What is OWWA? A Comprehensive Overview to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration

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Established in 1977, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a vital government agency in the Philippines. 

It operates as an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and functions as a membership institution dedicated to protecting and promoting the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents.

Formerly known as the Welfare and Training Fund for Overseas Workers, OWWA has been a steadfast source of support since its inception. 

Present in 31 overseas posts across 27 countries and with regional offices in all seventeen (17) regions, OWWA is strategically positioned to reach and assist OFWs globally.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration is not just a safety net during crises; it is a comprehensive provider of social and economic benefits to OFWs and their families. 

From immediate assistance during challenging times to a range of ongoing benefits, OWWA ensures that support is readily available whenever it is needed.

Job Opportunities:

Find exciting job opportunities with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). Explore different roles that help support and improve the lives of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families. 

Check out the current job openings listed below or explore more opportunities across various government agencies.

Note: Click on the job title to access detailed job descriptions and find instructions on how to apply.

About The Impact of Overseas Migration and the Role of OWWA

In a 2015 United Nations report released by Statista.com, the Philippines emerged as the eighth-highest contributor to global migration, with over 5.3 million Filipinos seeking opportunities abroad. 

Astonishingly, within just five years, this number surged to 6.1 million according to a 2020 report.

As migration numbers continue to rise, the Philippine government has made promises to support these Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

VISION

“By 2023, OWWA envisions having instituted more effective mechanisms to ensure that the rights and interests of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families are adequately protected and safeguarded.”

MISSION

“As a national agency, OWWA is entrusted with the special function of developing and implementing welfare programs and services that respond to the needs of its member-OFWs and their families. It is empowered to administer a trust fund called the OWWA Fund.”

CORE VALUES (QUALITY POLICY)

The OWWA is committed to:

a) Upholding and practicing the principles of good governance.

b) Managing its funds transparently and judiciously.

c) Delivering Caring, Attentive, Responsive, and Efficient Services (CARES) to its client-customers.

d) Regularly reviewing its organizational context to better serve its clients.

e) Properly utilizing all its resources and developing its human resource.

f) Guaranteeing the proper utilization of all its resources, including the development of its human resource.

g) Maintaining a good image to the public.

h) Ensuring the total satisfaction of its external and internal clients.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Role and Mandate:

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), an attached agency and service arm of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), stands as a crucial institution dedicated to developing, implementing, and evaluating welfare programs and services for aspiring, outgoing, and returning OFWs, as well as their families. 

These comprehensive services span the entire journey of OFWs, from pre-departure to on-site experiences and their return home.

Funding for these services comes from contributions by members, consolidated into a trust fund.

Foundation and Global Presence:

Established in 1977, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has evolved into a nationwide presence with regional offices across the Philippines and 31 posts in over 27 countries globally. 

Managed by a Board of Trustees, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) serves a dual mandate: delivering welfare services and benefits to OFWs while ensuring the capital buildup and fund viability for sustained support.

In essence, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) plays a vital role in fulfilling the government’s commitment to safeguard the well-being of the ever-growing number of Filipinos working overseas, providing a lifeline of support throughout their journey and contributing to the overall prosperity of the nation.

Benefits of OWWA Members: Comprehensive Support Across the OFW Journey

Being an Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) member comes with a host of valuable benefits, providing Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) with support at every stage of their journey, from pre-departure to their return home. 

These benefits encompass various programs and priority services, ensuring the well-being and successful integration of OFWs.

Pre-Departure Programs:

  1. Orientation and Training Seminars: Equipping OFWs with essential knowledge and skills before their departure.
  2. Assistance in Employment Application: OWWA aids members in navigating the employment application process, ensuring a smooth transition to work abroad.

On-Site Assistance:

  1. Assistance in Employee/Employer Concerns: Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) provides support and guidance to address any concerns arising between employees and employers while working abroad.
  2. Repatriation: Ensuring a safe return home for OFWs in times of need.

Upon Return to Country:

  1. Reintegration Programs: Supporting OFWs in their transition back to life in the Philippines.
  2. Livelihood Training and Assistance: Offering skills training and support for starting livelihood initiatives.
  3. Other Benefits: Additional perks to enhance the overall well-being of returning OFWs.

These benefits underline Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) commitment to the holistic care of its members, recognizing and addressing the diverse needs and challenges faced by Overseas Filipino Workers throughout their overseas employment and upon their return to the country.

