What exactly does it mean to be an Overseas Filipino Worker, or OFW?

OFW Reintegration Program: What you should know

OFW Reintegration Program




What exactly does it mean to be an Overseas Filipino Worker, or OFW?

ofw reintegration program


The phrase “Overseas Filipino Worker” (often abbreviated as OFW) refers to migrants from the Philippines as well as inhabitants of the Philippines who have lived and worked in a country other than the Philippines for a brief amount of time.

The proclamation designating December as the “Month of Overseas Filipinos” was first signed into law by the late President Cory Aquino in 1988. This was done in recognition of the significant role that OFWs play in the expansion of the Philippine economy.


The reasons why Filipinos choose to work in other countries

The following is a list of some of the reasons why Filipinos are interested in working in other countries.


Greater chances for a career.

One of the primary motivations for Filipinos to seek employment outside of the country is the opportunity to find “greener pastures.” They discover more professional prospects in other countries, where they can put their expertise to use. They can also improve their knowledge and abilities, both of which may help them develop and do more in the future.


Increased monetary reward

Most Filipinos seek to find job outside of the country because of the greater salary and the better career chances. In contrast, persons with more years of experience continue to earn poor salary in the Philippines, which causes them to turn down employment opportunities when they are presented with them.


There are no stringent requirements to qualify for certain positions.

One further reason why Filipinos wish to find job outside of the country is that many local businesses in the Philippines want its workers to have certain qualifications, a particular number of years of experience, and a certain educational background. It is going to be quite difficult for you to hunt for a career that pays well if you do not have these credentials.


Permanent residency scheme

The longer Filipinos continue to live and work outside of the country, the better their chances become of obtaining a permanent residence status. One of the most compelling reasons to become a long-term overseas worker is the opportunity to pursue residence in a foreign country in search of improved working and living circumstances.


Moving one’s family out of the country

To provide for their family back in the Philippines, many Filipinos find jobs in other countries. Since Filipinos place a high value on family, it is likely that they would wish to bring their families along with them when they go overseas in search of better employment and lifestyle opportunities. When they already have a job and a place to live in another country, it makes everything simpler.


What is Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA?)

owwa logo

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, sometimes known as OWWA, is a membership organization in addition to being an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and the people who rely on them are afforded protection and the promotion of their welfare under this law. It was first established in 1977 and was called by its current name, which is the Welfare and Training Fund for Foreign Employees.

The Overseas Women’s Welfare Association, or OWWA as it is more generally known, has a presence in 31 abroad locations throughout 27 nations. In addition to this, it has a presence in each of the seventeen regions around the country.

OWWA is concerned about the well-being of overseas workers and the families they leave behind. It is present at all three phases of migration: before departure, while migrants are in transit, and after they have arrived at their destination.

OWWA gives its first-time employees an education on the reality of working overseas before they go abroad for the first time.

Students also get instruction in fundamental language skills. While overseas, OWWA members provide assistance to overseas workers who are having problems with their employers. The Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) is prepared with its livelihood training and programs for the reintegration of OFWs when they finally return home.



Assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families is a long-standing mission of the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA). The office also offers support to returning OFWs who decide to settle down permanently in the Philippines


The Reintegration Program for OFWs, commonly known as OWWA Loan or OFW Loan in the Philippines, was launched by OWWA in collaboration with the Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines.

Here are a few crucial notes about the OFW Reintegration Program:

  1. Only OWWA members who are currently employed overseas are eligible to apply for the OFW Reintegration Program.
  2. An individual who intends to operate a business as a sole proprietor or a group that includes a partnership, cooperative, or corporation are both eligible borrowers.
  3. The business plan must generate a monthly net income of Php 10,000.00. To maximize profits, the borrower should select a firm that he or she is acquainted with and that is simple to comprehend and operate.
  4. The loan amount might range from Php 100,000.00 to Php 2,000,000.00.
  5. There are two (2) types of payment terms;
  6. a) Short-Term Loan – repayable in one month (1)
  7. b) Long Term Loan – repayable in seven (7) years, subject to cash flow.
  8. The borrower must provide loan security. Real estate mortgages, chattel mortgages (machines or equipment), receivables, and even bank deposits are examples.

dpb and landbank logo

LINK for the photo: https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2016/02/22/approved-merger-dbp-lbp/ 

Source: Balikbayad


For those who wants to apply for an OFW Loan, here are the instructions:

  1. Get OWWA Certification as confirmation that you are a genuine member of OWWA.
  2. Contact your local OWWA office to receive information about the Enterprise Development Training (EDT) that will assist you in obtaining the requisite Certificate of Completion.
  3. Send the applicant’s bio data together with business-related papers such as a business plan, DTI registration, a mayor’s permit, and, if feasible, complete financial statements including assets and liabilities.
  4. Obtain the EDT Certification and submit all additional criteria to the Land Bank for examination and processing.
  5. It is critical that you provide complete criteria to prevent delays and a 45-day wait for examination and processing.


