Complete List of OWWA Benefits and Programs for OFW Members

The OWWA agency has been very active in helping OFWs, especially with recent health events and crises. There are many benefits that OFWs can get if they become a member of OWWA. Aside from the usual health and welfare benefits, they also provide livelihood programs, training, and assistance with employment, reintegration programs, and many more. Please follow the guidelines below on the list of benefits and programs available to its members.

For the longest time, OFWs have built a reputation as “Modern Heroes” who struggle not only with living and working away from home but also with the difficulties involving communication, finances, family life, and even the work environment. The Philippine government has since addressed the OFWs’ need for protection and support by creating agencies that will serve as their vanguard. 

One such agency is the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA). It is an attached agency and member institution under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Formerly known as the Welfare and Training Fund for Overseas Workers, OWWA’s primary goal is to protect and promote the well-being of Filipino migrant workers and their families. 

The global labor migration landscape has transformed rather drastically over the past years, and in many ways, the support and protection for the migrant workers have changed, too. Even OWWA has come up with various ways to improve the security of OFWs. Having the right programs, for instance, has made a world of difference, especially for the OFWs – our Modern Heroes.

list of owwa programs and services for overseas filipino worker members

Guide to OWWA Programs and Services for OWWA Members

As an agency mandated to develop and implement welfare programs and services for its member OFWs and their families, OWWA offers programs and services to those OFWs who need them. Not many people know these programs, services, and benefits their OWWA membership can get, so we created a comprehensive list just for you.

All OWWA members are eligible to receive benefits, much like government insurance that works well in times of crisis. The programs are separated into different categories meant to address the various aspects of life and the needs of their beneficiaries. To learn how to maximize the receipt of these benefits, OFWs must know in detail about the available OWWA programs and their coverage. 

Here is a detailed list of the OWWA programs and the benefits that come with them, particularly for an OWWA member:

1. Social Benefits

OWWA members are entitled to social benefits or that support that cater to needs resulting from circumstances like calamities, sickness, bereavement, family, education, or housing problems, 

Some of the OWWA programs that cater to these social circumstances include: 

Disability and Dismemberment

Under the Disability and Dismemberment program, active OWWA members are qualified for and entitled to up to Php 100,000.00 cash benefit if they sustain accident-related injuries while working abroad. 

Supplementary Medical Assistance (MEDplus)

MEDplus is a social benefit program that offers supplemental medical assistance to OFWs hospitalized for dreaded diseases. They must be OWWA members with active PhilHealth membership before they can avail of the benefits under this program. This financial assistance offers relief in payment of hospital bills, depending on the case rate system but not exceeding Php 50,000.00 per member.    

Death & Burial

Under the Death and Burial program offered by OWWA, beneficiaries of deceased OFWs can get up to Php 100,000.00 if an active OWWA member dies of natural causes. The beneficiaries can also get an insurance benefit of up to Php 200,000.00 for accidental deaths. 

On top of these death benefits, claimants are entitled to a burial gratuity rider amounting to Php 20,000.00 to help them pay for their funeral expenses for a decent burial rite for their loved ones.  

Welfare Assistance Program (WAP)

The OWWA Welfare Assistance Program (WAP) is another social benefit program extended to active or non-active OWWA members and their qualified dependents, who are not yet eligible for any of the regular OWWA social benefit programs and services. 

Under the WAP, claimants are provided with cash relief assistance in the event of the following circumstances:

  • Calamity assistance for OWWA members-OFWs and families who were affected by natural or human-induced calamities or disasters
  • Bereavement assistance for families and dependents of deceased OFWs who were active OWWA members
  • Disability assistance for victims of crimes or accidents
  • Medical assistance for sick and accidental or crime-injured OWWA members not covered under MEDplus
  • Relief assistance for OWWA members who were displaced or laid-off due to economic, political, health crises, bankruptcy, and other similar conditions

2. Education & Training

Like any other government agency, OWWA also sees value in training and education of the members of OWWA and their dependents. Some programs and services are meant to assist in preparing and training the OWWA members and their qualified dependents. In contrast, others are intended to support their education as they improve their skills.    

Here are some of the education and training programs made available to members by OWWA:

Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP)

The Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP) is a short-term job-related training program specifically designed for seafarers who wish to upskill to maintain their competitive advantage according to the International Maritime Organizations competency standards. The program requires a maximum amount of Php 7,500.00 per upgrading course in the accredited maritime training center.

