Since its establishment in 1977, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration or OWWA continues to provide a wide array of programs and services to hundreds of thousands of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) around the world. This is aligned with the agency’s primary goal of taking good care the OFWs who sacrificed a lot just to meet the financial needs of their families and even relatives in the country.
Through sending remittances to the Philippines every month, not only do OFWs help their loved ones but also the country’s general economy. Thus, it is only right to pay forward their priceless contribution.
It might be remembered that then President Ferdinand Marcos organized the forerunner of OWWA, the Welfare and Training Fund for Overseas Workers. This served as a quick response to the increasing number of Filipino workers who seek employment abroad.
Nowadays, OWWA is being managed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) which makes sure that laws and presidential decrees regarding the Filipino workers are strictly implemented wherever they might be placed across the globe. OWWA is also mandated by the government to uphold the best interest of OFWs especially with regards to their health and safety while working abroad.
Among the OWWA Services Programs is assisting the OFWs in dealing with their foreign employers. This is proven to be effective for several years especially in Middle East countries where a lot of OFWs working as domestic helpers have reportedly been maltreated by their employers. Likewise, the agency also provides a series of seminars from pre-departure to upon arrival so as to guide the OFWs, the new ones in particular, how they can overcome the challenges they may face while they work away from their families. OFWs also undergo a language course to be able to communicate with their employers.
However, OWWA observes some protocols in granting benefits and loans to OFWs. In fact, there are several reports about OFW applicants whose loan requests were denied due to non-compliance with the required documents. OWWA has repeatedly advised the OFWs that they should attach all the documents in their application forms to avoid difficulty in claiming their benefits and loans.
In addition, the agency still encourages other OFWs to avail the OWWA Services Programs such as legal assistance, trainings, psycho-social counseling, and outreach mission. OFWs are requested to visit any of the satellite and regional headquarters of OWWA for more information.
Overseas Filipino – OFW Guide