Work Abroad          
  Issue: October 2007  
Issue: October 2007
All about OWWA and its benefits

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a government agency that provides security and benefits to Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). Each OFW may apply for loans if the OFW is already a member of OWWA. The amount of loan depends on the membership contribution of the OFW.

What is OWWA OFW E-card?

The OFW Electron Card (E-card) is an identification card issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its attached agencies, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). The card is a multi-function card containing information about the OFW which he will need in dealing with government institutions, locally and abroad.

Several benefits may be derived upon activation of the E-card at all Equitable banking institutions:

  • Serves as proof that cardholder is a legitimate OFW and an OWWA member
  • Provides a permanent ID card number that will link the OFW's information necessary in dealing with various government and private agencies
  • Facilitates availment of OWWA benefits and services
  • Can be used as a remittance card and ATM or a debit card at the option of the OFW 

How can one be an OWWA member?

There are two (2) ways to become an OWWA member:

  • By enrollment upon processing of contract at POEA
  • By voluntary registration of OFWs at job-sites, also known as Voluntary membership Program or VM

In case of the VMP, the next-of-kin of OFWs here in Manila may soon renew OWWA membership in behalf of OFWs at the job-site whose work sites are too far from any Philippine Embassy or Consulate.

When is the effectivity of OWWA membership?

OWWA membership shall be effective upon payment of membership contribution until expiration of the employment contract. Membership coverage shall not exceed two (2) years. Membership shall be renewed upon payment of contribution on contract renewal/issuance of new contract. In the case of voluntary membership, coverage shall be renewed upon payment of contribution.

What are the benefits of an OWWA member?

An OWWA member-OFW is entitled to services and benefits over and above the provisions of the employment contract, offer of employers or the laws of the receiving country. For a US$25.00 membership contribution, an OWWA member is entitled to the following benefits:
Education and Training Benefits
A member may avail for himself or his duly designated beneficiary any of the following scholarship programs, subject to a selection process and accreditation of participating institutions such as:

  • Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program for technical or vocational training scholarship which provides financial assistance amounting to P7,500.00 for the 6-month course or P14,500.00 for the 1-year course.
  • Education for Development Scholarship Program for baccalaureate courses which grants a maximum of P30,000.00 for school fees and allowances per semester.
  • Seafarer's Upgrading Program to ensure the competitive advantage of Filipino seafarers in meeting International Maritime Organization (IMO) competency standards. A member seafarer shall be entitled to one (1) upgrading program for every three (3) membership contributions. Qualified grantees shall be provided with training assistance from P1,200.00 to a maximum of P7,500.00.

Repatriation/Airport Assistance Services

  • Reintegration Program which includes community organizing, capability building, social preparation programs and livelihood loans.
  • Members may avail of On-site General Assistance, information and guidance, psycho-social counseling, conciliation services, medical and legal assistance, and outreach missions, among others.
  • Pre-Departure Loan (PDL) is available to ready-to-leave newly-hired OFWs whose employers or agents have already paid the membership contribution to OWWA. The loan is designed to assist members in their pre-departure needs such as payment of placement fees, clothing requirements, pocket money, and other pre-departure expenses. Maximum loanable amount is P40,000.00. This loan is currently available at the National Capital Region only. Expansion to other regions will be announced.
  • Family Assistance Loan (FAL) is available for emergency and other family needs as endorsed by the member. Maximum loanable amount is P40,000.00. This loan is currently available at the National Capital Region only. Expansion to other regions will be announced.
  • Life Insurance for the duration of employment contract in the amount of P100,000.00 for natural death and P200,000.00 for accidental death.
  • Disability and Dismemberment Benefits as provided for in the impediment schedule contained in the Manual of Systems and Procedures. The benefit ranges from P2,000.00 to P50,000.00
  • Total Disability Benefit of P100,000.00 is provided incase of total permanent disability.
A Burial Benefit of P20,000.00 is provided in case of the member's death.