Everything you need to know about OWWA Loans

Everything you need to know about OWWA Loans -diarynigracia

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It is a common misconception that all overseas workers earn a lot of money and don’t need financial assistance. However, there are some points in our life when we need help and seek any form of financial aid to help us through urgent and unexpected expenses.

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Age Bracket: 21 – 40 years old

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Being a worker abroad, may it be land-based or sea-based, is entitled to a lot of benefits through government assistance since it is mandatory to be a member of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), and it is the organization’s job to help and provide resources to OFWs depending on what they need. During tough times, when an OFW needs money, OWWA Loans can rescue our OFWs who are short on cash.



What is OWWA?


The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, or OWWA, is a Philippine agency and a member institution under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) which handles the welfare of our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and seafarers. It was organized with the Welfare and Training Fund For Overseas Workers in the Department of Labor when the late President Ferdinand Marcos signed a letter of instruction on May 01, 1977.


The national government agency aims to implement welfare programs and services that assist with the needs of the OFWs and their families using the administered trust fund, the OWWA Fund. The OWWA Fund is funded through the membership’s contributions or fees given by employers, investments, and other income sources. This fund delivers proper welfare services and benefits to its members and ensures capital build-up and fund viability.


Becoming an OWWA member is easy. You just need to head to your region’s nearest Regional Welfare Office and apply for membership. If you’re abroad, you can visit the nearest POLO-OWWA Office Abroad. You can download the OWWA Mobile app for a much more convenient application.


Once you’re a certified OWWA member, you are entitled to various benefits and services, especially for your migration process. For first-time workers, OWWA Facilitates their basic language training and educates them on the realities of overseas work before they leave the country. Once the worker has reached abroad, OWWA assists the OFWs when they encounter issues and concerns with their employer. And when they return home, they will receive various training and livelihood programs if they plan to start a business and decides to stay.



Social Benefits


1.     Disability and Dismemberment


In cases when the member got injured due to an accident while working abroad, they are entitled to receive disability/dismemberment benefits.


Program Benefits

  • Partial Disability: ₱50,000
  • Permanent Disability: ₱100,000



  • Must be an active OWWA Member



  • OFW Membership Record
  • A copy of the OFW-Member Passport or Seaman’s Identification Record Book (SIRB)
  • Foreign Medical Certificate with English Translation
  • Medical Certificate
  • Accident Report or Master’s Report (for seafarers)
  • One copy of 1 x 1 photo
  • If the claimant is not OFW, he/she should submit an Authorization Letter with the ID of the OFW.
  • At least one valid ID of the Authorized Claimant


2.    Death and Burial


In cases when the OFW died while working abroad, the beneficiaries are entitled to receive cash assistance and burial gratuity to assist them with the decent burial of their loved ones.


Program Benefits

  • Natural Cause of Death: ₱100,000
  • Accidental Cause of Death: ₱200,000
  • Funeral Grant: ₱20,000



  • The deceased OFW-Member’s Qualified dependent



  • OFW Membership Record
  • A copy of the OFW-Member Passport or Seaman’s Identification Record Book (SIRB)
  • Two Valid IDs and one copy of 1 x 1 ID Picture of the claimant
  • Death Certificate and police or accident report (if death is caused by accident)
  • Burial Permit and official receipt of payment in funeral
  • Affidavit of Undertaking executed by the claimant
  • Proof of relationship to OFW Member
    • OFW Cenomar, if single
    • Marriage Certificate
    • Birth Certificate of OFW, if the claimant is the parent
    • Birth Certificate of the claimant and death certificate of the deceased spouse for OFWs child.



3.    Supplemental Medical Assistance for OFWs (MEDplus)


The program aims to provide financial assistance to the OFW member with their hospital/medical bills who have been dreaded with a disease or hospitalized while in the Philippines or at their job sites.


Program Benefits

  • Payment to the OFW member’s fees that is equivalent to the PhilHealth Benefits under its case rate system but should not exceed ₱50,000 per member.