Short-Term Training Programs For OFWs & Dependents

Different kinds of short-term training programs are available for OFWs and their qualified dependents. Some of these short-term programs include:

Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP)

The Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) is a short-term training program for OFW Members and their qualified dependents. It covers training courses that last for a minimum of 6 months up to 2 years.

The benefits entail receiving a maximum of Php 14,500.00 for each training course leading to the completion of either a technical or vocational course in any school accredited by TESDA, MARINA, and other government training institutions.

Information Technology (IT) Training Program

The Information Technology (IT) Training Program is a computer literacy program designed to help upgrade the IT skills of member OFWs and their families. Initially, OWWA launched the program so IT Centers could be set up in OWWA Regional Offices and other places to enhance family connectivity.

Later, the project evolved into a training program where OFWs and their dependents upgrade their skills and knowledge by learning IT applications.

Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP)

The Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) is a scholarship grant made available to qualified dependents. The program is offered to the following children or siblings of an active OWWA member who satisfies the following qualifications:

  • Incoming Senior High School (Grade 12) who 
  • Has a General Weighted Average (GWA) of at least 80% and has no failing grades upon application
  • Successfully passed the DOST qualifying examination as one of the top 400 passers nationwide
  • Incoming Freshmen (1st-year college)
  • Single, Grade 11 graduate (or Incoming Grade 12 or currently enrolled as Grade 12)
  • Not over 21 years old
  • With a General Weighted Average (GWA) of 80% or higher. 

Note: If the GWA is not yet available at the time of applying, the academic performance of the last two (2) consecutive school years shall be used as the basis for evaluation

  • Belonging to the top 400 qualifiers of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) national qualifying exam
  • Students enrolled in the 2nd to 5th year in college.
  • Not more than 30 years old
  • With a GWA of B letter grade or 85% equivalence or higher in all academic and non-academic subjects during the last school year, attended with a full load. 

Note: All applicants must not be a recipient of any OWWA or other scholarship grants 

The program offers a maximum of Php 60,000.00 per school year until the student completes a baccalaureate course (4-5 years). There are 1000 slots available, 400 for incoming first-year students who passed the DOST national examinations and 600 for those already enrolled in college.

OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP)

The OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) is a scholarship program that offers financial assistance amounting to Php 20,000.00 per school year to the following dependents of OFWs who are active OWWA members: 

  • Incoming Freshmen (1st-year college)
  • Single, Grade 11 graduate (or Incoming Grade 12 or currently enrolled as Grade 12)
  • Not more than 21 years old
  • With a passing grade 
  • For those who are already registered in their 2nd year to 5th year in college
  • Single, not over 30 years old
  • With a passing grade 

Note: Applicant is not a recipient of any OWWA or other scholarship grant

Member OFWs must have a monthly salary of not more than $600.00. The applicants must be enrolled, are currently enrolled, or have been enrolled in any four-year or five-year baccalaureate course or associate course in any college or university.

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

The Education and Livelihood Assistance Program for the Dependents of Deceased OFW Members (ELAP) is a program designed to benefit the survivors or qualified dependents of deceased OFWs who were active OWWA members at the time of death and the families of OFWs who are convicted and punished with the death penalty in foreign countries. 

The recipients must be:

  • Incoming Freshmen (1st-year college)
  • Single, Grade 11 graduate (Incoming Grade 12 / currently enrolled as Grade 12)
  • Not more than 21 years old
  • With a General Weighted Average (GWA) of 80% in all academic and non-academic subjects during the last school year, attended with a full load.
  • For those who are already enrolled in 2nd year to 5th year in college
  • Single, under 30 years old
  • With a General Weighted Average (GWA) of 80% in all academic and non-academic subjects during the last school year, attended with a full load.

Note: Applicant is not a recipient of any OWWA or other scholarship grant

The program offers financial assistance for the continuing education of their qualified dependents, along with a livelihood activity for the surviving members of the family. Under this program, the eligible dependents shall receive:

  • Livelihood Assistance amounting to Php 15,00.00
  • Educational assistance for qualified school-age dependents. The eldest child shall be the qualified dependent, but in cases where the firstborn is not eligible or able, the next-born child shall be elected as the qualified dependent. The assistance covers education assistance amounting to Php 5,000.00 for primary (Kindergarten), Php 8,000.00 for secondary, and Php 10,000.00 for tertiary education.

3. Repatriation

One of the main objectives of OWWA is to ensure that all its members are safe and protected, particularly in times of distress. Regardless of the location or country they’re in, the mandate to safeguard the OFWs’ welfare remains a priority for OWWA. Under this service, they offer the Repatriation Assistance Program to all their members who need it.  

