OWWA Agency for OFWs: Overseas Workers Welfare Administration

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.

owwa overseas workers welfare administration

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 logo

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.

Repatriation Assistance

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.

Reintegration Programs

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 agency action center

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.

OWWA Offices

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.

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.

error: Content is protected !!