MWO Dubai Wraps Up 2023 with Service Activities for OFWs in the UAE

In the spirit of service and dedication, the Migrant Workers Office Dubai and Northern Emirates (MWO-Dubai) wraps up 2023 with a series of special services for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the region. The dedicated office has earned well-deserved praise for its varied initiatives throughout the year, as it aims to provide comprehensive support to the OFW community that forms an important part of the UAE’s cultural and economic landscape.

The month of November was particularly eventful, featuring three consecutive weekends of specialized services aimed at catering to the needs of the Filipino workforce in Dubai and Northern Emirates. From individual services such as contract verification and membership services, to community-based activities and a special Thanksgiving Service for Domestic Workers, MWO-Dubai has left no stone unturned in its endeavor to uplift and support the OFWs. These initiatives highlight the office’s relentless commitment to providing substantial assistance and recognizing the significant contributions of the Filipino community in the UAE.

activities for ofws by mwo dubai


The Migrant Workers Office Dubai and Northern Emirates concludes year 2023 with a packed November offering three consecutive weekends of special service for Overseas Filipino Workers in Dubai and Northern Emirates.

On November 4, MWO-Dubai joined the Philippine Consulate General Dubai in its Special Consular Mission where it provided 348 individual services to OFWs, particularly contract verification, OWWA, SSS, and PAG-IBIG membership services. As usual, the activity was announced early on and posted on the PCG and MWO-Dubai websites and Facebook pages where information on services and pre-registration were indicated.

On November 11, another special service will be conducted for the Ras Al Khaimah Community which targets attendance of 100 to 200 OFW clients. This service is organized in cooperation with the Filipino Club Ras Al Khaimah, an active Filipino community based in RAK who gathers OFWs working in their community and assists them in availing services of MWO-Dubai.

Lastly, the MWO-Dubai will conduct “Salamat, Kabayan! Year 2” of its Thanksgiving Service for Domestic Workers in Dubai and Northern Emirates on November 19. This Thanksgiving Service is a way of MWO-Dubai to pay tribute to Filipino Domestic Workers in the UAE who are working hard to support their families back home. In 2022, the first Thanksgiving Service for domestic workers was held in MWO-Dubai where over seven hundred (700++) domestic workers from Dubai and the Northern Emirates were able to avail MWO Dubai services and, at the same time, relax and pamper themselves as they received free health and wellness services offered during the activity, such as basic medical check-up/consultation, free haircut, facial, and manicure. There were also raffle prizes, freebies, and games during the event conducted in cooperation with Filipino Communities and partners in the UAE.

The “Salamat, Kabayan! Year 2” of the Thanksgiving Service for Domestic Workers in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman,
Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah on November 19 will be held at the Shabab Al Ahli Sports
Club, Al Nahda St., Al Qusais, Dubai. Domestic Workers will be honoured and treated to a nice rest day where they can relax, have fun, and avail of Philippine government services.

During the event, free health and wellness services (medical check-up/consultation,
haircut, manicure, etc.), karaoke challenge, scholarship grants, Palarong Pinoy, will be available to attendees and special raffle prizes and freebies await them.

The MWO-Dubai will also offer employment contract verification, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Social Security System, and Pag-IBIG Fund membership services to domestic workers in the morning of the activity.

This event will be conducted with the assistance of Filipino Communities and individual and corporate partners in the UAE and around 1,000 to 1,500 domestic workers are expected to attend and participate.
Information on this activity is available on the MWO-Dubai website: and its Facebook

Inter-Agency Medical Repatriation Assistance Program: Urgent Revision Called for IMRAP’s Implementation

MANILA – There has been a call for an update on the rules and procedures of the Inter-Agency Medical Repatriation Assistance Program (IMRAP). Incorporated under Joint Memorandum Circular (JHC) No, 2017-0001, IMRAP covers the medical repatriation of various Filipino nationals, both documented and undocumented migrant workers, and their dependents overseas.

Many Filipinos abroad who have been in touch with medical repatriation know about IMRAP. It is a critical program that offers comprehensive assistance to migrant workers who need to be repatriated due to health-related reasons. However, despite the success of IMRAP during this past year’s COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a call for careful reassessment and revision of the program’s guidelines before its implementation in 2021.

Inter-Agency Medical Repatriation Assistance Program

Role of Participating Agencies in IMRAP

The program necessitates the help of participating agencies through each stage from pre-arrival to post-arrival. This assistance includes welfare aid and reintegration help. OFW Party-list Representative Marissa “Del Mar” Magsino, who led the dialogue, accentuated the need to reevaluate and adjust IMRAP. This consideration takes into account the formation of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) in 2021 and the learnings from previous global public health emergencies.

