Whether you’re a first-time OFW or still working overseas, ensuring that your OWWA membership is active will come in handy during difficulties. And if you’re not yet an OWWA member or with a membership about to expire, you’re in the right place. This article is an in-depth guide for OWWA membership in Cuba. We also got a list of the contact details of relevant offices that can help you with the application process. So let’s get started.
Founded in 1977, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a government agency in charge of promoting the welfare and ensuring the safety of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents. This agency is attached to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), assisting OFWs with labor-related concerns and services.
Moreover, the agency offers an OWWA membership program with support and services that benefit OFWs and their dependents. OWWA also assist OFWs with their livelihood, well-being, dependents’ education, and financial and legal problems. Aside from that, the OWWA membership program serves as insurance to OFWs, providing medical, disability, calamity, death, and burial benefits. Thus, we encourage OFWs in Cuba to ensure an active OWWA membership.
According to the official website of POLO Washington DC, here are the following documentary requirements OFWs in Cuba should secure when renewing or applying for OWWA membership:
- Duly-accomplished OWWA Information Sheet.
- Original and copy of valid Philippine passport (showing data page)
- Copy of the Employment Contract or any of the following proof of employment:
- Certificate of Employment
- Company ID
- Copy of latest payslip
- Work or residence permit
- Other relevant documents proving continuous employment abroad
- OWWA Membership fee of US$25.00 converted to CUP based on the foreign exchange rate.
Since OWWA was established, many OFWs and their families have benefited from the agency’s services, programs, and support. Thus, many OFWs around the world aspire to be members. But despite its mandate, not all OFWs can become members due to the imposed qualification criteria set by OWWA. The agency requires its members to have active and continuous work and should be “legal” or “documented” workers with valid work permits and visas.
Furthermore, the agency accepts as OWWA members OFWs who have acquired permanent residency status in foreign countries and remain Filipino citizens with full-time or permanent employment. On the contrary, OFWs who cannot meet the agency’s qualification criteria are not eligible to apply for or renew their OWWA membership, including employees:
- Due for termination
- Due for cancellation
- Under the “No work, No pay” scheme
Booking an OWWA Appointment in Cuba
As of writing, there is no online appointment system in Cuba for OWWA membership. This country also doesn’t have a designated POLO, while the nearest POLO is in Washington. In addition, the Philippine Embassy and POLO Washington DC conducted a Consular Outreach Mission in Cuba, which may require an appointment.
Thus, OFWs in Cuba may contact their office for more information on OWWA membership. In addition, the Philippine Embassy in Cuba closed its doors on October 2012. So OFWs in Cuba may contact the Philippine Honorary Consulate offices in Miami and The Bahamas for inquiries. Meanwhile, OFWs vacationing in the Philippines may book an appointment with DMW or OWWA Regional office.
Applying for OWWA membership in Cuba
Based on the available information online, the Philippine Embassy and POLO Washington DC conducted a Consular Outreach Mission in Cuba. So OFWs may process their OWWA membership on-site. OFWs may also process their OWWA membership on-site at DMW or OWWA Regional office.
Additionally, POLO Washington DC process OWWA membership via regular mail and email. But since it’s unclear if Cuba is under their jurisdiction, we advise OFWs to confirm if these processes still exist and apply to OFWs in Cuba. Lastly, OFWs may also renew their membership online via OWWA mobile app.
Paying OWWA Membership in Cuba
As stated, OFWs in Cuba may process their OWWA membership on-site through Consular Outreach Mission conducted by the Philippine Embassy and POLO Washington DC. For vacationing OFWs, process your membership with DMW and OWWA Regional offices. If you choose any of these processes, you can also pay the OWWA membership fee on-site once you qualify for OWWA membership.
But if transacting with POLO Washington DC via regular mail or email, you may follow the payment transaction sent to your email. Also, note that the OWWA membership fee is payable to “OWWA” via non-cash payment at US Money Order or Bank Draft. Since POLO Washington DC doesn’t accept payment through personnel checks or credit/debit cards.
On the other hand, processing your OWWA membership is more convenient through the OWWA mobile app. This process applies to OFWs who need to renew their OWWA membership and offers varying payment methods. You can pay the OWWA membership via an online bank, e-wallet, and over-the-counter payment centers or ask your relatives to pay it.
Step-by-step process of Paying the OWWA membership
Before following the steps below, we advise confirming with the relevant offices if the process still exists and applying to OFWs in Cuba.
Via Regular Mail (POLO Washington DC)
- Download and fill out the OFW Information Sheet.
- Secure and photocopy the requirements.
- Ensure that the documents are complete.
- Include self-addressed, stamped, and prepaid on the return envelope.
- Mail your requirements to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Embassy of the Philippines, 1600 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington DC, 20036.
Via Email (POLO Washington DC)
- Download and fill out the OFW Information Sheet.
- Complete and scan the requirements.
- Email your requirements to email@example.com.
- If verified, follow the instructions to pay the OWWA membership fee sent to your email.
- Take a screenshot of the OWWA membership fee payment receipt, and send it to OWWA’s email.
- Then, you’ll receive an email e-copy of your official receipt.