Programs and Services: Supporting the Well-being of OFWs

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) array of programs and services is designed to address the diverse needs of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their qualified dependents, extending its support beyond active members to include inactive or non-members.

Social Benefit Programs:

  1. Disability and Dismemberment Benefit: Providing a one-time benefit of PhP 50,000 for partial or temporary disability and PhP 100,000 for permanent disability of an OFW.
  1. Death Benefit: Offering PhP 100,000 for natural death and PhP 200,000 for accidental death. Additionally, a one-time burial benefit of PhP 20,000 is provided to the legal heir/s or the OFW’s dependent/s.
  1. Supplemental Medical Assistance (MedPlus): Assisting OFWs diagnosed with dreaded and chronic illnesses, providing financial assistance equivalent to PhilHealth’s case rate system, not exceeding PhP 50,000 per member.

Welfare Assistance Programs:

  1. Bereavement Assistance: Supporting families of deceased Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) OFW members.
  1. Calamity Assistance: Aiding Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)OFW members and their families affected by natural or man-made disasters.
  1. Medical Assistance: Assisting Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) OFW members with injuries due to crime or accidents, or those suffering from illnesses not covered by the MedPlus Program.
  1. Relief Assistance: Supporting Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) OFW members displaced, terminated, or laid off due to economic, political, or public health crises beyond their control.

These programs underscore Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) commitment to providing comprehensive assistance, ensuring the well-being and resilience of OFWs and their families across various circumstances.

Scholarships, Education, and Training Programs: Empowering the Future of OFWs and Their Dependents

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is dedicated to fostering educational and professional growth for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents through a range of scholarship, education, and training initiatives.

Pre-departure Education Programs:

  1. Pre-departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS): A country-specific, one-day orientation seminar required for all first-time OFWs.
  1. Comprehensive Pre-departure Education Program (CPDEP): A four-to-six-day compulsory orientation seminar tailored for first-time domestic workers, covering various aspects such as language, culture, finance, and legal affairs.

Training Programs for Seafarers:

  1. Seafarers Upgrading Program: Job-related training and upgrade assistance worth up to PhP 7,500 per seafaring member.
  1. Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program: A scholarship grant for graduates of BS Mechanical Engineering or BS Electrical Engineering aspiring to pursue a career in marine engineering through a BS Marine Engineering program.

Scholarships for Dependent OFWs:

  1. Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP): A scholarship grant of up to PhP 60,000 per school year for qualified dependents of active Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)OFW members pursuing a 4-year or 5-year baccalaureate program.
  1. OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP): Educational assistance of up to PhP 20,000 per school year for qualified dependents of OWWA OFW members earning less than USD 600 or PhP 32,000 monthly.
  1. Educational Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP): A scholarship grant typically offered to the eldest child dependent of an active or convicted Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) OFW member facing death penalty at the time of death.

These initiatives reflect Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) commitment to enhancing the educational and professional opportunities for OFWs and their families, empowering them to build a brighter future.

Repatriation Program: Ensuring the Well-being of Distressed OFWs

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Repatriation Program is meticulously crafted to provide crucial support for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) facing distress abroad or for the repatriation of the human remains of deceased OFWs during emergencies arising from political unrest or natural calamities. 

The program ensures that OFWs are entitled to the following:

  1. Airport Assistance Upon Arrival:

Facilitating a smooth transition upon return to the country.

  1. Temporary Shelter at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Halfway Home:

 Providing a temporary place of refuge for OFWs as they readjust to life back in the Philippines.

  1. Psychosocial Counseling and Stress Debriefing:

Offering essential counseling services to address the emotional and psychological impact of their overseas experiences.

  1. Transport Service to Their Respective Hometowns:

 Ensuring the safe and convenient journey of OFWs to their hometowns.

  1. Other Benefits as Deemed Necessary:

Providing additional assistance and benefits as deemed necessary for both the OFW and their dependents, catering to specific needs that may arise during the repatriation process.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Reintegration Programs: Empowering Returning OFWs for a Brighter Future

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Reintegration Programs are strategically designed to assist returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in seamlessly reintegrating into the Philippine labor force and establishing sustainable livelihoods. 

These programs cover both on-site and in-country activities, ensuring a holistic approach to support returning OFWs.

On-site Reintegration Preparedness Training:

  1. Values Formation: Cultivating essential values for successful reintegration.
  2. Financial Literacy: Equipping OFWs with financial management skills.
  3. Entrepreneurial Development: Providing guidance for venturing into entrepreneurship.
  4. Techno-skills and Capacity Building: Enhancing technical skills and overall capacity.