Revisiting IMRAP’s Guidelines

Magsino noted the rapidly changing work circumstances abroad with health consequences, which necessitates re-examining the program’s guidelines. This would allow the provisions to correspond better to the current realities and challenges of medical repatriation for Overseas Filipinos (OFs) and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). She stressed the need to simplify existing procedures and fortify inter-agency coordination among involved government entities.

Comprehensive Assistance Offered by IMRAP

The program provides in-flight medical assistance and escort services, initial medical assessment/evaluation upon arrival in the country, ambulance conduction, referral to and/or confinement in Department of Health (DOH) or local government unit or state universities or colleges-managed hospitals.

It also covers financial aid for hospital and other medical expenses, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation assistance/benefits, and welfare programs and psychosocial counseling.

Gaps in IMRAP’s Execution

Despite IMRAP’s significant benefits during the pandemic, Magsino acknowledged that there were lessons learned and gaps spotted in the mechanism that need to be addressed.

These gaps include communication issues or lack of coordination among agencies and the absence of additional support to the OF/OFW post-return, such as welfare assistance or reintegration assistance.

The Call to Expand IMRAP’s Scope

The possibility of broadening the program’s scope to include repatriations of distressed OFs and OFWs, not just limited to medical repatriations, was also discussed.

Magsino suggested that this would allow the mechanism to assist OFWs who are victims of abuse and human trafficking.

Agreement among Participating Agencies

All agencies involved in JMC No. 2017-0001, including DOH, DMW, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Social Work and Development, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office, and Manila International Airport Authority, attended the dialogue.

They collectively agreed that IMRAP guidelines need to be revised, especially considering the changes in their responsibilities following the creation of DMW. They also agreed in principle to expand the program to include the repatriation of distressed OFWs, particularly those abused or trafficked, subject to their existing rules and issuances on non-medical repatriation.

Concluding Remarks from Magsino

Recognizing the urgency of refining the program, the member-agencies committed to providing their position papers within a week. DOH, as the central coordinating body under JMC 2017-0001, will compile all feedback and reconvene the technical working group to finalize the revisions within the month.

“We are grateful for the participation and recognition of the urgency to revise the guidelines by all agencies involved. This is particularly important as we handle a series of repatriations in conflict areas such as Israel, Lebanon, and recently Sudan. These repatriations may not necessarily be medical but require State intervention, especially in providing psycho-social counseling and welfare assistance”, said Magsino.

OFW Pass Application Guide Filipino Migrant Workers

The OFW Pass is a newly introduced digital identification document for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) that serves as a prerequisite for obtaining an exit clearance. It is a replacement for the traditional Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). The OFW Pass can be accessed through the DMW Mobile App, which is designed specifically for OFWs by the Department of Migrant Workers.

It serves as an online platform where OFWs can apply for the OFW Pass, submit requirements, and complete the verification process. The OFW Pass is essential for OFWs with active contracts and is used as an identification document for exit clearance purposes. It streamlines the process and provides a convenient and efficient way for OFWs to comply with the necessary requirements.

ofw pass for ofws


Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) play a vital role in the Philippine economy, and their contributions are highly valued. To ensure their welfare and streamline processes, the government has introduced the OFW Pass, a digital identification document that simplifies the exit clearance process for OFWs.

Filipinos working abroad used to process a paper-transaction called Overseas Employment Certificate. They would have to visit their nearest Migrant Workers Office (MWO) or Philippine Embassy/Consulate in order to obtain it. This process was time-consuming as appointments need to be set up, and costly, often causing inconvenience to OFWs.

With the introduction of the OFW Pass, this tedious process has been made more efficient and convenient for OFWs. Through the DMW Mobile App, they can easily apply for the OFW Pass and complete all necessary requirements online.

What is the OFW Pass?

The OFW Pass is a digital identification document specifically designed for Overseas Filipino Workers. It replaces the traditional paper-based Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), which was required for OFWs to secure their exit clearance before leaving the country or returning home.

With the implementation of the OFW Pass, the process has been digitized and made more convenient for OFWs.

How Does the OFW Pass Work?

The OFW Pass is integrated into the DMW Mobile App, an application developed by the Department of Migrant Workers. Through the app, OFWs can easily apply for the OFW Pass, submit the necessary requirements, and complete the verification process. Once approved, they will receive their digital OFW Pass, which serves as their identification document for obtaining an exit clearance.

