In the Philippines, when economic resources are scarce, many Filipino parents turn to working abroad to finance the education of their children. It’s not surprising. After all, it’s customary for Filipino parents to say that education is the only thing they can bequeath to their children. It is for this particular reason that many organizations like the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) take education for the OFW dependents into account when creating programs that would support and protect the OFWs well-being.
Also Read: OWWA EDSP Scholarship Program – How to Apply
One such program is the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP). The OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) is one of the many OWWA scholarship programs offered under the category of Scholarship for Dependents. From the name alone, it is easy to infer what the program is for – for the OFW dependent.
Whether the dependent is a child, a sibling, a niece, or a nephew is irrelevant in this matter. The goal is clear: The ODSP is meant to help the OWWA member OFW to send whoever in their family to school, in an attempt to secure their future via quality tertiary education, with the support of their OWWA membership. This article will tell you all about the ODSP so read on to learn more.
What is OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP)?
The OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) is a scholarship program offered as a benefit to qualified dependents of active OWWA member OFWs. It offers financial assistance to OFW dependents who are trying to complete their tertiary education.
Under this scholarship program, OFW dependents who are currently enrolled or are looking to enroll at their preferred state university or college (SUC) for a four- or five-year baccalaureate degree program may avail of the scholarship privileges.
It’s a great help, especially for OFWs who don’t earn much but need to support their families to get through school and complete their tertiary education for a better, brighter work option in the future. Plus, it’s not a loan, so there’s no burden to pay it back anytime in the future.
Benefits of the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP)
Under the ODSP scholarship program, qualified or eligible dependents or single children, siblings, nieces, or nephews of an active OWWA member OFW whose monthly salary is not more than $ 600.00 may avail of monetary assistance amounting to up to Php 20,000.00 per academic year to pay for their tuition fees for any four-year or five-year degree program or any associate course in any state college or university (SUC).
If you are even remotely interested in availing the benefits of the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP), then here are the basic qualifications to apply for the ODSP project, both for the OWWA member OFW and the eligible beneficiary:
For the OWWA member OFW:
- Must have a monthly salary of $ 600.00 or lower
- Must be an active OWWA member OFW at the time of application
For the eligible beneficiary:
- Must be a child of an active OWWA member OFW or a sibling of a single yet active OWWA member who is:
- Incoming Freshmen (1st year college)
- Grade 11 graduate (Incoming Grade 12 / currently enrolled as Grade 12)
- Not more than 21 years old
- With a passing grade
- For those who are already enrolled in 2nd year to 5th year in college
- Not more than 30 years old
- With a passing grade
- Must have graduated from high school
- Must be physically, mentally, and morally fit
- Must have successfully passed the entrance exam of the state university or college (SUC) they plan to enroll at the OWWA Regional Welfare Office where he or she intends to enroll
- Must not have taken any post-secondary or undergraduate units prior to the application
- Must not be a recipient of any government-funded scholarship program or grant
- Must not be a recipient of any OWWA-funded scholarship program or grant
If you are interested in availing the benefits and privileges of the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP), then you could start by securing and preparing the following documentary requirements:
- Accomplished ODSP Scholarship Application Form (available at the OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO) or downloadable online)
- OFW Membership record (also available online at the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) website or at the OWWA RWO)
- Two (2) pcs. Valid government-issued or company-issued photo ID of the applicant
- At least one (1) valid ID of the OWWA member OFW or their Authorized Representative
- Proof of OWWA Membership (for the OFW), which can either or both of the following:
- Official Receipt (OR) of OWWA Contribution
- OFW Verification Sheet
- Photocopy of OFW contract proving that their contract salary is not more than $ 600.00 per month
- Any of the following proof of relationship to the OWWA member (issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) or the Local Civil Registrar (LCR))
- OFW Birth Certificate, if the eligible dependent is a sibling
- OFW CENOMAR, if the OFW is single
- Dependent’s Birth Certificate, if the dependent availing the scholarship is a child of the OFW
- Dependent’s Form 137 or High school Report Card indicating 80% GWA without failing grades for incoming freshmen
- Certified true copy of Form 138 or Transcript of Records (TOR) indicating 80% GWA without failing grades for those who are already enrolled in college
- Certificate of non-enlistment to any post-secondary or undergraduate units prior to application for the ODSP
- A sworn statement from the applicant attesting to the non-receipt or non-application of any government- or privately-funded scholarship grant
- A sworn statement of the applicant proving that they do not have any pending application for a resident immigrant status in any country and that they are not dual citizens of any other country
- Signed certificate issued by the school authorities proving that the applicant belongs to the top 20% of their high school graduating class with a General Weighted Average (GWA) of 80% or better in their most recent report card
- Other Special Requirements (waived due to the pandemic):
- Certificate of Good Moral
- Medical Certificate i.e. Physically Fit to attend school if student has a medical pre-condition/s
Note that it is a must for applicants to have all the documentary requirements secured and prepared before starting with the ODSP application procedures as OWWA only processes applications with complete requirements.