Cross-Border Linkages, International Labour Organization Collaboration with QC QC PESO Migrants Resource Center, and Reintegration and Financial Planning Training for On-Site OFWs Talk.


The Quezon City Migrants Resource Center (QCMRC), International Labour Organization (ILO) represented by BRIDGE Program National Project Coordinator Allyssa Dacasin and Ms. Mai Anonuevo, ASec. Vennie Legaspi and Ms. Andrea Anolin from Department of Migrant Workers, and Migrant Welfare Offices of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait discuss the Reintegration and Financial Planning Training for Onsite OFWs as

The objective of the project is to strengthen the connections and coordination of the QCMRC with Filipino communities abroad and with Migrant Welfare Offices, while at the same time educating migrant workers and their families about the concepts of full-cycle reintegration and the programs and services of the National Agencies and the Local Government Unit of Quezon City throughout the entire migration cycle.



Overseas Filipino Investors and Entrepreneurs Movement

In collaboration with PinoyWISE Qatar, is honored to have participated in the first of a two-part ‘Training of Trainers’ on ‘Cross-Border Capacity Building on Reintegration Preparedness – Reintegration and Financial Planner’ held on March 3, 2023.

This virtual training and workshop, which was held simultaneously in Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Riyadh KSA, Al Khobar KSA, Jeddah KSA, and Quezon City, Philippines, aims to equip trainers with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide effective reintegration and financial planning services to returning migrant workers and their families.


The curriculum emphasizes instruction in two primary areas: reintegration and financial planning. The reintegration program consists of courses on psychological and social reintegration, in addition to career and business planning. Budgeting, savings, and investments are covered in the financial planning course.





Quezon City and the International Labor Organization (ILO) have just signed a milestone partnership to establish Metro Manila’s first Migrant Resource Center.


OFW one-stop shop

The local government of Quezon City, in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO), is getting ready to inaugurate the Migrant Resource Center (MRC) that will be located within the City Hall complex. This center is going to be the very first one-stop shop destination in the National Capital Region that caters to the needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families.

The city government and the International Labor Organization (ILO) signed an implementation agreement today that includes the establishment of the center to improve the governance of migration and development in the city, as well as the implementation of programs and the provision of services.

“Local governments are key actors in migration governance. Being in the frontline, they are responsible for cascading and translating national policies and programs to better reach migrants, their families, and communities.”

stated by Mr. Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the ceremonial signing on the partnership on strengthening and institutionalizing a gender-responsive Migrant Resource Centre (MRC)

According to the Legislation, the MRC will provide services to all categories of migrants, including those with permanent, temporary, and illegal employment. In the same manner, several migration-related programs and services offered by Quezon City and other partner organizations would be consolidated under one roof.

It will provide evaluation and referral services, local job facilitation, psychosocial first aid, and pertinent information on migration via the Overseas Filipino Worker Help Desk (OFW Help Desk).

Reintegration services including training in livelihood skills, re-skilling, and re-tooling for those who are returning to the city, as well as seminars and training for OFWs and their family circles, will also be made available. These services, along with case handling and legal aid services, will be made available.

“The ILO, with the support of development partners, the European Union (EU) and the Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF), affirms its partnership with the Quezon City MRC on the following components:

improving gender-responsive service delivery and coordination mechanisms; enhancing local data collection and management; building the capacity of migration stakeholders including service providers, OFWs, families, communities, OFW groups and network); strengthening migrant groups and networks; and increasing public awareness of labor migration and the MRC’s services.”

“The ILO also supports MRCs in Region V (Bicol) and Region VI (Western Visayas). Quezon City can learn from these engagements. Similarly, the practices and innovations that will emerge out of the partnership with Quezon City can be replicated in other areas.” Mr. Khalid Hassan added. 

In addition, the center will be entrusted with producing gender-sensitive activities for migratory women. This is in line with the City’s strong support for women’s empowerment and gender equality, which the city has been strongly advocating for.

The Public Employment Services Office is the organization that serves in the capacity of Secretariat.

This assistance is provided by the European Union and is included in the Safe and Fair Program, which is the program for the ASEAN of the Spotlight Initiative, which is a cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations to put an end to violence against women and girls.

This program will also get support from the ILO-UN Women-IOM BRIDGE Program, which was created with the intention of assisting the government in meeting the obligations it made under the Global Compact for Migration.

The Director of the International Labor Organization’s National Office in the Philippines, Mr. Khalid Hassan, said that the establishment of the Migrant Resource Center is a milestone move for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Quezon City is known as one of the top sites of origin for OFWs.

As of the year 2020, the Philippine Statistics Authority estimates that there are more than 1.77 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) working in other countries, and of them, about 60 percent are women.

