An OWWA Quick Guide for OFWs

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a lead agency for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) like you. It promotes and protects your well-being. Its offices all over the country provide easier access. It has presence in 31 foreign posts in 27 countries.

A recent law increased OFW reps in its Board of Trustees from three to five. This gives more voice to the land-based, sea-based and women OFWs. Members for 10 years or more without availing any service from the welfare agency may avail of rebates. Reintegration is now one of its core programs.

The law mandates the employer or the agency to pay the US$25 contribution for new hires. That is, you are hired for a job abroad for the first time. You can be a volunteer member by paying this amount at its office abroad. There is no monthly fee but membership is renewed every two years. 

As a member, these are the services for you…

OWWA pre-departure services

Country Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS). This is a one-day session about your contract and profile of your host country. It includes airport rules and stages of OFW life. PDOS guides you in case of health and safety issues at work.

Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP). This is the PDOS for household service workers (HSWs). It is live-out training for about 3 to 6 days. You train on the language and culture of the host country. It includes managing stress given the nature of your work.

Some training providers are allowed to conduct PDOS. Your recruitment agency or an NGO may conduct this for you. This is free and your agency should pay if there is any fee.

OWWA on-site services

Social benefits. You can claim disability or dismemberment benefit of up to 100,000 pesos if you are injured while working abroad. In case of death, your legal heirs can claim death and burial benefits, and school and livelihood assistance.

Welfare assistance. You can seek legal aid for almost anything to protect your rights. The agency assists in issues like claims for unpaid wages and other cases. Victims of gender-based violence, mainly acts against women, receive proper actions.

24/7 Operations Center. Are you hiding from your family or can they not find you? They should call the Center or the Regional Office to look for you. The Center quickly responds to any query about you. It also refers your concerns to proper government agencies.

Your children may also receive scholarship and training programs.

OWWA return services

Repatriation program. This takes effect in times of crisis or war. You receive holistic help from the temporary shelter until being with your family. The agency also helps in bringing home remains of deceased OFWs.

This also includes bringing distressed OFWs back home. You may avail of starter kits worth 7,500 pesos or a livelihood assistance of 10,000 pesos for displaced or distressed migrant workers.

Reintegration program. This program starts on-site to help adjust your return. You also get training in the Philippines for local job placement or livelihood program to start your own business. This includes granting of business loan of 300,000 pesos to 2 million pesos.

Other programs. Through TESDA, you and your dependents can claim short-term programs for skills training. 

Check these benefits for you and your children.

These programs and services are for you. Make them work for you and your family. The law is on your side and money has been set aside for these. You deserve no less.

OWWA 24/7 Operations Centre

Contact number/hotline in Manila:

(+632) 551 1560 & (+632) 551 6641


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