Repatriation Assistance Program

Under the Repatriation Assistance Program, OWWA tried to bring back distressed OFWs, and their human remains. They carry out emergency repatriation to get home to safety OFWs stuck in places plagued with political unrest or natural calamities. Also included is support for airport assistance, temporary shelter, psycho-social counseling, stress debriefing, and transport services to help them travel back home to their respective provinces.

4. Reintegration

One of the programs OWWA offers its members is reintegration, a way for them to rejoin society and help the OFWs transition normally. Through this program, OFWs get all the help they need to recover from the effects of their incarceration, to help them adjust to mainstream life, whether outside of prison or jail, as an attempt to maintain a crime-free lifestyle and live life well with their families.

Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program

Under the OFW Reintegration Program (ORP), the OWWA offers the Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay! Program, a package of livelihood support and assistance intended to provide immediate relief to repatriated distressed or displaced OFWs. The program covers a maximum of Php 20,000.00, which can be used either as a start-up or as additional business capital.

OFW Enterprise Development and Loan Program (OFW-EDLP)

The Overseas Filipino Workers – Enterprise Development and Loan Program (OFW-EDLP), formerly known as the OFW-Reintegration Program (ORP), is an enterprise development intervention and loan facility managed by OWWA, in partnership with the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). The program was intended to support enterprise development among OFWs and their families via the following eligible projects:

  • Franchising business
  • Contract tie-up with the top 1000 corporations
  • Agricultural and non-agricultural production or manufacturing with identified market links and raw material sources;
  • Construction or rental business;
  • Service and trading business;
  • Transportation service; or
  • Any new or existing project that promises viability generates a sufficient net cash flow cover for the projected amortization of the loan, resulting in a debt service ratio of at least 1.

OWWA Members, active or non-active, who have completed the Enhanced Entrepreneurial Development Training (EEDT) are eligible for loan purposes under the OFW-EDLP. With grants from this program, OFWs can get additional funds to supplement their working capital or help them acquire fixed assets. Under the program, it can be availed by the following OFW types:

  • For single, widowed, or separated-in-fact:
  • Parents who are under sixty (60) years old upon loan maturity; or 
  • Children who are eighteen (18) years old or higher at the time of loan availment.
  • If the OFW is married, the legal spouse can make a claim.
  • OFWs abroad must execute a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) duly authenticated by the appropriate Philippine Embassy or Consulate. 
  • For OFWs departing for another country, they may execute a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) before their departure, and the Attorney-in-fact shall transact with LBP or DBP on behalf of the borrowing OFW under the SPA.
  • If the OFW or his Attorney-in-fact is more than 60 years old upon loan maturity, a co-maker of the loan, either a sibling or a child (of legal age) below 60 years old and with the capacity to pay, shall be required. 
  • Returning OFW may avail of the loan program within three years upon arrival in the Philippines, except in cases where the OFW applicant has an ongoing business before the time of application.

Important Things to Remember:

  • Only one OFW within the first degree of consanguinity or affinity per family is eligible to apply.
  • OFWs group themselves into a business entity via partnerships or as stockholders, directors, officers, or members who were certified OWWA members and have completed the EEDT.

The program covers the project cost sharing by offering a Borrower’s Equity amounting to a minimum of twenty percent (20%) of the Total Project Cost (TPC) or a loan amounting to up to 80% of the TPC. They can apply for a short-term loan (max of 1 year) or a long-term loan (based on cash flow but not beyond seven years, including the 2-year grace period). They can get funds to cover the project needs and the amount of the equity participation of the borrower. Through this program, they can avail of the following loan at an annual interest rate of 7.5% for the entire duration of the loan: 

  • A minimum of Php 100,000.00 to Php 2,000,000.00 for Individual Loan Borrowers (single proprietorship)
  • A minimum of Php 100,000.00 to Php 5,000,000.00 for Group Loan Borrowers (partnerships, corporations, cooperatives)

The loan can be availed with loan security or collateral of the following:

  • Object of financing
  • Mortgage-able project assets (like machines or equipment) and other assets of the borrower

Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs Program (Tulong PUSO) 

The Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs, otherwise known as Tulong PUSO, is a project of the DOLE-OWWA partnership. It is a one-time livelihood financial grant meant to support proposed business plans and livelihood endeavors towards viable, sustainable, and immediate income-generation projects for start-up and expansion OFW Groups.

Note that the borrowing OFW groups must be recognized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before they become eligible. 