- To claim the original official receipt, email OWWA before your visit to set an appointment for pick-up.
Via Consular Outreach Mission (Philippine Embassy & POLO Washington DC)
- Contact the Philippine Embassy and POLO Washington DC.
- Book an appointment for OWWA membership.
- Print or take a screenshot of the confirmed appointment schedule sent to your email.
- Complete the documentary requirements for application.
- Head to the designated site for the Consular Outreach Mission in Cuba.
- Proceed to the OWWA counter and submit your requirements for evaluation.
- Pay the OWWA membership fee and claim the official receipt of your payment.
Via OWWA mobile app
- Download the OWWA mobile app on your device.
- Register an account. Also, provide an active email as it’s where you’ll receive your temporary login details.
- Check your email and copy the login details.
- Return to the OWWA mobile app and enter the login details sent to your email.
- Once you’ve logged in to your account, click the Information button at the lower tab.
- Next, you’ll see your membership status, if active or inactive.
- If inactive, click Renew Membership Here and accept the Terms of Service.
- Double-check or update your employment details if necessary. Then, click Submit.
- On the LandBank payment portal page, click Payment Option and choose your preferred payment method.
- Copy the Reference Number and follow the payment instructions to pay the OWWA membership fee.
- Then, take a screenshot of your transaction or the provided electronic receipt.
Reminders for OWWA Membership in Cuba
Please take note of the following reminders for OWWA membership application in Cuba:
- As of writing, there is no designated POLO in Cuba, and the nearest office can be found in Washington. The Philippine Embassy in Cuba also closed its office in October 2012.
- OFWs in Cuba may process their OWWA membership via email, regular mail, OWWA mobile app, Consular Outreach Mission, DMW, or OWWA Regional office.
- OFWs visiting the Embassy or any government office should wear proper attire. Applicants cannot enter the premise wearing strictly prohibited outfits, such as sleeveless or tank tops, sando, shorts, miniskirts, ripped jeans, and slippers.
- OFWs processing OWWA membership on-site should bring proof of confirmed appointment schedule, a Covid-19 vaccination card, or a Negative RT-PCR test took 48 hours from the visit.
- We advise OFWs in Cuba to contact their agency, the Philippine Embassy and POLO Washington DC, and the Philippine Honorary Consulate offices in Miami and The Bahamas for inquiries and assistance. Also, you may visit their official website and Facebook page for the latest updates.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to book an appointment with OWWA in Cuba?
As of writing, Cuba doesn’t have an online appointment system for OWWA membership.
2. How do I renew my OWWA membership in Cuba?
You may renew your OWWA membership in Cuba through email, regular mail, OWWA mobile app, Consular Outreach Mission, DMW, or OWWA Regional office.
3. How to renew OWWA membership online?
Download and register an account on OWWA mobile app to renew your OWWA membership online.
4. How much is OWWA membership in Cuba?
The OWWA membership fee in Cuba is US$25.00 converted to CUP based on the foreign exchange rate.
5. Can I pay for the OWWA membership online?
You can pay for the OWWA membership online on OWWA mobile app via an online bank or e-wallet.
6. How long is OWWA membership valid?
OWWA membership is valid for two years.
7. Why my OWWA membership is inactive?
The OWWA membership becomes inactive if the two-year validity has passed or you’ve changed employers.
8. Is OWWA membership mandatory?
OWWA membership is mandatory if processing employment at DMW.
9. Are all OFW member of OWWA?
Not all OFW since OWWA has since OWWA has qualification criteria applicants should meet.
10. Who can avail of OWWA benefits?
OWWA benefits are available to active members, while inactive members can only access limited benefits.
Video: OWWA BALIK PINAS BALIK HANAPBUHAY PROGRAM (BPBH)
Please watch the video below for more information on OWWA membership:
As discussed in the video, OWWA members have the right to access different benefits from the agency, such as the Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay (BPBH) program. This program provides support and protection to OFWs and financial aid worth P20,000 to qualified OWWA members. Thus, the OWWA membership is a must for OFWs to enjoy the said program.
To sum up, OWWA membership is essential for OFWs, which ensures access to varying benefits that can assist in their livelihood, career, and dependents’ needs. With this guide, you can process your OWWA membership in Cuba easier. Also, don’t forget to contact the relevant offices for the latest information on how to process OWWA membership in Cuba.
Philippine Embassy in Washington DC, USA
Operating Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, from Monday to Friday
Address: Main Chancery Building, Bataan Street corner 1600 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington DC, 20036
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PHinUSA/
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Telephone Number: 202 467 9300, 202 467 9363
Fax Number: 202 328 7614
POLO-OWWA Washington DC, USA
Operating Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, from Monday to Friday (except holidays)
Address: 1600 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington DC, 20036
Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/POLO-Washington-DC-1730811803835481, https://web.facebook.com/polo.wdc, https://web.facebook.com/PHinUSA/
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone Numbers: +1 (202)-467-9426
Philippine Honorary Consulate in Miami
Address: 1600 Ponce de Leon Blvd. Suite 1101 Coral Gables, Florida 33134
Philippine Honorary Consulate in The Bahamas
Address: Nassau Medical Center, