It is good to know that OFWs can seek help and assistance from the government through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration or OWWA.
OWWA is a membership institution that is attached to the Department of Labor and Employment or DOLE. OWWA focuses on the welfare of the OFWs and their families.
Even if OFWs are abroad and away from their loved ones, they feel safe and protected because there’s the OWWA that is behind their back and willing to help in case they need it.
How to be an OWWA Member?
- You may enroll for OWWA Membership when you process your contract at the POEA.
- You may also register voluntarily at job sites overseas.
How much is the OWWA Membership Fee?
To be a member of OWWA, you need to pay $25 or around PHP 1,250. Once you become an OWWA member, you are entitled to the various benefits and programs of OWWA.
How long is my OWWA Membership Effective?
Your OWWA membership is effective as soon as you pay the membership fee. It is active until your employment contract expires. You are covered for a maximum of 2 years. After that, you will have to renew your OWWA membership and you need to pay $25 again.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration offers various OWWA benefits to its members.
- Death Benefit
If you are an active member of OWWA, you are covered for the duration of your employment contract. The coverage includes PHP 100,000.00 for death due to natural cause and PHP 200,000.00 for death due to accident.
- Disability and Dismemberment Benefit
An OWWA member is entitled to disability or dismemberment benefits of PHP 50,000.00 for partial disability and PHP 100,000.00 in case of total permanent disability.
- Burial Benefit
Aside from the death benefit, a rider of PHP 20,000.00 will be received by the OWWA member’s legal heirs for the funeral expenses.
For more details about Social Benefits of OWWA Members, visit OWWA website.
The OWWA member can avail of the educational program being offered by OWWA. The member may also assign or choose a beneficiary, for example, his/her children or siblings to avail of the scholarship program.
- Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP)
- The Education for Development Scholarship Program is an educational assistance offered to qualified dependents/beneficiaries of member-OFWs.
- The scholarship consists of a maximum of PHP 60,000.00 per school year leading to a four-to-five year baccalaureate course in any college or university.
- OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (OFW DSP)
- Educational assistance consisting of a maximum of PHP 20,000.00 per school year leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree in a state college or university for dependents whose active OFW-member parents receive a monthly salary of not more than USD 400.00.
- Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program (SESP)
- The Skills for Employment Scholarship Program is an educational training assistance where OFWs or their dependents can enhance their vocational and technical skills.
- It consists of a maximum of PHP 14,500.00 per course in any TESDA-accredited school.
- Seafarer’s Upgrading Program (SUP)
- The Seafarers’ Upgrading Program is designed to upgrade the skills and develop the expertise of Filipino seafarers.
- First availment consists of a maximum of PHP 7, 500.00 training assistance.
- Availment in another training course is every after 3 recorded membership.
- Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP)
- Education assistance for survivors of a deceased OFW consisting of PHP 5,000.00 for elementary, PHP 8,000.00 for high school and PHP 10,000.00 for college per school year and livelihood assistance amounting to PHP 15,000.00 is given to the surviving spouse.
Repatriation is bringing distressed workers back to the Philippines. This includes airport assistance, temporary shelter at the OWWA Halfway House, and provision for their travel back to their provinces.
OFWs who have been affected by wars, economic issues, or issues with their employers abroad may avail of the Repatriation Program of OWWA.
If you are an OFW who’s going through any of these issues abroad or you know someone who is, don’t hesitate to contact OWWA for assistance. They are ready to help and assist OFWs.
One of OWWA Benefits for Ex OFWs is the Reintegration Program. If you’re done working abroad and you prefer to just stay here for good, you may avail of the Economic Reintegration Program for livelihood projects to generate income by starting a small business.
Many Ex OFWs avail of this program because they just want to be with their family here.
The Reintegration covers 2 major components:
- includes social preparation programs for livelihood projects or community-based income generating projects, skills training and credit facilitation and lending.
- includes community organizing program or organizing of OFW family circles and services like social counseling, family counseling, stress debriefing, and training on capacity building, value formation, etc.
FAQs for OWWA Membership in Singapore
How to apply for OWWA membership in Singapore?
No Appointment is needed for OWWA Membership Application or Renewal in Singapore. OWWA membership is valid for 2 years (or 24 months) from the date of payment.
What are the requirements?
- Original and Photocopy of Valid Employment Pass / S Pass / Work Permit Card
- Original and Photocopy of Passport
- Accomplished OWWA Information Sheet (download here)
- Membership Fee of S$36.00 to be paid is CASH
- Contract of Employment to be presented (photocopy to be submitted)
- UEN/RCB/Company’s Registration number (For skilled workers)
- Employer’s IC (For Foreign Domestic Workers)
Where and when to file OWWA membership?
OWWA Membership applications can be filed at Window 2A & 2B of the Philippine Embassy (Mondays to Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.).
How long will it take to process the OWWA Membership?
OWWA Membership may be collected on the same day provided that documentary requirements are complete.
For more information, you may send an email to email@example.com. (Source)
- How to Submit your Concerns to POEA Legal Assistance ONLINE
- How to View your SSS Contributions Online