The program is available to eligible small, medium, and large OFW groups. Depending on the size, they can avail of grants amounting to Php 150,000.00, Php 250,000.00, Php 500,000.00, or Php 1,000,000.00, as long as they are duly registered with DOLE, CDA, and SEC who satisfy the following qualifications: 

  • Have eighty percent (80%) documented OWWA members or their families and twenty percent (20%) undocumented/irregular OFWs or their families. 
  • Have not been previously awarded any Tulong PUSO grants

The grants can be used to support the following livelihood activities:

  • Livelihood Start-up – formation and start of a business venture.
  • Livelihood Expansion – enhancement or upgrade of an existing business so it may grow into a viable and sustainable enterprise. 
  • Livelihood Restoration – support for the re-establishment of lost or damaged business enterprise.

Listed below are the preferred livelihood projects under this program:

  • Viable and marketable product or services (e.g., processing of food and other consumer products)
  • Environment-friendly, ‘green’ products (e.g., production of herbal food and drugs, organic fertilizer, and other agricultural-based products) 
  • Products or services using local or indigenous resources or materials (e.g., handicraft, specialty, and souvenir items)
  • Businesses that support the generation of local employment
  • Franchise business
  • Online selling and delivery services
  • Business is considered a key employment generator.
  • DTI priority products

5. Special Projects

OWWA also offers other programs and services to provide social, financial, and educational assistance to its members in the form of Special projects. 

Some of these projects include:


DOLE-OWWA-AKAP is a financial assistance program to support the continued implementation of new and pending applications for DOLE-AKAP. This program aims to help displaced OFWs temporarily or permanently affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The program offers support to:

  • Documented OFWs
  • Active OWWA members
  • Inactive OWWA members
  • Qualified undocumented OFWs
  • Balik-Manggagawa awardees who are unable to return to their host country due to the lockdown caused by the pandemic.

Some members are ineligible to receive the financial assistance offered under the DOLE-OWWA-AKAP:

  • OWWA members who received Php 10,000.00 special cash assistance under the OWWA Special Financial Assistance to the Stranded OFWs
  • Those members who received Php 10,000.00 under the DOLE-AKAP program; or 
  • OWWA members whose employment contracts have expired or been terminated for reasons other than the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tertiary Education Subsidy for Dependents of Repatriated OFWs (Tabang OFW)

The Tertiary Education Subsidy for Dependents of Repatriated OFWs (Tabang OFW) is a joint program between DOLE and CHED created to provide support in the form of training and scholarships to qualified dependents of displaced OFWs as well as those who have died as a result of the pandemic. It is a Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) meant to offer support to college-level dependents of OFWs who died or lost their jobs due to the pandemic. 

Under the Tabang OFW program, qualified beneficiaries will receive a one-time grant amounting to Php 30,000.00 for the Academic Year 2020-2021. These eligible dependents include:

An unmarried child of married OFWs aged 30 years or below 

Unmarried children, siblings, and nieces or nephews of unmarried OWWA members aged 30 years old or younger

OWWA Rebate

Another notable project of the OWWA is the OWWA Rebate Program, a financial assistance program created under the OWWA Act or Republic Act 10801. This program is made available to OFWs who have never received any grant, benefit, or support from the agency. 

Under the program, the qualified beneficiaries can receive a percentage amounting to Php 941.25 up to Php 13,177.50, depending on their total OWWA contribution. The eligible beneficiaries of OWWA rebates include:

  • OFWs who have been OWWA members for ten years or longer by the end of December 31, 2017 (cut-off period)
  • Have paid at least five or more of their membership contributions
  • Have never received any support or benefits from any OWWA program for the OFW and their families
  • Legal beneficiaries of qualified OFWs who have died

Educational Assistance by Scholarship in Emergencies (Project EASE)

Project EASE is an OWWA program intended to provide educational assistance amounting to up to Php 10,000.00 every year for a maximum of 4 years at the college level to a qualified dependent of active OWWA member-OFW repatriated since the declaration of the pandemic up until the pandemic is declared controlled and managed by the World Health Organization (WHO) or any other competent authorities.