The OFW Pass contains essential information such as the worker’s name, date of birth, passport details, employment information, and a unique identification number. It is securely stored within the app and can be accessed anytime, allowing OFWs to present their identification digitally when required.

Benefits of the OFW Pass

The introduction of the OFW Pass brings several benefits to Overseas Filipino Workers:

  1. Convenience: The OFW Pass eliminates the need for physical paperwork and visits to government offices, making the process more convenient and efficient for OFWs. They can easily apply for the pass and complete the requirements through the DMW Mobile App, saving time and effort.
  2. Digital Accessibility: Having the OFW Pass stored digitally in the DMW Mobile App means that it is always accessible to OFWs. They no longer need to worry about misplacing or losing their physical documents, as the digital pass can be easily retrieved whenever needed.
  3. Streamlined Process: The digitization of the exit clearance process simplifies the overall procedure for OFWs. They can complete the requirements, submit necessary documents, and receive approvals all within the app. This streamlined process reduces unnecessary delays and ensures a smoother experience for OFWs.
  4. Enhanced Security: The digital format of the OFW Pass improves security measures. It reduces the risk of fraud or tampering compared to traditional paper-based documents. Additionally, the app’s secure storage ensures that personal information is protected.
  5. Real-Time Updates: The OFW Pass on the DMW Mobile App allows for real-time updates and notifications. OFWs can receive alerts regarding application status, renewal reminders, and important announcements directly through the app, keeping them informed at all times.

How to Apply for the OFW Pass

To apply for the OFW Pass, follow these steps:

  1. Download the DMW Mobile App from your respective app store (Google Play Store for Android or Apple App Store for iOS).
  2. Register an account on the DMW Mobile App using your personal information, such as name, contact details, and employment details.
  3. Navigate to the OFW Pass section within the app and provide the necessary information and supporting documents as per the requirements.
  4. Submit your application and wait for the verification process to be completed. You may receive notifications or updates regarding your application status through the app.
  5. Once approved, you will receive your digital OFW Pass within the DMW Mobile App. Ensure that you have it readily available when going through the exit clearance process.

Note: It is crucial to comply with all the requirements and provide accurate information to expedite the application process.

Video: OFW Pass Application

Here are some updates about OFW Pass as shared by a Pinay YouTuber:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is the OFW Pass only available for certain countries?

A: The OFW Pass is available for all Overseas Filipino Workers, regardless of their country of employment.

Q: Do I still need to carry my physical passport with me if I have the OFW Pass?

A: Yes, it is still necessary to carry your physical passport when traveling. The OFW Pass serves as an additional identification document but does not replace the need for a valid passport.

Q: How long does it take to receive the OFW Pass after applying?

A: The processing time may vary. It is advisable to submit your application well in advance of your planned travel to allow ample time for verification and approval.

Q: Can I renew my OFW Pass through the DMW Mobile App?

A: Yes, the DMW Mobile App allows for the renewal of the OFW Pass. You will receive notifications and reminders regarding the renewal process through the app.


The introduction of the OFW Pass through the DMW Mobile App has revolutionized the exit clearance process for Overseas Filipino Workers. With its digital format, convenience, streamlined process, and enhanced security measures, the OFW Pass offers numerous benefits to OFWs.

By eliminating physical paperwork, reducing visits to government offices, and providing real-time updates, the OFW Pass simplifies the application and verification process. OFWs can now easily apply for the pass, submit requirements, and receive their digital identification document within the DMW Mobile App.

Also, by embracing technology and digitizing processes, the government is ensuring a more efficient and seamless experience for OFWs, ultimately contributing to their overall well-being.

Launch of First 24/7 OWWA Operations Center in San Fernando City

ILOCOS – In a significant move towards improved welfare for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Ilocos regional office has announced its plans to establish a dedicated operations center this year. This initiative marks a significant stride in the organization’s commitment to ensuring round-the-clock support for OFWs and their families. The city of choice for this pioneer project is San Fernando in La Union.

This is a great initiative for OFWs and their families, as they can now avail of OWWA’s services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The operations center will be set up on a regional level similar to the central office, with personnel working in shifts to ensure uninterrupted service even on weekends and holidays.

