The pandemic has made life even more difficult, affecting the lives of many people all over the world including Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who work hard abroad to provide a better future for their children and their families. Hence, government agencies seek to provide help to the OFWs by giving them the protection they need, especially during times of pandemic, such as the programs and opportunities for the OFWs’ dependents and families.
One of them is the “Tabang OFW Program” – a program offered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) in collaboration with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in response to the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act (UNIFAST). The Tabang OFW Program is an educational grant intended for the dependents of OFW who are college students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to continue their education.
If you wish to know more about the said program, read the full article below. This article will also serve as your guide if you are interested to apply for the said scholarship grant.
What is the Tabang OFW Program?
The Tabang OFW Program is a one-time educational scholarship program for the dependents of OFWs currently enrolled in college. This program is intended to help their dependents to continue their college education through Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES). The qualified scholar of the said program will receive a scholarship grant amounting to Php 30,000 cash.
The Tabang OFW Program was introduced during the Speech of the Nation Address (SONA) of former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. This program aims to support the dependents of the OFWs financially in terms of continuing their college education because most of them lost their job and were repatriated, while others have endured meager incomes because of salary deductions. Hence, the government agencies like OWWA were initiated to help and assist the ones affected by the COVID-19 pandemic like the OFWs’ student dependents in their studies through the implementation of the Tabang OFW Program.
The Tabang OFW Program is a Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) for OFW dependents who are affected by the pandemic and are entitled to receive the following benefits if they are eligible to be a scholar of the said program.
- Beneficiaries of the Tabang OFW Program are entitled to receive educational financial assistance amounting to Php 30,000.
- Continue their college education during the pandemic.
Note: This is one-time cash assistance to OFW dependents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not an OWWA loan – this is a cash aid to support the OFW as this will provide scholarship assistance for their dependents.
The following is the list of qualification requirements that the OFW and interested applicants of the said program must meet to be qualified to get the scholarship grant.
- For married OFWs, their dependents must be unmarried or single children below 30 years old.
- For single OFWs, their dependents can be their child (if they are a single parent), siblings, or niece that is 30 years old and below.
Qualifications of OFW Dependents
- The applicants must be Filipino citizens.
- They must be a dependent of OFW who was repatriated, displaced, died, or suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- They must be enrolled in the approved CHED undergraduate course program.
- They must have passed the University’s current admission test.
- They haven’t been kicked out of the university.
- They do not have other government scholars or are not a recipient of other government scholarship awards.
To be qualified for a scholarship program, the aspiring applicants must secure and provide first the requirements of the OWWA and UNIFAST completely. So, here is the list of the requirements needed:
- Receipt of Enrollment
- Enrollment Assessment Form (EAF)
- Certificate of Registration (COR)
- Certificate of Enrollment (COE)
- Enrollment Document (Electronic Format)
- Evaluation Form
- Admission Test Score
Note: This is proof of evidence that the OFW dependents are currently and duly enrolled in any college course
- OFW travel documents including the passport.
- If you are an OFW returnee you have to present your proof of arrival documents.
- Proof of relationship to the dependent. This includes the birth certificates or OFW marriage contract/CENOMAR.
- Proof of displacement including the affidavit, POLO letter, and company certification.
- Official transmission from the embassy.
- If the OFW is deceased, the aspiring applicants must present the death certificate of the deceased OFW.
- An affidavit clearly stating that the aspiring applicants of the said program do not have any government scholarship or award.
Procedure in Applying for Tabang OFW Assistance
Here is a step-by-step guide and instructions to help you when you apply for the Tabang OFW Program that you must follow.
Step 1: Go to the nearest OWWA offices in your area to get an application form or you can also do it online via https://ease.owwa.gov.ph/. For more inquiries, you can also visit their website www.owwa.gov.ph or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OWWAofficial or contact their OWWA hotline 1348.
Step 2: Secure and complete all the documentary requirements to be submitted.
Step 3: Fill out all the required information and attach all the documentary requirements.
Step 4: Process and submit your application online or in their local offices near you. You may also use Courier Services to send or submit your application.
Step 5: Wait for a response either through a call, text, or email from an authorized OWWA or DOLE representative to confirm your slot in the program.
Step 6: Once your application is approved, an SMS or email will be sent to you with the information on how you can claim the cash grant.
Step 7: Claim the cash grant in the assigned Money Exchange Center (Kwarta Padala via Palawan Express or MLhuillier.
Attached here are the essential things that you must remember when you will be applying for the Tabang OFW Program.
- 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. Only applicants with complete documentary requirements are qualified to be a scholar and will be occupying the slot so make sure to secure the required documents before applying.
