For many years, different loan programs are being offered by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) worldwide. Through these programs, OFWs are given the opportunity to borrow money from the national government which they will use as working capital in creating or expanding their own business enterprises in the country. Because of this, many overseas Filipinos find these OWWA loan programs very beneficial as their employment contracts outside the country will surely not last forever. On the other hand, interested OFWs must have adequate information about these programs before they submit their applications.
Being the government’s prime agency in protecting the rights of OFWs as well as promoting their welfare, OWWA is tasked to generate programs that will meet the needs of OFWs wherever they might be placed in. This is in exchange of their priceless contribution to the national economy through their remittances being sent to their children and families in the country. In addition, some of these programs are co-sponsored by other government agencies as well as local and foreign non-profit institutions. On the other hand, OWWA has some loan requirements specific to each program which interested applicants must comply with.
For instance, OFWs who intend to apply in the OWWA Reintegration Program (ORP), Filipino Expatriate Livelihood Support Fund (FELSF), and OWWA-National Livelihood Support Fund (NLSF) Livelihood and Development Program need to present any document that will testify that they are OWWA members. For future OFWs, they may pay the OWWA membership fee (US$ 25 or around PHP 1,000.00) at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) along processing their foreign employment contracts. For current OFWs who are not yet OWWA members, they can also pay the same amount in any Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) branch located near their designated country.
Likewise, OFWs also need to go through different seminar and training programs particularly when they qualify for OWWA loan programs. These programs are specially designed by OWWA with co-sponsor government (and private) institutions such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to teach OFWs how to manage their own local businesses effectively. Because of numerous advantages they might get, other OFWs are highly encouraged by the national government to apply in these OWWA loan programs so that they will no longer work outside the country and live instead here in the country together with their loving children and families.
Overseas Filipino – OFW Guide