For nearly four decades, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) keeps on assisting millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are leaving the country to work abroad. It ensures that OFWs, especially the new ones, are knowledgeable about the country they will be living in for more or less three years.
Hence, OWWA regularly launches the pre-departure program in which parting OFWs undergo a series of seminars to prepare themselves before they leave the country. This program is still in line with the agency’s main objective, that is, to promote the interests of OFWs wherever they work around the world.
It can be recalled that OWWA was established in 1977 through the initiative of former President Ferdinand Marcos. This had been a response to the growing number of Filipinos leaving the Philippines to work outside the country during those times. The government saw this as advantageous to the entire economy of the country precisely because of the large remittances being sent by OFWs to their loved ones.
Because of this, the Welfare and Training Fund for Overseas Workers had been established which was the forerunner of OWWA. The agency is now being administered by the Department of Labor and Employment.
Aside from giving pre-departure, on-site, and upon arrival programs, the agency also provides a variety of OWWA Services Programs. These programs, along with other benefits and loan programs, are intended not only to help the OFWs but their respective families as well. Through the loan program, OFWs may borrow money from the government so as to have an initial capital in starting up their individual businesses in the country.
Since the agency is also a membership institution, some OWWA Services Programs are exclusive for member-OFWs. The government encourages other OFWs to become OWWA members through paying the mandatory membership fee.
In addition, when applying in different programs of the agency such as the OWWA Services Program, OFWs should not forget to comply with the set documentary requirements. For example, when applying for the loan programs, they must submit a well-planned business plan and feasibility study along with their application forms.
These requirements will be used by the designated OWWA personnel to evaluate the capacity of borrowers to generate profits from their proposed businesses in just a short period of time. For more information about the activities of OWWA throughout the years, OFWs are requested to visit the agency’s official website.
Overseas Filipino – OFW Guide