Before Filipinos can visit any local Overseas Workers Welfare Administration office, they need to schedule an appointment in advance. Whether you want to inquire about current programs the agency is implementing or you need to settle your membership fee, it’s important to understand the requirements, qualifications, and steps in scheduling an appointment with OWWA.
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), on the other hand, are required to get their accounts active in order to qualify for the programs and benefits offered by OWWA. If you need to renew your account, you need to make an appointment by visiting the nearest OWWA office or the POLO-OWWA International office located in the country of your employment. Check out this guide for the step-by-step procedure on how to schedule an OWWA appointment for OFWs.
What Is OWWA Membership?
OWWA membership is an affordable insurance policy offered by the Philippine government to OFWs. The cost is $25 only and can be renewed to get a validity of two years. With this insurance policy, you can avail the programs and benefits that are solely for OWWA members. In a report released by the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2020, over 2.2 million OFWs were employed abroad between April to September 2019.
As a government agency that ensures OFWs get fair opportunities, OWWA works with the Department of Labor and Employment to protect their interests while providing welfare programs to their dependents. They also administer welfare services across employment, legal, business, and socio-cultural affairs.
The programs include career- or country-specific education, training programs, repatriation and reintegration programs, in-country and on-site welfare assistance, scholarships for OFW dependents, and social benefits.
- Valid passport.
- Membership fee.
- Work permit or employment pass.
- Duly signed employment contract.
- OWWA OFW Membership Information Sheet.
- Valid visa for OFWs applying through the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in their work country.
How to Schedule an OWWA Appointment via Regional Welfare Office
All beneficiaries or applicants of OWWA programs and services need to become an OWWA member first by paying the membership fee on the scheduled appointment. In this guide, you will learn how to schedule an OWWA appointment through any OWWA Regional Welfare Office or POLO-OWWA Office.
Below are the simplified steps in booking an appointment with OWWA for OFWs:
Step 1: Go to this link https://appointment.owwa.gov.ph/ and download the OWWA Information sheet, then print a copy.
Step 2: Select the nearest OWWA office branch in your area and the program or service you need.
Step 3: A pop-up calendar will appear so you can schedule your appointment. The dates in gray means they are already booked. Select the desired date and time for your application, then click Next.
Step 4: Provide your complete name, email address, present home address, gender, and other details on the personal information sheet. Make sure all details are correct before clicking Next.
Step 5: Review your personal information and proceed to confirmation.
Step 6: Click “Submit Appointment”, then wait for OWWA’s confirmation message that will be sent to your email address provided on the sheet. Don’t forget to print the confirmation slip because you will need to present it during your appointment.
If you want to schedule an appointment with OWWA, make sure to prepare the following documents:
- OWWA Information Sheet
- Employment Contract
- Copy of valid passport with photo
- Work permit card or employment pass
- Membership fee payment of Php 1,000 to Php 1,500 (equivalent to $25)
Each OWWA Regional office gives their guidelines that you must follow. Before you appointment, be sure you have a copy of your appointment confirmation slip, accomplished information sheet, and other important documents that your local branch will ask for.
How to Set an OWWA Appointment through POLO-OWWA International Office
Below are the quick steps when booking an appointment in any POLO-OWWA International offices:
1. Make sure you have an active email address as POLO OWWA will use it to send the confirmation message after scheduling your appointment.
2. Visit their website and download a copy of your information sheet and fill it up.
3. Visit OWWA’s official website designated in the country of your employment. Use this URL to search for the designated website https://bookowwa.timetap.com/#/
4. Read the terms and condition carefully and check the box if you agree, then click Next.
5. Choose the specific service you need and then click Next.
6. A pop-up calendar will show up so you can set the date and time. Please note that the number in gray marking are no longer available. Select your preferred date and time, then click Next.
7. Provide all the necessary details to complete your information sheet including your name, mobile number, date of birth, gender, and present home address.
8. Check the information you provided and click Save. A notification will pop up on your screen saying “Thank You! Your appointment has been scheduled!”
9. Wait until your receive a confirmation message on the email address you provided. Print the confirmation slip so you can present it during your appointment.
For the requirements, make sure you have the following documents:
- Valid passport copy with bio page.
- Certificate of Employment, work permit, or Employment Contract.
- Accomplished OWWA OFW Information Sheet.
- Membership Fee payment.
- Other documents to prove your employment abroad.
Don’t forget to bring your appointment confirmation slip, accomplished information sheet, and the documents required by the POLO-OWWA.
How to Navigate the OWWA Appointment Portal
If you want to navigate the Online Appointment System, visit this link https://appointment.owwa.gov.ph/. Keep in mind that this web portal is dedicated to making an appointment when you need to visit an OWWA office regardless of your destination.
Moreover, this online appointment system allows OFWs to set an appointment with their agency without experiencing the hassles of personally visiting an OWWA office. If you’re already abroad and don’t have enough time to visit the office in person, this is a convenient solution. However, not all offices are available in the web portal yet. Remember, this is a new feature that OWWA offered, so some offices still accept manual appointments.
Now, let’s focus on the OFW Information Sheet. The OWWA Online Appointment Portal will require you to provide your personal details such as full name, contact number, email address, and date of birth. All this information helps the agency to easily contact you in case they need to talk to you about some concerns.
If you have questions while filling out your information sheet or have some missing documentary requirements, you can still submit your application by going to the OWWA office. The staff will help you complete the process.
Benefits of OWWA Membership
Generally, OFWs need to keep in touch with the OWWA in order to enjoy the benefits and programs. When you apply as a member of OWWA, you protect yourself as you work abroad. Not only that, you are also protecting your family back home. OWWA membership works like an insurance, you are covered throughout your time as an OFW.
It’s so easy to become an OWWA member. You can obtain your membership after processing your contract at any POEA office, or as voluntary member at your job site. As an OWWA member, you are entitled to the following benefits:
- Life/Social benefits. Php 100,000 death coverage if you die of natural cause, or Php 200,000 if it’s caused by an accident while abroad. Php 50,000 disability coverage for partial, or Php 100,000 for permanent disability. For funeral expenses, you can get up to Php 20,000 coverage for legal heirs.
- Educational benefits. You can enjoy Education for Development Scholarship Program, Information Technology Training, Seafarer’s Upgrading Program, OFW Dependents Scholarship Program, Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program, and Education and Livelihood Assistance Program.
- Reintegration Program. This includes skills training, psycho-social services, income-generating projects, lending assistance, and OFW assistance for livelihood projects.
- Repatriation Program. Distressed OFWs can benefit from this program as it provides ticket assistance to the airport, temporary shelter available at the OWW Halfway House, and the provision for OFWs during their vacation in the Philippines.
OWWA will assist you and your family when getting social and financial assistance. After all, this agency is dedicated to protecting your well-being and rights as an OFW. When it comes to legal support, you can benefit from its scholarships and training to dependents. In other words, OWWA membership protects you and your family’s interests and future.
Wrapping It Up
The requirements and steps when scheduling an OWWA appointment can be simple but securing all the required documents can be overwhelming at the same time. Therefore, it’s important to consider preparing all the documentation requirements to expedite the whole process. More importantly, you can simply book your appointment online.
Make sure to check your exact location for any updated guidelines. Also, you can check out the official social media accounts to get real-time updates from the agency. This guide shall help you in every step to setting an appointment with OWWA for OFWs.