In-country Reintegration Process:

  1. Job Referrals: Facilitating opportunities for job placement.
  2. Business Counseling: Offering guidance for those interested in entrepreneurship.
  3. Community Organization: Fostering community engagement and collaboration.
  4. Financial Literacy: Continuing financial education for sustained success.
  5. Networking with Support Groups and Institutions: Establishing connections for additional support.

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Specific Reintegration Programs:

  1. Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay! Program:

A livelihood support and assistance package worth up to PhP 20,000, serving as starting or additional capital for returning Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) OFW members.

  1. OFW – Enterprise Development and Loan Program (OFW – EDLP):

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) enterprise development intervention and loan program, in collaboration with Landbank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), featuring a 7.5% interest per annum for working capital or fixed asset acquisition.

  1. Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong PUSO):

A one-time, project-based assistance program worth up to PhP 1,000,000, supporting the initiatives and services of OFW-caused organizations with more than 50 members.

These comprehensive Reintegration Programs reflect Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) commitment to empowering returning OFWs, providing them with the tools and resources needed to build a prosperous and sustainable future in the Philippines.

Becoming an OWWA Member: A Simple Guide

If you’re a documented Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), being an Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) member is vital for securing essential benefits and support. Here’s how you can become an Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) member:

  1. Default Membership:

All documented OFWs are automatically Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)members. If you’ve applied for work through legal channels, you are already a member by default.

  1. Membership Affirmation:

To affirm your OFW membership, follow one of these methods:

  • Physical Application:

Visit Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Regional Welfare Offices (for OFWs in the Philippines) or Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOS) if you reside abroad.

  • Online Application:

  Utilize the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Mobile App, available on Google Play Store or App Store for iOS.

  1. Mandatory Membership:

Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) membership is obligatory for all Filipino workers abroad. Whether you initially went abroad on a tourist visa and later found employment, it is highly recommended to apply for Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) membership to secure your employment rights.

  1. Membership Validity:

OWWA membership is valid for two (2) years from the approval of your application.

Ensuring your OWWA membership provides you with access to crucial benefits, assistance, and support, safeguarding your well-being as you contribute to the global workforce.

Membership Requirements for OFWs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Embarking on your journey as an OWWA member involves fulfilling specific documentary requirements. Here’s a comprehensive list to guide you through the process:

  1. OWWA OFW Information Sheet:

Obtain and complete the OWWA OFW Information Sheet, providing essential details about your overseas employment.

  1. Passport Data Page:

Provide a clear copy of the data page of your passport, ensuring all relevant information is visible.

  1. Employment Pass or Work Permit:

Include a copy of your Employment Pass or Work Permit, validating your legal employment status abroad.

  1. Employment Contract:

Submit a copy of your Employment Contract, outlining the terms and conditions of your overseas employment.

  1. Membership Fee:

Pay the membership fee, amounting to USD 25 or its equivalent in foreign currency, depending on your country of destination.

Important Notes:

These requirements serve as a general guideline and may vary based on the location of the OWWA office where you intend to apply or renew.

To expedite your application process, schedule an appointment with an OWWA office, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Ensuring you have these essential documents in order streamlines the membership application or renewal process, allowing you to access the comprehensive benefits and support offered by OWWA.

Application for OWWA Membership: Simplified Steps

Securing OWWA membership is a straightforward process, offering flexibility through two convenient methods: in-person and online. Here’s a simple guide to the application procedure

  1. In-Person Application:
  • Visit the nearest Regional Welfare Office (RWO) if you are residing in the Philippines or the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOS) if you reside abroad.
  • Complete the necessary forms provided by the respective office.
  1. Online Application:
  •    Utilize the OWWA Mobile App, available on the Google Play Store or App Store for iOS.
  •    Follow the app’s prompts to complete the application process.

Additional Tips:

Prioritize efficiency by scheduling an appointment with the chosen OWWA office for an in-person application.

If opting for the online method, ensure a stable internet connection for a seamless application experience.

By choosing the application method that suits your situation, you can efficiently kickstart your OWWA membership journey and gain access to the array of benefits and support offered.

