with employers and agents, repatriation of distressed workers, human remains and belongings, airport assistance, OWWA Halfway House accommodation, and coordination with families through the OWWA Regional Welfare Offices (RWO).

E. Social and Family Welfare Assistance

1)     Reintegration Program. The program is implemented by OWWA through the National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) and OWWA’s Regional Welfare Offices and Overseas Posts for the member-OFW’s economic and social reintegration. Member-OFWs and their families are beneficiaries of the reintegration program and can participate through business counseling, community organizing, financial literacy seminars, capability-building, networking with support institutions, and other social preparation programs activities. Livelihood loans are available to members subject to the policies formulated by the Board. 
The OWWA has an existing tie-up with the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC) to come up with implement the Livelihood Development Program for OFWs (LDPO) to provide OFW families access to capital for their entrepreneurial activities.

3)     24/7 OWWA Operations Center
The OWWA maintains a 24/7 Operations Center designed to quickly respond to OFW and public inquiries on OWWA programs and services. Manned by OWWA personnel who work in shifts, the Operations Center provides information and advice as well as facilitative services to OFWs in distress overseas; follow-up requests for assistance; global developments on worker migration; and coordination with OWWA regional welfare offices on OFW concerns.

The 24/7 Operations Center is located at: OWWA Building7th corner F.B. Harrison Sts.Pasay City Metro Manila, Philippines

and can be contacted through the following:

Landline: (+632)833-OWWA or (+632)833-6992
GLOBE HOTLINE 2917 (Press “3” for OWWA)
Mobile/SMS text messaging: (0917)TXT-OWWA or (0917)898-6992
Facsimile: +63-2-8040638

Taken from: