The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a government agency in the Philippines that plays a crucial role in protecting and promoting the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). With millions of Filipinos working abroad, OWWA provides various programs and services to ensure the well-being of these modern-day heroes and their families.
OWWA is important to Pinoys abroad as it serves as their lifeline insurance to the government back home. It offers a wide range of services, including pre-departure orientation seminars, reintegration programs, and emergency repatriation assistance.
History and Mandate
OWWA was established in 1980 through Presidential Decree No. 1694 with the goal of safeguarding the interests of OFWs and their dependents. The agency formerly operated under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) but is now an attached agency of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) in 2023. OWWA has been tasked with implementing policies, programs, and services that cater to the needs of OFWs.
After all, as a Filipino working abroad, it is much necessary to have an insurance program so that in times of crises, such as natural calamities, displacement due to war or political unrest, and other emergencies, OFWs can receive immediate assistance from the government. OWWA has been instrumental in providing this support to OFWs and their families.
OWWA Programs and Services
Social Welfare Services
OWWA provides social welfare services to OFWs and their families. These include health care assistance, livelihood and entrepreneurship development programs, education and training scholarships, and legal assistance.
Scholarship Training Programs
The agency also offers a scholarship program for the children of OFWs, ensuring that they have access to quality education. Scholarships are available for elementary, high school, and college students. OWWA also provides vocational courses and language training programs to help OFWs develop new skills that can improve their employability.
In situations where OFWs face difficulties or need to be repatriated, OWWA extends its support. They provide financial assistance for transportation, temporary shelter, and other necessary services. Additionally, OWWA collaborates with other government agencies and non-government organizations to ensure the smooth and safe return of distressed OFWs to the Philippines.
One of the key objectives of OWWA is to facilitate the successful reintegration of returning OFWs into the local workforce. The agency offers various reintegration programs that aim to provide financial, livelihood, and skills training assistance. These programs empower OFWs to start their own businesses or find stable employment opportunities in the Philippines.
Insurance and Benefits
OWWA provides insurance coverage to OFWs through its Membership Welfare Benefits Program. This program includes disability benefits, death benefits, medical and burial assistance, and livelihood and education assistance. By offering these benefits, OWWA ensures that OFWs and their families are protected in times of unforeseen circumstances.
Programs for Women Migrant Workers
Recognizing the unique challenges faced by women migrant workers, OWWA has specific programs to address their needs. These programs focus on gender-responsive services, protection against abuse and exploitation, and empowerment through skills training and livelihood programs. OWWA works closely with other government agencies, international organizations, and civil society groups to promote the rights and well-being of women OFWs.
OWWA Membership and Contributions
All OFWs, both land-based and sea-based, are required to be members of OWWA. Membership is automatically acquired upon the issuance of an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) or the validation of an e-receipt. OFWs contribute to the OWWA Fund through a one-time membership fee paid upon deployment, which is currently set at USD 25.
Collaboration and Partnerships
OWWA collaborates with various stakeholders, both domestic and international, to enhance its programs and services. The agency partners with Philippine overseas labor offices, foreign missions, international organizations, non-government organizations, and private sectors to ensure the efficient delivery of assistance and protection for OFWs.
The offices of OWWA abroad are located at the Migrant Workers Office, Philippine embassies and consulates. The head office is in Pasay City, Metro Manila, with regional offices in different regions of the Philippines to cater to the needs of OFWs and their families nationwide.
If you are based overseas, it is important to get in touch with the nearest OWWA office in your area. They can provide you with information and assistance regarding OWWA benefits, as well as updates on government regulations and policies affecting OFWs. Keep in mind that OWWA is always ready to help and support OFWs, so do not hesitate to reach out if needed.
Video: OWWA Membership Programs
Here is a videoclip as uploaded on OWWA Member YouTube channel which discusses the various programs and services offered by OWWA to its members.
You may be able to find some helpful details in terms of understanding OWWA programs and services. Please share, like or subscribe to the official OWWA YouTube channel for more updates.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Through its comprehensive programs and services, OWWA extends support to OFWs and their families from pre-departure to post-return.
From social welfare services and repatriation assistance to reintegration programs and insurance benefits, OWWA ensures that OFWs are well taken care of and empowered. With its commitment to continuously improve and adapt to the changing needs of OFWs, OWWA remains a vital institution in the Philippines.