OFW Repatriation Assistance OWWA – How to Apply

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) experiencing the aftermaths of calamity, disasters, conflicts, epidemics, or other similar crises will require emergency assistance. Fortunately, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has allotted an emergency fund to help OFWs through its Repatriation Assistance Program. If you’re an OFW or know someone who needs assistance, read on as we share how to apply for OWWA Repatriation Assistance for OFWs.

As per law, OWWA must establish an emergency fund to evacuate OFWs suffering from conflicts or crises in their host country. The OWWA Repatriation Assistance Program aims to help distressed OFWs if the recruitment agency or principal can’t assist the employees. Under this program, OWWA will cover OFWs all repatriation-related costs, ensuring their safe return to the Philippines. Therefore, the OWWA Repatriation Assistance program will benefit OFWs.

repatriation assistance for ofws in crisis

What is OWWA Repatriation Assistance for OFWs

The OWWA Repatriation Assistance is a program wherein the agency assists OFWs to return safely to the Philippines. It involves helping migrant workers repatriate, given they are physically or mentally ill. OWWA will also help in bringing back to the country the remains or belongings of migrant workers. OWWA executes the emergency repatriation of OFWs during political unrest or natural disasters.

The OWWA repatriation teams collaborate with Local Government Units and other government agencies to carry out the evacuation. These include the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC). OWWA will shoulder all the repatriation costs if they can’t contact the employee’s principal/employer or recruitment agency.


With the OWWA Repatriation Assistance Program, qualified distressed OFWs can access the following benefits:

  • Airport assistance
  • Packed meals
  • Free transportation to quarantine facilities
  • Free quarantine accommodations
  • Temporary shelter at the OWWA Halfway House
  • Psychosocial therapy
  • Stress debriefing
  • Free use of facilities and transportation fares for onward travel to repatriated OFWs’ corresponding provinces via OWWA staff


To qualify for the OWWA Repatriation Assistance Program, the applicant should meet the following:

  • Filipino citizen
  • Active or non-active OFW
  • Land-based or sea-based migrant workers


If qualified for the OWWA Repatriation Assistance Program, here are the following requirements to provide during the application:

  • Copy of valid passport
  • Copy of exit visa
  • Active mobile phone number
  • Exact home address
  • Intake Sheet Form from OWWA Repatriation Assistance Division (OWWA RAD)

Other requirements from the Migrant Workers Office (MWO) and Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), formerly POEA:

  • Overseas Employment Contract (OEC) or other documents proving employment
  • Travel document
  • Proof of Repatriation or Boarding Pass

How to apply for OWWA Repatriation Assistance for OFWs

Follow the steps below to apply for the OWWA Repatriation Assistance Program:

Via Philippine Embassy/ Consulate or MWO

  1. Visit the nearest Philippine Embassy, Philippine Consulate, or MWO.
  2. Ready a copy of your Exit Visa obtained via online application or issued by the passport office. Also, prepare a copy of your valid Philippine passport.
  3. Fill out the OWWA Repatriation Assistance form.
  4. Request for repatriation assistance.
  5. Wait for the Philippine Embassy’s response to your request.

Via OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO)

  1. Visit the OWWA RWO that covers the OFW permanent address.
  2. Fill out the Application Form or Intake Sheet Form.
  3. Proceed to the designated case officer based on the OFW host country:
  4. Table 1- Asian Countries
  5. Table 2- Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Oman
  6. Table 3- Abu Dhabi, Africa, Dubai, Qatar, and other Middle East Countries
  7. Table 5- Europe, North and South Africa, and Seabased workers
  8. Wait for the telephone coordination from the concerned RAD Case Officer:
  9. Coordination with the Legal Service
  10. Coordination, update, and service delivery with the concerned MWO on the job site.

OWWA Repatriation Loan Programs

Apart from repatriation services, OWWA provides loan programs to displaced and distressed OFWs who need financial grants to reintegrate into the country. Below are the repatriation loan programs OWWA offers to eligible returning OFWs:

Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Livelihood Program

The “Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Livelihood Program” is a livelihood grant package OWWA offers to OFWs returning to the country who are displaced or distressed due to a crisis at their job site. This program is accessible to inactive and active OFW OWWA members, given they meet the following conditions:

  • OFWs displaced due to economic problems or political unrest in their host country
  • OFWs who are victims of human trafficking, illegal recruitment, abuse, and other tragic cases
  • Displaced OFWs temporarily staying at the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Resource Center (MWOFRC)
  • OWWA members forced to quit their jobs due to employer financial problems

Qualified applicants of this program will receive the following financial grant for livelihood purposes:

  • Active OWWA members- up to P20,000
  • Inactive OWWA members with more than one (1) month contribution- up to P10,000
  • Inactive OWWA members with only one (1) contribution- up to P5,000