Applying to an OWWA Office: Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these simple steps to smoothly apply for OWWA membership at an OWWA office:

  1. Prepare Your Documents and Fee:
  •  Gather all required documentary requirements and the membership fee to ensure a complete application.
  1. Book an Appointment:
  •  Visit https://appointment.owwa.gov.ph/ to schedule your application appointment. This step is mandatory before visiting any OWWA office for transactions.
  1. Visit the Selected OWWA Office:
  •    Head to your chosen OWWA office on the confirmed appointment date.
  •    Submit your application along with the required documents.
  1. Payment and Official Receipt:
  •   Pay the membership fee at the OWWA office.
  •   Receive your Official Receipt as confirmation of your membership.
  1. Validate Membership Online:
  • Use the OWWA Mobile App to validate your membership online, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information.

Important Note:

Booking an appointment is a crucial step, so make sure to schedule it in advance for a hassle-free application process.

By following these steps, you can navigate the OWWA membership application process efficiently and enjoy the benefits and support provided by OWWA.

Applying via Email/Online: Streamlined Process

For a convenient application experience through email or online platforms, follow these clear steps:

  1. Prepare Your Documents and Fee:
  • Gather all required documentary requirements and the membership fee for a smooth application process.
  1. Visit the Official OWWA Website:
  •    Go to the official OWWA website of your country of destination.
  •    Locate the designated email address where you are to submit your requirements.
  1. Submit Application via Email:
  •    Send your completed application and required documents via email.
  •    Practice proper email etiquette to ensure a professional submission.
  1. Payment and Official Receipt:
  • Follow the provided instructions to make the payment for your membership fee through online platforms.
  • Await the issuance of your Official Receipt, which will be sent to you via a separate email.
  1. Validate Membership Online:
  • Use the OWWA Mobile App to validate your membership online, ensuring accuracy and completeness.

Important Tips:

  • Pay close attention to the email instructions for submission and payment.
  • Exercise proper email etiquette when communicating with the OWWA office.

By adhering to these steps, you can efficiently apply for OWWA membership via email or online, ensuring a seamless process and access to the benefits offered by OWWA.

Verifying, Monitoring, and Renewing Your OWWA Membership: Easy Steps

Ensure the continuity of your OWWA membership by following these straightforward verification, monitoring, and renewal steps:

  1. Install the OWWA Mobile App:
  •   Android Users: Download from Google Play Store.
  •   iOS Users: Download from the App Store.
  1. Login or Sign Up:
  • Log in with your username and password. If you don’t have an account, sign up using the information from your membership application.
  1. Validate Your Membership:
  •    Click on the “Information” tab within the app.
  •    Check your membership status, which should indicate either “active” or “inactive.”
  •    Membership remains valid for two years from the approval of the application or receipt issuance.
  1. Renewal for Inactive Members:
  •    Inactive members can renew by clicking on the “Profile” tab.
  •    Pay the membership fee through the Mobile Online Payment System (MOPS) of Landbank – BancNet.

Explore the comprehensive benefits and programs offered by OWWA through The Pinoy OFW channel’s introduction video. 

Gain valuable insights into the nature and scope of OWWA’s work by watching the video here:

List of OWWA Benefits, Programs & Services for OFWs and Dependents

Discover how OWWA is dedicated to supporting and empowering Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families.

Contact Details:

If you have any questions about the welfare and support of overseas Filipino workers or about the agency. You may reach them out via the attached contact information.

24/7 Hotline:

  • Metro Manila / Cellphone: 1348
  • Regional: (02) 1348
  • International: (+632) 1348

OWWA Central Office:

  • Address: F.B. Harrison St, Pasay, Metro Manila
  • Contact Number: 8891-7601 to 24

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): OWWA Agency

Gain clarity on common queries regarding the OWWA agency with these informative answers:

  1. What is OWWA?

OWWA, or Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, is an agency under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). It’s mandated to safeguard the rights and welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). 

As a membership institution, OWWA provides programs and services funded by contributions from its members. 

It extends its services to OFWs and their qualified dependents nationwide and in 31 posts across 27 countries.

  1. What does OWWA do?

OWWA is dedicated to the welfare of OFWs and their families. It develops, implements, and evaluates benefit programs and services that cover pre-departure, on-site, and arrival activities of OFWs.

  1. What does it mean to be an OWWA member?

OWWA membership opens the door to a plethora of benefits for both OFWs and their dependents. 

Enjoy diverse programs such as scholarships, educational and livelihood assistance, training initiatives, financial aid, social and welfare support, and overseas employment assistance. 

OWWA members form a supportive community for first-time, outgoing, and returning OFWs.