- If you would like to know the status of your application process, there is a Tabang OFW tracker online. Just click the link https://tabangtracker.owwa.gov.ph and fill out your details in the tracker and click the search button to verify the status of your application.
- Additionally, before your application is endorsed to the DOLE Regional Offices, the OWWA and its Regional Welfare Offices will review and verify first your application.
- Then the list of authorized beneficiaries will be sent to the DOLE Central Office by DOLE Regional Office.
- After that, the DOLE will be going to scan and compile the list that will undergo the verification process to send a verified master list of Tabang OFW Program beneficiaries to CHED and UniFAST.
- Then the DOLE financial and management service will prepare documents for DOLE ROs to receive funds via Cash Advance.
- The DOLE ROs will prepare documents such as Budget Utilization Request and Status (BURS) and Disbursement Vouchers (DVs) to provide financial assistance directly to the beneficiaries.
- Within two (2) weeks of the application being accepted, the funds will be transferred directly to the OFW applicant’s account or his or her designated beneficiary via bank transfer or electronic payment facility.
Video: What is the Tabang OFW Program and how to apply?
This video is very insightful as it will give you detailed information about the Tabang OFW Program. This video is a video tutorial on how to apply for the Tabang OFW Program of OWWA.
Aside from that, it tackles the financial benefits that the awardees or grantees may expect to receive when they qualify for the said scholarship program as well as the eligibility requirements for the said scholarship program as well as the other important things you might need to know. Additionally, this video may also address some of your questions left unanswered. Hence, it is also recommended for you watch the video for you to learn more about the Tabang OFW Program.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I apply for more than one child as my dependent in the scholarship program?
The scholarship program requires only one (1) child dependent for the scholarship program. They must be single and below 30 years old. Married overseas Filipino workers have to select one among their children to become a beneficiary of the said program. They may opt to apply for the educational scholarship grant upon following the qualifications and submitting all the requirements needed for the application process.
2. Once I apply and pass all the requirements needed, is it guaranteed that I will be a scholar of the Tabang OFW Program?
All applicants undergo prior evaluation and screening accordingly, so it is not guaranteed that when you apply for the scholarship program you can get it easily because all applications undergo a thorough verification process to secure that you are eligible to be a recipient of the scholarship award.
3. Until when can I apply for the scholarship program?
There is no definite date of until when you can apply for the Tabang OFW program because this program will run until all budgetary funds have already been used or depleted that is why there is no guaranteed date when this project will run.
4. If I did not qualify to be one of the grantees of this program, are there any OWWA grants that I can apply for?
There are many other scholarship grants intended for active OWWA members for their dependents. If you are interested, you may opt to apply for Educational Development Scholarship Program (EDSP), the Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP), and the Educational Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP). Aside from that, there are many benefits that you can acquire in OWWA if you are a member of it, hence, it is advised to renew your OWWA membership when it expires.
5. I have more questions and concerns about the scholarship program to whom do I need to contact?
If you have more questions, clarifications, or concerns about the scholarship program, you can contact the following numbers and email addresses:.
- For the OWWA Hotline, you can dial 1348 and for the DOLE Command Center you can email them through email@example.com
- You can also call through mobile phone at 09615958438 (Smart) and 09052535680 (Globe).
- You can also reach them out through landline numbers (02) 8568 0986 / (02 8568 0984/ (02) 8527 3525/ (02) 8527 2115/ (02) 5309 6605/ (02) 8353 8067
- DOLE Bureau of Local Employment (BLE)- 02) 8527 253
6. How to check the status of your application?
There are two steps to check the status of the application process.
Step 1: Visit the OWWA website to check your application status. You can use the link for Tabang OFW Program here – https://tabangtracker.owwa.gov.ph/.
Step 2: Applicants need to type their personal information like LAST NAME, GIVEN NAME, MIDDLE NAME, and others. Then, click the search button to verify the application status.
Hence, this is the process of applying for the Tabang OFW Program – a program that is hoping to help the OFW dependents with their educational finances. To sum it up, this program is in collaboration with the DOLE and OWWA in partnership with CHED and UNIFAST. Additionally, this is only a one-time grant of cash assistance amounting to Php 30,000 to the qualified applicants. Thus, this program is a great help to the educational finances of the dependents of OFWs that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We hope that find this article helpful and if you wish to apply for this program, read more about the eligibility requirements as well as the documentary requirements mentioned above. You may also visit the official website of the Overseas Workers Welfare Association to check out the other scholarship programs they offer here – https://owwa.gov.ph/. You may also go to their official Facebook page here – http://www.facebook.com/OWWAofficial.