Balik Pinay! Balik Hanapbujay! Livelihood Program

The “Balik Pinay! Balik Hanapbuhay! Livelihood Program” is another assistance repatriated OFWs can avail from OWWA. This livelihood program is for Filipina women workers who fall on the following conditions:

  • Displaced Filipina workers affected by the conflicts and hostilities in their host country
  • Distressed Filipina workers under the care of MWO at Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Resource Center (MWOFRC)
  • Filipina workers who are victims of human trafficking, illegal recruitment, maltreatment, sexual/physical abuse, exploitation (underpaid/unpaid), with pre-terminated contracts, and other tragic cases

Eligible beneficiaries of this program are entitled to a livelihood grant worth P10,000, which consists of the following:

  • Training Cost- P2,500
  • Startet Kit Cost- P7,500

The training cost includes a demo kit, supplies, and materials. Meanwhile, the starter kit includes business equipment, raw materials, tools and jigs, and start-up capital.

OFW Enterprise Development and Loan Program

Repatriated OFWs who wish to start a business can also apply for financial assistance from OWWA through the OFW Enterprise Development and Loand Program (OFW-EDLP). Formerly the OFW Reintegration Program (ORP), the OFW-EDLP is a partnership between OWWA and LANDBANK of the Philippines. The program will help OFWs stay for good in the country by assisting them in building a business enterprise. This program is accessible to the following:

  • Active or Non-active OFW OWWA members
  • Completed the Enhanced Entrepreneurial Development Training (EEDT)
  • If the OFW is still abroad and married, their legal spouse may represent them.
  • If the OFW is still abroad and single/widow/separated, their parents who are not over 60 or their children at least 18 years old may represent them.

Under this program, a single applicant can borrow up to P2,000,000, and groups can loan up to P5,000,000. Qualified beneficiaries can access this program through a Loan Facility. It provides a stable income for OFWs and their families and boosts employment in the community. Moreover, beneficiaries can avail of the Enterprise Development Interventions (EDT), helping OFWs with business management and loans.

Reintegration Program for OFWs

The Reintegration Program is for returning OFWs who are active OWWA members. It aims to prepare and restore the lives of OFW OWWA members through training. This program provides free training to OFWs, including Value Formation, Financial Literacy, Capacity Building, Techno-Skills, and Entrepreneurial. Qualified beneficiaries can also access the Livelihood Assistance and Services package, which can help them develop skills and knowledge for self-employment.

In addition, dependents of OFWs can apply for an Education Program Scholarship to ease their financial burden. To help rebuild the lives of displaced and distressed OFWs, OWWA will assist them in the reintegration process by providing job referrals, business counseling, community organizing, and the Skills and Entrepreneurship (OFW-RISE) Program.

Tulong PUSO Livelihood Program for OFWs

Launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tulong PUSO Livelihood Program for OFWs is a partnership between DOLE and OWWA. Tulong PUSO stands for the Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs Program. This project assists distressed OFWs planning to stay and develop a business in the country. But unlike other assistance programs from OWWA, Tulong PUSO is designed to support OFW groups or organizations.

Also, Tulong PUSO is not a loan program. But it’s a financial grant where eligible OFW groups can get up to P1,000,000 cash aid for livelihood purposes. An OFW group/organization may qualify for this livelihood grant given they meet the following conditions:

  • Distressed OFWs staying for good in the Philippines
  • OFWs who are part of an organization/group with at least five (5) members and registered under SEC, DOLE, and CDA
  • The group should consist of 80% active/inactive OWWA members, and the other 20% can be their family members or undocumented OFWs


  • OFWs who can’t contact the designated MWO-OWWA office in their host country should contact their recruitment agency to assist them with the repatriation process.
  • All registered recruitment and manning agencies should help OFWs with the repatriation. Also, these agencies should report to the DMW office the list of OFWs who require repatriation assistance, including their location, departure flight, and other essential details.
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OFWs who wish to return to the country may need to fill out the e-CIF Form for immigration and quarantine clearance.
  • OFWs who have requested repatriation assistance should complete the DOLE-OASIS Form at least five (5) days before the scheduled flight back to the Philippines.
  • OFWs can request assistance scheduling their flight from the MWO-OWWA office or their recruitment agency.


Since working abroad is coupled with uncertainty, OFWs may find relief knowing that the Philippine government is prepared to help them in times of need. The OWWA Repatriation Assistance Program includes various services and support, streamlining the evacuation process for distressed OFWs affected by economic problems, political unrest, abuse, natural disasters, and other crises.

Furthermore, the assistance OWWA provides does not stop in repatriating OFWs. The agency is also committed to preparing and reintegrating OFWs into their community. OFWs requiring repatriation assistance may visit the nearest Philippine Embassy, Consulate, or MWO office in their area.

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