OWWA Now Offering Its Prime Service To Palayan City Residents
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is now operating at the One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO) of the Palayan City Business Hub (PCBH) in Nueva Ecija.
This is good news for Palayan City residents and other Nueva Ecija locals living near the province capital who can now do away with traveling to Metro Manila just to get and process their Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).
An OEC is basic proof that an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) is a legally documented and registered overseas worker with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
OFWs attempting to leave the country will not be allowed to depart the airport and leave for their country of destination if they do not have the OEC duly issued by the OWWA. The primary function of OWWA is the “protection” and “promotion of the welfare” of all OFWs employed abroad.
The original agency was initially called Welfare and Training Fund for Overseas Workers, which was created in 1977.
OWWA actually has two mandates: delivery of welfare services and benefits; and ensuring capital build-up and fund viability.
In order to be covered by the “protection” and “promotion of welfare” by OWWA, the OFW or Balik-Manggagawa must be registered members. It must be reiterated that OWWA is a membership institution and therefore, before an OFW can avail of the benefits of the institution, they must be duly listed members of the OWWA.
Who are the BALIK-MANGGAGAWA OFWs?
As the term implies, a Balik-Manggagawa is an OFW who worked in another country and has returned to the Philippines either for a vacation, or because his employment contract with his foreign employer has expired.
The kinds of Balik-Manggagawa, according to the workabroad.ph website, are the workers-on-leave; the re-hires; and the POLO-registered workers.
Thus, before these Balik-Manggagawas can be allowed to return to their foreign employers after their vacation in the Philippines or to work for their new employer after their prior contract with their previous employer has terminated, they need to secure an OEC from the OWWA.
After a satisfying and enjoyable vacation with their Filipino families, an OFW, say from Palayan City, Nueva Ecija cannot return to his foreign employer unless he obtains an OEC with the proper OWWA branch like the OSSCO at PCBH.
All OFWs who are required to acquire their OECs from the OWWA before they can pass through the Philippine immigration officials manning our international airports must first submit the required documents before the OEC can be issued.
Thus, in the case of Balik-Manggagawas from Palayan City or other neighboring cities within Nueva Ecija and nearby provinces, they have to submit the required documents for the issuance of their OEC: Proof of Employment (latest Employment Contract); Employer’s Company Registration; a valid Balik-Manggagawa’s Passport; and valid Work Visa or equivalent document.
If the applicant has changed their employer but already registered online, the release letter from former employer and sworn statement relating to the deployment are also required.
Aside from one of its duties and responsibilities of issuing the corresponding OECs to the eligible OFW or Balik-Manggagawas, it is likewise incumbent upon the OWWA to provide the following benefits to its members. The OWWA website provides for the following social benefits it accords to its members:
- Death Benefit. An active member is covered for the duration of his employment contract. The coverage includes P100,000 for death due to natural cause and P200,000 for death due to accident.
- Disability and Dismemberment Benefit. A member is entitled to disability/dismemberment benefits of P50,000 for partial disability and P100,000 in case of total permanent disability.
- Burial Benefit. On top of death benefit, a rider of P20,000 will be received by legal heirs for the funeral expenses.
Palayan City residents may also avail of the following educational programs, which OWWA offers to its members:
- Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP). The Education for Development Scholarship Program is an educational assistance offered to qualified dependents/beneficiaries of member-OFWs. The scholarship consists of a maximum of P60,000 per school year leading to a four-to-five year baccalaureate course in any college or university.
- OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (OFW DSP). Educational assistance consisting of a maximum of P20,000 per school year leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree in a state college or university for dependents whose active OFW-member parents receive a monthly salary of not more than USD400.
- Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program (SESP). The Skills for Employment Scholarship Program is an educational training assistance where OFWs or their dependents can enhance their vocational and technical skills. It consists of a maximum of P14,500 per course in any TESDA-accredited school.
- Seafarer’s Upgrading Program (SUP). The Seafarers’ Upgrading Program is designed to upgrade the skills and develop the expertise of Filipino seafarers. First availment consists of a maximum of P7,500 training assistance. Availment in another training course is every after three recorded membership.
- Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP). Education assistance for survivors of a deceased OFW consisting of P5,000 for elementary, P8,000 for high school, and P10,000 for college per school year and livelihood assistance amounting to P15,000 is given to the surviving spouse.