More than seventy-five percent of overseas Filipino workers are employed in lower-paying and more insecure positions, such as those in the service industry, administrative work, sales, or industrial or manufacturing labor. The majority of those working in these more dangerous occupations are female. The National Capital Area is one of the top five regions from which overseas Filipino workers originate.

He then ends the meeting by saying “I hope that the Quezon City MRC, with help from development partners, will be able to keep implementing programs and services that meet the needs of our migrant workers and their families.”


Reference: https://quezoncity.gov.ph/qc-ilo-ink-landmark-partnership-for-metro-manilas-first-migrant-resource-center/ 



Lists of available services of Philippine Embassy in Kuwait at POLO OWWA Kuwait 


The address of their office would be at Villa 35-A, Abdulrahman Al-Ghafeki Street, Block 1, Salwa Area, Kuwait Philippine Embassy in Kuwait . Their Office Hours starts from 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Sundays to Thursdays.


If there are any inquiries, they can also be reached in this numbers and e-mail:

Passport and Other Consular Services Hotlines: +965 6990 2188

Assistance to Nationals (ATN) Hotline: +965 6500 2612

E-mail Address: kuwait.pe@dfa.gov.ph



Photo courtesy to: Pilipino sa Kuwait



Programs that are also offered are the following list:

Consular Services

Philippine passport application and renewal

Replacement of lost and mutilated (damaged) Philippine passport

Solemnization of marriage between Filipinos

Report of Birth, Report of Marriage, and Report of Death

Notarization of affidavits and contracts

Affidavits of support and consent

Authentication of NSO or PSA documents, diplomas, transcripts of records, NBI Clearance, and documents notarized in the Philippines

Parental travel permits

Certification of those applying for Dependent Visa

Certifications of Philippine Driver’s Licenses

Travel documents

Philippine visa application (tourist, business, recruitment, and student)

Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN)

Assistance for Undocumented Overseas Filipinos

Medical Response and Assistance

Legal Assistance

Humanitarian Pull-out

Location of Whereabouts of Missing Filipinos

Shipment of Human Remains

Repatriation to the Philippines



Office Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Sundays to Thursdays

Telephone Numbers: +965 9403 9063

Email Address: jadpolokuwait@gmail.com


Verification of Employment Contracts

Balik-Manggagawa Applications

Assistance to OFWs with Labor- or Contract-Related Cases and Issues (e.g., unpaid salary and indemnity claims)

Welfare Assistance

Temporary Shelter to Distressed OFWs

Conciliation and Counseling

Repatriation of Documented OFWs to the Philippines

Validation of COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates issued in Kuwait



Office Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., Sundays to Thursdays

Telephone Numbers: +965 9403 9063

E-mail Address: kuwait@owwa.gov.ph


Education and Training Assistance Program

Training Program from Filipino Seafarers

Education for Development Scholarship Program (for dependents of Overseas Filipino Workers)

OFW Dependents Scholarship Program

Education and Livelihood Assistance Program

Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program

Reintegration Program

Enterprise Development and Loan Program

Social Benefits Program

Disability and Dismemberment Benefit

Death and Burial Benefit


OWWA Rebate Program

Kasama na rin po dito ang PAG-IBIG, SSS at DSWD. 


For more inquiries, please visit  https://kuwaitpe.dfa.gov.ph/ 



The majority of OFWs who permanently settle back in the Philippines have various tales to share. Some people have a track record of success, which enables them to freely invest in companies they believe will benefit them the most.

Financially prepared OFWs invest in companies like restaurant franchises, travel agencies, buy-and-sell firms, or rental businesses, to mention a few.

But what about OFWs who come home but lack the resources to launch a significant business?

Here are some ideas for handling the circumstance:

  1. Spend time with your loved ones. You’ll gain the courage to start the next phase of your life while you’re with them.
  2. If you are still in good enough health, hunt for local jobs. You might look for reliable individuals that are eager to assist you in starting again.
  3. Start in your area if you have extra skills like baking, cooking, or crafts.
  4. Launch an E-Load company. Even if you are having your regular sleep at 2 pm or it’s a little after 11 pm and someone must buy an E-load from you because it’s an emergency, be prepared to respond to a customer.
  5. Visit the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in your municipal building. For returning OFWs, they offer reintegration programs. In accordance with TESDA, they also provide free skill and livelihood training.
  6. Pray for wisdom and courage and express your gratitude. Simply put, we are human beings with limits. Put your trust and faith in God’s benevolence.


OWWA hotline

For OWWA hotline just dial: 1348

Regional: (02) 1348

International: (+632)1348




Visit their Official Facebook page: OWWAofficial

For Messenger: owwa.cares

Link to their page: www.owaa.gov.ph

Email: owwacares@owwa.gov.oh



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