How to Process OWWA OFW Dependent Scholarship (ODSP) Program
Here’s the complete step-by-step procedural application guidelines for those who are interested in the benefits and privileges of the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP):
- Secure the ODSP Application form through either of the following means:
- Download the form online, or
- Visit the OWWA Regional Office nearest to you.
- Completely accomplish the form with the required information and attach the documentary requirements listed above.
- Submit the ODSP application form along with all the requirements online via email or by following these steps:
- Secure an appointment to the OWWA Regional Welfare Office, either by going to the appointment scheduler on the OWWA website (appointment.owwa.gov.ph) or via the OWWA Mobile App.
- On the day of the appointment, go to the selected OWWA RWO and secure a queuing number and wait for your turn at the ODSP application window (30 seconds).
- Present the ID of the OWWAmember OFW along with the application form and the other documentary requirements at the Membership Verification Desk and wait for the focal on Education and Training to check the OWWA membership of the OFW and evaluate the submitted requirements (10 minutes depending on the completeness of your documentary requirements).
- Wait for the initial results confirming whether your application for the ODSP was approved or rejected. You should receive a call if you choose to submit your application online.
- Once approved, you will receive the Notice of Award along with the schedule and venue information of the Scholarship Orientation (3 to 5 working days).
- Attend the Scholarship Orientation (1 to 2 hours) and get the Scholarship Agreement notarized (30 minutes to 1 hour).
Here are some reminders and important things you need to know about the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) before you get too interested in the benefits and privileges of this OWWA scholarship program:
- Application for the ODSP starts every June of each academic year.
- The deadline for the submission of application is scheduled in the first week of August every year, though it may change as prescribed by ROCS (Responsible Outgoing College Students) in accordance with the scheduled qualifying exam conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
- ODSP applicants must be in their last year of high-school.
- All ODSP applicants must belong to the top 20% of their high school graduating class at the time of the application.
- Applications with incomplete documentary requirements will not be accepted and/or processed by OWWA.
- All applications are subject for review and further verifications, especially when it comes to the submitted documentary requirements.
- Note that the application approval sought at the OWWA RWO only identifies which applicants are qualified to take the national competitive exam conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
- Only the DOST examinees who made it to the top 200 of passers will qualify for the actual ODSP scholarships.
- Awardees of the grant are required to maintain passing marks on all required subjects to maintain the scholarship. No failing marks allowed.
- Successful passers of the DOST exam may avail of the monetary privileges of the grant via vouchers which can only be claimed at the indicated period.
- The scholarship is non-transferable.
Video: Andrea, OWWA ODSP Availee Talks About How Being an ODSP Availee Changed Her Life
For 15 years or so, Andrea’s dad has worked as a security officer in Kuwait. Even so, their family back in the Philippines barely make ends meet and find it a real challenge to send all the kids to school.
Thanks to the provision of OWWA’s OFW Dependent Scholarship Program, Andrea became an OWWA scholar, lifting an immense burden off of her father’s shoulders. She has since graduated with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management Technology from Aklan State University and is now aiding her father in helping the family.
Let’s all hear what being an ODSP scholar meant to Andrea, straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Watch it here!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some common questions and answers related to the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) in case you care enough to know:
1. Is the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) scholarship available to incoming 2nd-year students or are there other OWWA scholarship options for them?
