OWWA Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (MDA Bridging) Program – How to Apply

Many Filipino voyagers wish to take marine courses yet they can’t afford that is why the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) anchors another educational scholarship program to help Filipino seafarers who wish to take marine engineering courses and wanted to become marine officers someday. This is a bridging program that is being called OWWA – Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA).

This article will greatly help you to know more about the said program. This will also serve as your guide if you are interested to apply for this scholarship grant or if you know someone who wanted to be a marine officer it is suggested to read this article as we are going to provide you with in-depth information and steps that will administer your knowledge regarding this program.

If you wish to know more about the details on how to apply to OWWA – Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA), read our in-depth and full guide below.

owwa mariners dugtong aral program

What is the OWWA – Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA)?

The OWWA- Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA) is a scholarship program intended for seafarer aspirants that are in mechanical engineering or electrical engineering and wish to study marine engineering and become a marine officer after they will pass the licensure examination.

The goal of this bridging program is to help some selected engineering students who wish to pursue their dream of mariners. The program will be going to help shoulder some of the expenses of their education. This is in the form of financial assistance, hence, this program would greatly help aspiring mariners come closer to reaching their dreams.


Below are only some of the benefits they are entitled to receive when they become bonafide beneficiaries of the MDA Bridging Program.

  • The educational assistance with a maximum amount of Php 38,120 Philippine currency.
  • Then, a three (3) month stipend of Php 15, 000.
  • If you can finish your chosen course you can be able to be a marine officer and board an ocean vessel.



The following is the list of qualification requirements that the aspiring seafarer must meet to be qualified in the program.

  • The aspirants must be Filipino citizens.
  • An active OWWA member who are also OFW-seafarer.
  • OFWs beneficiaries who are active members of OWWA or they can be also former OWWA members.
  • The beneficiary of the single OFW can be their siblings or niece under the age of 30 years old. However, for those married OFW their dependants can be their single child that is under the age of 30 years old.
  • Qualified graduates of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) or Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE).


For those aspirants who want to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (ME) and wish to be a marine officer someday. Here is the list of required documents that are needed to apply to OWWA- Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA). This includes the following:

  • A duly accomplished Scholarship Application Form for the program.
  • 2 copies of 2×2 ID picture with white background.
  • Proof of relationship to the OFW such as BIRTH CERTIFICATE of the child if the active OWWA member of OFW is the parent or married and a CENOMAR of OFW sibling if the active OWWA member is single.
  • Transcript of Records
  • Proof of Residency
  • Proof that you are an active OWWA member this can be your official receipt of OWWA contribution where your membership must be illustrated.
  • Declaration form that there is no pending scholarship application with the OWWA or other NGAs/NGOs.
  • Passport/ Seafarer’s ID, Record Book.


To aspiring OFW seafarers who have a strong desire to become Filipino mariners, here are the step-by-step process and instructions for applying for the Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) (MDA) Program.

Step 1: Go to the nearest OWWA offices in your area to get an application form you can also visit their website www.owwa.gov.ph or their Facebook page www.facebook.com/OWWAofficial. For more inquiries you can also call their OWWA hotline at 1348.

Step 2: Fill out all the required information in the application form and attach all the documentary requirements required. Double-check to ensure that all the documents attached are complete and accurate.

Step 3: Submit your application form together with your required documents to the nearest OWWA Regional Office (RWO).

Step 4: Wait for a response either through a call, text, or email from an authorized OWWA representative to confirm your slot in the program to find out if you secured an applicant’s slot.

Step 5: Then, wait for a copy of the MDA program Scholarship Agreement Form that will be sent to you. The Scholarship Agreement Form is in a downloadable and printable format and is sent to you via email once your application is accepted.

Step 6: Print, sign, and notarize the Scholarship Agreement Form and then send it back through a Courier Service to the nearest OWWA RWO for confirmation.

Step 7: The eligible grantees or beneficiaries of the MDA program are to be announced later.

Step 8: Lastly, if you are one of the eligible beneficiaries, you will receive a Notice of Award (NOA).

Important Reminders

Attached thereof are the important points that aspiring mariners must remember particularly if you are applying to the OWWA- Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA).

  • Kindly read the qualification requirements thoroughly before applying for the scholarship grant. This might help you to have a better understanding of who are the qualified applicants and to refrain from errors in your application process. Applicants with complete documentary requirements are also qualified to be a scholar and will be the first ones to occupy the slots so make sure to secure the required documents before submitting.
  • You can receive a notification or what they called a Notice of Award (NOA) regarding your application process so make sure that you put your correct email account or cell phone number to avoid misleading information. The validity of NOA will only last 45 days after the applicants accepted the Notice of Award (NOA). If you are interested to apply for the scholarship program and you already received the notice, make sure that you will not waste your time to miss this opportunity because you cannot get another NOA if you will not use it. You need to wait for another scheduled appointment to get another one. Always remember that opportunity knocks once so you better grab it.
  • The downloadable and printable scholarship agreement will be sent to the applicants for notarization and signature after the application is valid.
  • The notarized and signed scholarship agreement will return to the RWO.
  • The OWWA will be the one that announces the eligible beneficiaries who are qualified to avail of the OWWA- Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) (MDA) scholarship grant.
  • If you will become an eligible beneficiary of the program your monetary assistance will be sent through bank transfer so therefore it is suggested to have a bank account under your name.
  • Always take note that the program will only cover the maximum amount of Php 38,120 in Philippine currency. The financial grant will not cover the whole school fees for your intended school or training course. Any expenses exceed to the covered amount of the program will be shouldered by the applicants.