Project EASE covers qualified dependents of Active OFW-members (land-based, sea-based, or Balik Manggagawa) at the time of their repatriation to the country. The eligible dependents of OWWA member-OFWs include:

  • Child of married or single parent OFW; or
  • Sibling of single OFW

Some OWWA members who were not covered by Project EASE include:

  • Those with existing Scholarship Grants under ODSP, EDSP, ELAP-Education, and CMWSP
  • Inactive OWWA members
  • Undocumented workers

Tuloy-Aral Project (TAP)

The Tuloy-Aral Project (TAP) is an OWWA program meant to assist less fortunate children of former OFWs and children of poor, needy families in helping them continue their schooling. The program, which launched in December 2004, works with Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO) to identify successful OFWs and other organizations to get them to act as donors who would shoulder the school expenses of the qualified OFW beneficiaries as well as those who belong to the marginalized sector of the society.

Under the program, the selected donors are requested to provide $100 financial support per year to the child beneficiary for his educational needs and school expenditures at the elementary and high school level under the monitoring of the OWWA Family Welfare Officers in the regions.

OFW Children’s Circle

The OWWA OFW Children’s Circle is a special program for the dependent children of OWWA members. The program aims to provide children with access to information and services that can help them adjust to the situation of having a parent working abroad. The program also aims to provide support to OFW families through psychosocial interventions, legal assistance, and financial assistance. 

The community provides a safe space for the children of OFWs to interact with other kids, share their experiences, and get support from one another. The community also aims to promote child welfare and development among the children of OFWs.

6. Country Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)

The Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) is a mandatory orientation seminar for departing OFWs meant to orient them with essential information that is most beneficial to them. The orientation seminar covers country-specific and skill-specific work standards, the general profile of the country of destination, as well as the stages of the OFW’s life abroad, health & safety, travel tips, airport procedures, and government programs & services.

Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program for Household Service Workers (CPDEP for HSWs)

The Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program for Household Service Workers (CPDEP for HSWs) is a two to six-day orientation seminar for departing household service workers to address the difficulty confronting the OFWs. This includes information on how to relate to the language barrier and the culture of destination countries. 

7. OWWA e-Services

OWWA also features online services for its members which include the following:

OFW Assistance Information System (OASIS)

The OFW Assistance Information System (OASIS) is an online platform created by OWWA to facilitate better service delivery to OFWs. OFWs who register in OASIS are providing necessary information to DOLE, POLO, OWWA, and POEA so these agencies can respond to any concerns or appropriate services, including repatriation, testing, quarantine, and transportation. 

OASIS, along with all the information provided during registration, is governed by the Data Privacy Act of 2012. Upon registration, OASIS users will receive an acknowledgment email confirming the roster along with the link to update their current information.

OFW e-CARD Application

OWWA offers a platform for OFW e-Card Application to help make it easier for migrant Filipino workers and their families to avail of the OFW e-Card. This identification card allows active, legitimate, documented OFWs to use all the OWWA services wherever they are. The OFW e-Card Application service makes it easier for departing OFWs to avail of a valid, government-issued OWWA ID that also serves as a passport to OWWA Welfare Services, Scholarships, Training Programs, and Social Benefits.  

OWWA Rebate Portal

The OWWA Rebate Portal is an online facility to avail of the rebate program and maximizes the benefits of their OWWA membership. Through this facility, member OFWs can easily access the service and get a percentage of their OWWA contribution depending on the years of their active membership. 

OFW e-CARD Tracker

The OFW e-CARD Tracker is an e-service offered by OWWA to all active members. The facility allows them to track the status of the OFW e-Card. The members can check the status through the facility using the tracking number or passport number along with the OFW’s birthdate. This includes the delivery status of the OFW e-Card as well. 

OWWA Mobile App

The OWWA Mobile App is one of the OWWA e-services provided to active OWWA members to access their OWWA member profiles and pay their membership and renewal fees. The mobile app is available to OWWA members for free download on both Google Play Store and Apple Store. 

OWWA Appointment Scheduler

The OWWA website also offers an option to schedule an appointment with any OWWA branch to avail of any OWWA services or program information services that require a personal appearance. Through the online appointment setting facility, active OWWA members can reserve a slot to visit any POLO or OWWA Regional offices and complete their transactions.

Uwian Na Mobile App

The OWWA Uwian Na Mobile App is also offered via the OWWA website. The Uwian Na Mobile App is an online transport request app that facilitates better service delivery to OWWA-sheltered Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The app is meant to help transport and accommodate stranded OFWs in the Philippines due to the pandemic.


The list is not an exhaustive summary of all the programs and services offered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) to its members. Through the various programs and services available on the website, OWWA keeps up with its mandate to show its support and assistance to all OWWA-sheltered OFWs. There may be some other new programs or services available on the OWWA website later on, but for now, we hope that this list sheds light on the kind of programs and services you can avail of.  

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