  • An active OWWA Member
  • An Active PhilHealth Member



  • MEDPlus Application Form
  • OFW Membership Record
  • One copy of Passport Size Photo
  • Valid Passport
  • Valid Identification Card (ID)
  • Member Data record from PhilHealth
  • Other documents if the family of the OFW Member will claim the assistance
    • If OFW is abroad: Duly Notarized Special Power of Attorney executed by the OFW
    • If the OFW is deceased: death certificate of the deceased OFW / Marriage Certificate or Birth Certificate of the NOK-Claimant issued by the PSA


4.    Welfare Assistance Program (WAP)


The Welfare Assistance Program is an extended assistance to the OFW members and their families who are not qualified to any existing OWWA Social benefit Program and services. It is a cash relief that can assist OWWA members in any of the following circumstances which are not covered under the regular programs implemented by the Secretariat.


a.     Calamity Assistance

Calamity Assistance provides financial assistance to OFW Members and their families who are affected by natural or man-made disasters.


            Program Benefits

  • Natural Disaster: ₱1,000
  • Manmade Disaster: ₱3,000



  • Active OFW OWWA Member
  • Affected by a n atural or man-made disaster


  • If the claimant is the OFW Member
    • One Valid Identification Document (ID)
  • If the claimant is the beneficiary of the OFW in the Philippines
    • One Valid ID of the OFW
    • Proof of relationship with the OFW
      • If the OFW’s spouse
        • Marriage contract of the OFW
      • If the OFW’s child (18 years old and above)
        • Child’s birth certificate
        • Valid copy of the passport or ID of the OFW
        • Letter of Authorization from the OFW
      • If the OFW’s child (below 18 years old)
        • Child’s birth certificate
        • Letter of Affidavit of the Guardians
        • Valid copy of the passport or ID of the OFW
        • Letter of Authorization from the OFW
      • If the OFW’s parents (if OFW is single)
        • Birth certificate of the OFW
      • If the OFW’s sibling
        • Birth certificate or marriage certificate of the claimant
        • Valid copy of the passport or ID of the OFW
        • Letter of Authorization from the OFW
        • Marriage certificate of the OFW (If the OFW is married)


b.     Bereavement Assistance


The Bereavement Assistance is a counterpart of the Death and Burial program. This program aims to assist active and inactive OFW members and their families who are not eligible to avail of the Death and Burial program. Financial assistance will be given to the dependents when a non-active OWWA member dies.


Program Benefits

  • Cash Assistance: up to ₱20,000



  • Must be a family member of the non-active OWWA Member
  • Should not be eligible to avail of the Social Benefits Services



  • Valid ID of the deceased OFW
  • Validity of filing within three years after the death of the OFW-Member
  • Proof of relationship to the OFW


c.     Medical Assistance


The medical assistance program is intended for OFW members who got sick or injured due to a crime or accident but not covered by the MEDPlus Program.


Program Benefits

  • Medical Assistance: up to ₱20,000



  • OFW Members and OFW Qualified Dependents
  • Should not be covered by the MEDPlus Program



  • OWWA Membership ID
  • At least two Valid IDs of the OFW or the claimant
  • If the claimant is not the OFW, an authorization letter with the OFW’s ID.
  • Original Medical Certificate or Abstract with PTR No. of the Attending Physician.


d.     Financial Relief Assistance Program (FRAP)


The Financial Relief Assistance Program is a one-time financial assistance given to the qualified displaced OFW. The program is part of the government’s repatriation program which aims to assist them in adjusting the displaced OFWs to their communities to lessen the impact of losing their employment or source of income once they return home.


Program Benefits

  • Financial Relief: ₱10,000



  • OFWs who returned to the Philippines due to the loss of employment due to the economic downturn in their country of residence.
  • OFWs who haven’t left the country since they were repatriated.
  • OFWs who have pending money claims that are filed in the court in the country of their employment.
  • OFWs who have passed away can also avail the program