This video is very insightful and helpful as it will provide you with detailed information and an in-depth understanding of the other OWWA benefits for Seaman and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) including the OWWA scholarship program, OWWA- Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program.

This video will also provide you with more information about the benefits and advantages you could get especially if you are a seaman/OFW that are an active member of OWWA. Hence, it is also recommended for you watch this video to learn more about the monetary assistance and other OWWA scholarships and programs, for you to be aware of the privileges you may apply for and qualify for.

Additionally, this video is very helpful to those OFWs who don’t know about the programs offered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA). If you have a family member that is an overseas Filipino worker working abroad, visit the official website of OWWA here – https://owwa.gov.ph/ to learn more about the scholarship programs and other monetary assistance they offer exclusively to the active OWWA members.

Hence, as an OFW, you better be mindful of the honorarium given to you by the OWWA because the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) cares for the welfare and well-being of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and one of the ways they do this is through offering the different programs and assistance they have for all of you.

If you wish to know more about the benefits being offered by the OWWA, click here – https://owwa.gov.ph/ and read more about the exclusive benefits you may get when you apply to any of their programs for OFW dependents.

Frequently Asked Questions     

1. I am interested in applying for the scholarship grant I have more questions about OWWA- Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA). Is there anyone whom I can reach out to follow up for further assistance?

If you are an interested applicant and need further assistance or you still have more questions about the scholarship program, you can email them via owwacares@owwa.gov.ph or you may also contact them through their Hotline numbers 1348, (02) 1348  (OWWA Regional Hotline) and (+632) 1348 for International OWWA Hotline.

If you are living in Manila, you can also visit them at F.B. Harrison St. Pasay, Metro Manila or you can also visit their Facebook page https://web.facebook.com/OWWAofficial or their OWWA Website https://owwa.gov.ph/. Additionally, you may also download and install the OWWA Mobile App from Google Play Store or Apple Store to stay updated on the latest OWWA projects and programs.

2. Is it required to be an OWWA member if you are an OFW dependent upon accepting the scholarship grant?

It is not required for the OFW dependent to be an OWWA member upon accepting the scholarship grant but makes it sure that you have proof of relationship to the OWWA active member active and that you have met the qualification standard set to the dependent. However, the OWWA encourage you to be an OWWA member if you will going to work overseas after you finish your course so that you and your family in the future can also avail the benefits that the OWWA offered to Overseas Filipino Worker but take note it is not mandatory. It is your choice if you want to be an OWWA member or not.

3. I am a married OWWA member. I and my husband are active members of OWWA, can we have more than one dependent who can avail of the scholarship?

If you are married and you and your partner are active OWWA members, you are not entitled to have more than one (1) dependent because just like any other OWWA scholarship program, married OFWs who are both active OWWA members are entitled to have only one dependant to avail the scholarship program.

4. Am I qualified to apply to OWWA – Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA) if I already have an existing OWWA scholarship?

You are not qualified to apply because the OWWA – Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA) is only a one-time scholarship grant for those qualified aspirants who wish to Study Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering (BSMarE). Additionally, if you have a pending or you have an existing scholarship grant in OWWA, you are also not entitled to avail of this educational scholarship program.

5. Can I apply for the scholarship program if the cost of the training course I’ve chosen exceeds the coverage amount of the educational scholarship grant?

If you are qualified and you are an interested applicant to the educational scholarship program, you can still apply for it provided that you are liable for the other expenses and school fees that exceed the amount covered by the program. The program will only provide you with educational monetary assistance worth Php 38,120.

6. How do I know the status of my application status considering that there are so many applicants too?

In terms of monitoring the status of your application, the applicants will receive a serial reference number or what they called a tracking number via text SMS, or email for you to monitor their application status.

7. How long is the validity of the MDA Notice of Award (NOA)? Does it expire?

The Notice of Award of the MDA program only lasts and is valid for 45 days after it is accepted. Hence, if you are one of the eligible beneficiaries, you have to use it within the said timeframe. In any circumstance that you were unable to use it within the time limit, you won’t get another NOA and you’ll have to wait for the next scheduled appointment.

8. Is the Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA) exclusive to engineering students?

The MDA program is specifically designed for applicants who are graduates of either BS Mechanical Engineering (BS ME) or BS Electrical Engineering (BS EE) who are interested to pursue a career as a marine officer on board an ocean-going vessel by completing a bachelor’s degree in Marine Engineering and passing the licensure examination. This program is also offered to active OFWs who are already working as seafarers as long as they are BS EE or BS ME graduates.

9. Is the Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA) a recurring one like the other OWWA scholarship programs?

Unfortunately, the MDA program is not a recurring scholarship grant. This program is only a one-time scholarship grant that offers monetary assistance amounting to Php 38,120. Although this program is only a one-time scholarship grant, the benefits you may get from this program may still vary from one applicant to another, subject to review and assessment of OWWA and the other concerned agencies.


Hence, this is the process of applying for the OWWA- Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (Bridging) Program (MDA) – a bridging program that will allow aspiring engineering students to become a marine engineers and go on board ocean vessels if they will finish their training course. You just have to take note of all the required documents and complete all of them before submitting an application.

If you intend to become one, this program is a great opportunity to reach your dream of becoming a marine seafarer. Hence, for those aspirants who want to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (ME) and wish to be a marine officer someday, grab this opportunity while it lasts.

We hope that you find this article helpful when you intend to apply for the MDA program. You may also read more about the MDA program here – https://philippinescholarships.com/owwa-mariners-dugtong-aral/. You may also visit the official website of the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) to check out the other scholarship programs they offer here – https://owwa.gov.ph/. Bon Voyage ka Marino!

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