What is the Meaning of OWWA – Overseas Workers Welfare Administration

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, or OWWA for short, is a government agency established in 1974 to provide assistance and services to overseas Filipino workers. In this article, we discuss the background of OWWA, its primary responsibilities, and how it helps Filipinos abroad, both directly and indirectly.

OWWA has developed different services for OFWs to ensure that they stay safe wherever they are. After all, one of its main aims is to protect the rights and welfare of Filipino workers at home and abroad.

Also Read: What is the Meaning of POLO – Philippine Overseas Labor Office

The agency provides programs for overseas Filipinos including pre-employment training, assistance in matters such as documentation, education, and transition, and protection from abuse and exploitation. OWWA has legal department that assists OFWs by representing their interests before other government agencies.

what is the meaning of owwa

What is the meaning of OWWA ?

OWWA is an acronym and it means Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.

What is the purpose of setting up OWWA offices?

The goal of OWWA is to protect Filipinos who work abroad and it does this through providing programs, representation, and advocacy.

OWWA acts as a form of insurance for its Overseas Filipino Worker members especially in times of crisis.

It aims to provide services and assistance for OFWs through pre-employment training, documentation and visa support, and protection from abuse and exploitation.

Who is the head of OWWA?

OWWA ‘s head office is based in Intramuros, Manila where it was first established. The current head administrator is Hans Leo J. Cacdac.

There are also OWWA regional welfare branches all over the country as well as many POLO-OWWA offices abroad with each office having a Regional Welfare Office Director and OWWA officers.

Functions and Responsibilities of OWWA

OWWA provides several programs to protect Filipinos working abroad including pre-employment training, assistance with documentation, education, transition to the foreign country’s culture, protection from abuse and exploitation. There is also an advocacy and legal department which helps present their case in front of different government agencies.

  1. OWWA aims to protect Filipinos who work abroad.
  2. The agency provides programs for overseas Filipino including pre-employment training, assistance in matters such as documentation, education, and transition
  3. One of its main aims is to provide protection from abuse and exploitation.
  4. OWWA has insurance programs, livelihood programs, educational projects, cash assistance, and welfare assistance.

How does OWWA support OFWs?

Some of the ways OWWA supports OFWs include providing pre-employment training, documentation, and visa support; protection from abuse and exploitation; representation; and services.

OWWA Office Organizational Officers and Staff

Here is an example of the organizational chart for OWWA Welfare officers abroad. This is based on the POLO-OWWA office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

It mentions that there is a Welfare Officer in the staff that will assist in the handling of OWWA memberships, Welfare Assistance, and MWOFRC:

Organizational chart of POLO and OWWA office
sample of Organizational chart of POLO and OWWA office

Common Services Filipinos Avail in OWWA office

There are lots of services given by the OWWA to OFWs all over the world. Through these services, they promote awareness of what migrant workers should have access to and that they are not alone in their journey. Here are some common services that OFWs avail in OWWA offices:

  1. DOLE-AKAP Assistance – a PHP 10,000 cash grant for OFWs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Education and Scholarship Programs – scholarships for OFW and seaman dependents.
  3. Livelihood Assistance – cash assistance projects for OFWs returning to the Philippines who want to stay home for good and have a business plan.
  4. Death and Disability Assistance – cash grant for OFW members in the event of unforeseen incidents.
  5. Repatriation Assistance – in the event of crisis and turmoil, OWWA assists Filipinos to go back to the Philippines.


Each year, about 1 million Filipinos take up employment in over 200 countries across the globe so it’s safe to say OWWA has a huge influence when it comes to preserving their welfare. As its offices are set up all throughout the Philippines and even in other countries, it’s clear that OWWA has cemented its role to protect OFWs wherever they are.

So these are the things you should know about what OWWA is and its purpose. We hope that you learned a lot about the many benefits and projects you can get as an OWWA member.

Be sure to renew your OWWA membership and keep your account active so that you can take advantage of the available projects and avail the maximum benefits you can get as a member.

Contact Information

OWWA Central Office
Address: F.B. Harrison St, Pasay, Metro Manila
Telephone Number: 8891-7601 to 24
OWWA 24/7 Hotlines
Metro Manila / Cellphone: 1348
International: (+632) 1348
Website: https://owwa.gov.ph/

Facebook Page: facebook.com/OWWAofficial
Twitter: @OWWAofficial

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