Yes. The truth is, the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) is available to both incoming college students (First Year College) and those who are enrolled college students (Second Year to Fifth Year).
2. How do I apply for the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) if I live far away?
Even if you live far away from the OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO), you have the option to download the application form and complete the required documents then submit them online via email or send the complete documentary requirements via courier to the nearest OWWA Regional Office.
3. How much Financial Assistance can the beneficiaries get when they avail of the OWWA ODSP Scholarship Program?
The eligible beneficiaries of active OWWA member OFWs who qualify for the ODSP scholarship can get annual financial aid amounting to Php 20,000.00 per academic year to pay for the tuition fees and complete their college education.
4. Is my 22-year-old child qualified for the ODSP scholarship program?
If your child is 22 years old or older and an incoming freshman, then he/she is ineligible for the ODSP Scholarship benefits. Only incoming freshmen who are 21 years old or younger are qualified to apply for this program.
Now, if your child is already in their second to fifth year and is over 21 years old at the time of application, then he/she can still be eligible provided that he/she is under 30 years old.
5. Can my younger sibling participate in the ODSP program and avail of the scholarship privileges?
If you are a single and active OWWA member OFW and you have a sibling who is an incoming freshman under the age of 21, he or she is eligible to apply for the ODSP scholarship privileges.
6. Does the ODSP cover only incoming freshmen?
No, the ODSP program is not exclusive to incoming freshmen. In fact, OWWA accepts applications for college or university students who are already enrolled in their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th year provided that they are within the age limit of no older than 30 years for enrolled college students who are not incoming freshmen.
7. My spouse and I are both active OWWA members OFWs. Does this mean we can apply for two children under the ODSP Program?
No. According to the terms and conditions of the program, married OFWs can only apply for and avail the ODSP Program privileges for one (1) child. The same applies even if the other half of the married couple is also an active OWWA member and an OFW. However, there are other options available for your other child if you so desire. OWWA also offers scholarship programs like Education for Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP) or Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) which your second child can apply for and avail.
8. Can I apply for the ODSP Program directly at the OWWA Office?
Yes, it is possible to get an application form and apply directly from the OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO). However, in light of the health crisis, OWWA, just like any other government offices, recommends doing all transactions online, including the filing of your ODSP application. You may also opt to submit the application via courier.
9. I am an OWWA ODSP scholar. Can I possibly share the ODSP grant with my siblings?
No. Unfortunately, the ODSP scholarship grant is non-transferable. The monetary assistance from the ODSP grant is also given via vouchers, and the tuition fee is directly paid to the university or college. Only the extra amount is given directly to the awardee which makes it a bit hard to share anyway.
10. I have other questions regarding the ODSP Program. To whom should I address them?
If you have more concerns, inquiries, or questions about the ODSP grant, then you may reach out to OWWA directly. You may do so online via the OWWA website, by phone, via email, or by visiting any nearby OWWA Regional Welfare Office.
In case you need it, here’s the complete contact information for OWWA:
Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA)
Office Address: F.B. Harrison St, Pasay, Metro Manila
Tel. No.: 8891-7601 to 24
OWWA hotline number: 1348, (02) 1348 (Regional), (+632) 1348 (International)
OWWA Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
OWWA Facebook page: https://web.facebook.com/OWWAofficial
OWWA website: https://owwa.gov.ph/
You may also check out the OWWA scholars’ Facebook Page for more information on all the available OWWA services and benefits for student dependents of OFWs at https://www.facebook.com/ProudOWWAscholars/.
For many years since it launched, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has been keeping up with its mandate to provide genuine service to protect and support millions of our Filipino workers abroad. They have implemented numerous programs, including scholarship programs like the OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (ODSP) to help OFWs and their families in their pursuit of a better life with quality education.
If you haven’t yet noticed, there are quite a lot of scholarship programs under the OWWA roster of programs. It is because just like almost everyone else in the country, the Philippine government rests its hope for a better and brighter future in the hands of the future generation. Plus, many OFWs leave the country so they can give their children’s future a fighting chance in the job industry so it does make sense to offer subsidies in education for the OFW dependents.
In case you need more information to make full use of the opportunities offered by OWWA, you may contact the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office or visit the OWWA website and check for available programs and services online.