OWWA services may still be availed by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) amidst this time of pandemic. This is recently assured by the government in recognition of the significant contribution of overseas Filipinos in keeping our economy relatively stable despite the adverse effects of pandemic to different countries around the world.
Further, these OWWA services are intended not only to help our OFWs get along with the way of life in their country of employment but to uplift their morale while they work away from their loved ones in the Philippines.
OWWA services may be classified into three (3) categories, namely: pre-employment services, on-site services, and post-employment services. Interestingly, these categories represent the cycle of overseas employment, from pre-employment and departure up to their eventual return in the Philippines. Furthermore, these OWWA services may be availed of by OFWs who are also OWWA members.
Under the pre-employment services, OFWs may avail of the one-day Country Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) for them to be oriented about necessary information in preparation for their deployment abroad. Among the topics discussed here are country profile, employment contract, financial literacy, health and safety protocols, and even travel trips. On the other hand, for OFWs who will work as domestic helpers, they may avail of the Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program. This OWWA service will orient them regarding language, culture, and even stress management.
OWWA Employment Services
On the other hand, OFWs abroad may avail of the following on-site OWWA Employment Services. These include post-arrival orientation seminar; on-site programs and services such as welfare assistance program, reintegration preparedness program, and community outreach program.
For the welfare assistance program, OWWA provides counselling, negotiation with employers and recruitment agencies, and job-site and accommodation inspection, and even support on court hearings and appearances. Meanwhile, for the reintegration preparedness program, OFWs may avail the following OWWA services should they want to return in the Philippines: skills and livelihood training, entrepreneurial development training, financial literacy and other investment seminars, and livelihood and agri-business seminars. Accordingly, under the community outreach program category, OFWs may attend and participate in different events and programs offered by OWWA offices in different countries in order to mingle with other OFWs thereat.
Lastly, central to post-employment services offered by OWWA to OFWs are the in-country reintegration services that include literacy and livelihood programs for overseas Filipinos who decide to return and stay in the country for good. For short -term training and scholarship programs, OFWs may avail either the skills-for-employment scholarship program in partnership with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) or the information technology (IT) training program for OFWs who want to upgrade their knowledge in computer operation.
OFWs Can Avail OWWA Business Loan Programs
For the reintegration program, on the other hand, OFWs can avail either of the following OWWA business loan programs, namely: (1) Balik-Pinas, Balik-Hanapbuhay Program and (2) OFW Enterprise and Loan Development Program. However, there are specific qualifications as well as documentary requirements that have to be complied with first prior to availing either of these programs.
There are other OWWA services that OFWs can avail of. Thus, it is advised that they keep in touch with the OWWA office near them. They can also visit this site for more updates.