  • Accomplished application form
  • At least two valid IDs of the OFW or the Claimant
  • If the claimant is not the OFW, an authorization letter of the OFW’s ID is required
  • Certification from OWWA-POLO of OFW’s Job Sites
  • In case of stranded BM, 1-3 apply and to include:
    • Return ticket or boarding pass of last arrical to the Philippines
    • Valid Visa
  • OWWA Membership ID
  • Original Medical Certificate or Abstract with PTR No. of the attending Physician (If the OFW is suffering any health issues)
  • Passport or Travel Documents
  • Proof of loss of employment due to Covid-19
    • Notice or Certificate of termination of Employment by the Employer or Foreign/Philippine Recruitment Agency
    • “Sariling Salaysay” on the loss of employment due to Covid-19 with a Valid ID.
  • Proof of Overseas Employment
    • A copy of the Overseas Employment Contract (OEC)
    • Balik Mangagawa (BM) Online Certificate
    • Residence ID
    • Visa or Re-entry Visa
  • Proof of Return to the Philippines (for ROF)
    • Boarding Pass and/or
    • Air Ticket



Education and Training


1.     Scholarship for Dependents


a.     Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP)


A scholarship grant given to the qualified OFW dependents until the completion of their baccalaureate course. The selection is based on the DOST’s national examination for incoming freshmen. While 600 slots are only given for those who are already enrolled in college.


Program Benefits

  • ₱60,000 scholarship Grant per school year until the completion of their course



b.     OFW Dependent Scholarship Program


A financial assistance given to the qualified OFW dependent whose monthly salary is not more than US $600. Dependents shall enroll, currently enrolled, or have been enrolled in any four or five year baccalaureate or associate course in any college or university.


Program Benefits

  • ₱60,000 scholarship Grant per school year until the completion of their course


c.     Education and Livelihood Assistance Program for the Dependents of Deceased OFW Members (ELAP)


The ELAP program is intended for the dependents of the OFW active member who are convicted or charged with the death penalty in a foreign country. The financial aid aims to provide assistance to the dependent’s continuing education and a livelihood activity for the other survivor’s family members to have a source of income.


Program Benefits

  • Educational Assistance
    • Kindergarten: ₱5,000
    • High School: ₱8,000
    • College: ₱10,000
  • Livelihood Assistance: ₱15,000



2.    Seafarer’s Upgrading Program (SUP)


The program provides a short-term training program for seafarers to ensure a competitive advantage in meeting International Maritime Organization’s competency standards.


Program Benefits

  • Short-term training programs
  • Financial assistance of a maximum of ₱7,500 per upgrading course



3.    Short-Term Training Programs for OFWs and Dependents


a.     Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP)


A short-term training program intended for OFW members and their qualified dependents to lead that allows them to acquire skills and knowledge to any vocational course in any school accredited by TESDA, MARINA, or any government training institution.


Program Benefits

  • A 6-month to 2 years training program
  • Financial Assistance of a maximum of ₱14,500 per training course




Reintegration Program


1.     Balik Pinas! Balik HanapBuhay! Program


The program provides financial assistance and a livelihood package to distressed OFW returnees that can finance their start-up business or additional capital for their livelihood project.


Program Benefits

  • Financial Assistance: maximum of ₱20,000



2.    Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-Unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong-PUSO)


Partnered up with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the Tulong-PUSO program is a one-time financial aid that assists with the OFW groups’ proposed business plans for both start-ups and expansion.


The program shall aid the following: Livelihood Start-up for the formation and start of the business undertaking, Livelihood Expansion for the enhancement of an existing business to grow into a sustainable and viable enterprise, and a Livelihood Restoration to enable the re-establishment of a lost or damaged business enterprise.


Program Benefits

  • Financial Grant for OFW Groups
    • Micro-Sized (5 to 10 members): maximum of ₱150,000
    • Small-Sized (11 to 15 members): maximum of ₱250,000
    • Medium-Sized (16 to 30 members): maximum of ₱500,000
    • Large-Sized (31 or more members): maximum of ₱1 million



Covid-19 Related Assistance


1.     DOLE-OWWA AKAP for OFWs


The program aims to support the OFW returnees that are directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as temporarily or permanently losing their job, by giving them financial assistance.


Program Benefits

  • Financial Assistance: ₱10,000



2.    Educational Assistance by Scholarship in Emergencies (Project EASE)


The Project EASE aims to assist the qualified dependent of active OFW member returnees who were repatriated during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Program Benefits

  • Educational Assistance: ₱10,000 per year for a maximum of four years in college.




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