  1. Who are qualified to be OWWA members?

Any Filipino citizen with overseas employment experience or plans to work abroad can apply for OWWA membership. 

Documented OFWs are automatic members, affirming their membership by applying through the nearest OWWA office or online. Proof of overseas employment is a key qualification.

  1. Is the OWWA membership for free?

Unfortunately, OWWA membership requires a contribution of USD 25, equivalent to roughly PhP 1,000 or PhP 1,500, depending on the country of destination. 

This fee, valid for two years, solely supports OWWA’s projects and services for OFWs. While an initial cost, the benefits far outweigh the contribution.

  1. Do I need to wait to become an OWWA member?

No waiting list exists for OFW membership applications. Since applications are ongoing, it’s advisable to apply for membership as soon as you secure overseas employment.

This ensures a swift transaction and immediate access to OWWA’s support services.

  1. How do I apply for membership?

OFWs can apply for OWWA membership by scheduling an appointment at their nearest OWWA office [https://appointment.owwa.gov.ph/]. 

During the visit, submit required documents. Alternatively, check the official website of OWWA RWO or POLO in your destination country and submit requirements via email. Membership becomes effective upon fee payment and receipt claim.

  1. What is the difference between OWWA and DMW office?

 OWWA is an attached agency separate from the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

OWWA specializes in insurance for migrant workers, while DMW provides comprehensive support for migrant workers.

Although complementary, OWWA focuses specifically on benefits and insurance for OFWs.

  1. What is the difference between OWWA and POLO office?

The POLO office is set to merge with the DMW department, but currently, POLO is a labor office based in overseas countries, addressing on-site labor concerns of OFWs.

OWWA, on the other hand, primarily focuses on benefits available to OFWs in case of labor issues.

While they have different functions, both OWWA and POLO serve the needs of OFW migrant workers.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) stands as a vital lifeline for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families. 

Established in 1977 and operating as an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), OWWA has consistently evolved to meet the dynamic needs of the ever-growing Filipino diaspora.

From its roots as the Welfare and Training Fund for Overseas Workers, OWWA has expanded its reach globally, with a presence in 31 overseas posts spanning 27 countries and regional offices in all seventeen (17) regions of the Philippines. 

This strategic positioning allows OWWA to extend its comprehensive support to OFWs wherever they may be.

OWWA is not merely a safety net during crises; it is a steadfast provider of social and economic benefits.

Through various programs and services, OWWA ensures that OFWs receive assistance at every stage of their journey — from pre-departure to on-site experiences and their return home.

The impact of overseas migration is substantial, with millions of Filipinos seeking opportunities abroad. 

As the eighth-highest contributor to global migration, the Philippines recognizes the significance of supporting its overseas workforce, a commitment fulfilled by OWWA.

The core of OWWA’s mission lies in its commitment to the welfare of OFWs and their families. This commitment is further reinforced through its vision for 2023, where OWWA envisions more effective mechanisms to protect and safeguard the rights and interests of OFWs and their families.

The benefits of OWWA membership are extensive, ranging from pre-departure programs and on-site assistance to repatriation and reintegration initiatives. 

OWWA ensures that its members receive support not only during challenging times but also in building a brighter future upon their return to the Philippines.

OWWA’s impact is not limited to immediate assistance; it encompasses a holistic approach that empowers OFWs and their families.

The array of programs and services, including social benefit programs, welfare assistance, and education and training initiatives, underscores OWWA’s commitment to addressing the diverse needs of the overseas Filipino community.

In summary, OWWA is a cornerstone in the support system for OFWs, fostering their well-being, resilience, and prosperity. 

The agency plays a pivotal role in fulfilling the government’s promise to protect and promote the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers and their dependents, contributing significantly to the nation’s overall development and prosperity.

Disclaimer:

The Philippine Go does not collect fees and is not a hiring agency, nor is it related to any hiring agency for employment abroad. 

All information contained here is solely for informational purposes and rightfully belongs to its rightful owner. 

Attached in the last section of the content are references for further verification, if needed. Read more

Reference:

1. OWWA Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Agency for OFWs | DMW Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved from (https://dmwguide.com/owwa-agency/)

2. citizens-charter.pdf (owwa.gov.ph). (n.d.). Retrieved from (https://owwa.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/citizens-charter.pdf)3. About – Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (owwa.gov.ph). (n.d.). Retrieved from (https://owwa.gov.ph/?page_id=115)