Also Read: Proposed New OFW Social Security System for OFWs

owwa 247 operations center

A Mini Operations Center at the Regional Level

According to Amapola Villar, an Officer at the OWWA, this facility will replicate the operations of their central office but on a regional scale. “Our personnel will work in shifts, ensuring that the center is functional even during weekends and holidays,” Villar said. This 24/7 provision is a testament to OWWA’s steadfast dedication to the well-being of OFWs.

The OWWA plans to assign a special four or five-digit number for the operations center, ensuring smooth and easy access for OFWs. Villar highlighted that this service will be available globally at no cost for both domestic and international calls, reaffirming OWWA’s commitment to accessibility.

In addition to the dedicated number, OWWA is also expanding its communication channels to include popular apps like WhatsApp and Viber. This measure is designed to accommodate the various communication preferences of OFWs and their families. Villar emphasized, “Our clients’ concerns will no longer be restricted to our existing hotline numbers, social media accounts, and email addresses.”

Preparations Underway for the Operations Center

Villar disclosed that they are currently setting up the operations center and recruiting personnel for it. The team will comprise two supervisors and nine customer care personnel, ideally with experience in the call center industry. “We want individuals who are compassionate, as we are a service agency with a heart, and our clients often have urgent needs,” Villar added.

The Ilocos Region is home to a substantial OFW population, with 543,530 registered workers as per OWWA data. The imminent operations center will undoubtedly serve as a critical support system for these individuals as they navigate the challenges of working overseas. By providing easily accessible, round-the-clock support, OWWA is demonstrating its steadfast commitment to the welfare of OFWs and their families.

Proposed New OFW Social Security System for OFWs

The House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs has underlined the importance of establishing a distinctive social security and retirement system for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The proposed system, enshrined in House Bill 8574, was passionately advocated for by the Committee Chairperson and KABAYAN Party-list Representative, Ron Salo.

There is an existing Social Security System (SSS) program for OFWs but this type of system also applies to voluntary contributors who are based in the Philippines. It does not cater to their unique needs and situations. The proposed system aims to provide comprehensive social protection for OFWs, including financial support in cases of job loss, disability, or death. It also includes a retirement fund that will ensure the OFWs’ well-being in their old age.

ofw social security system sss

Comprehensive Social Security for OFWs

This proposed system aims to provide extensive social protection for OFWs, ensuring their health and prosperity. It is devised to supply financial aid in times of unemployment, disability, or bereavement, acting as a financial buffer for OFWs and their dependents during trying times. With this, OFWs would be able to secure a retirement fund, guaranteeing them financial stability and protection in their twilight years, and thus, affording them the tranquility and respect they so rightly deserve.

Assistance for Returning OFWs

In the same session, the committee deliberated on the potential aid and benefits for OFWs returning home due to international crises and disasters. Representatives from the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) briefed the committee on their ongoing efforts to attend to the immediate and long-term welfare and livelihood needs of OFWs.

OFWs Aid from Government Action Fund

DMW Office-in-Charge, Atty. Hans Leo Cacdac, revealed that the bulk of OFW assistance is derived from a PHP1.2-billion action fund reserved for legal, medical, and humanitarian support.

Since its distribution in April 2023, the fund has provided assistance to 5,325 beneficiaries, including those affected by the earthquake in Turkey, disasters in Dubai within the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, as well as conflicts in Sudan, Lebanon, and Israel.

Monetary Assistance and Reintegration Support for OFWs

Cacdac further stated that returning OFWs could receive immediate financial assistance of PHP30,000, while conflict-affected OFWs could claim up to PHP50,000.

OWWA Director, Jocelyn Hapal, reported her office’s provision of counseling, skills training, financial and reintegration planning, as well as pre-departure briefing.

Comprehensive Support for OFWs

Hapal said, “On-site, OWWA conducts counseling, and we profile OFW returnees so we have a better understanding of their credentials. This will guide us on what reintegration assistance can be provided”.

OWWA has also established diverse reintegration programs, aid for specialized repatriation cases, special livelihood and educational assistance for surviving family members, and disability and death benefits, among other services.

House Committee’s Diligent Work For OFW Welfare

Previously, Salo disclosed that Speaker Martin Romualdez had instructed his panel to continue their work during the break to deliberate on bills aiming to improve the welfare of OFWs. This directive has become increasingly pertinent considering the repatriation of OFWs due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Salo expressed, “As our courageous OFWs return to our homeland, often after enduring various challenges abroad, we believe it is our duty to provide them with comprehensive support and assistance”. He further stated that the House committee would research possible legislation to safeguard OFWs and facilitate their reintegration into society.

This aligns with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration’s programs for OFWs.

error: Content is protected !!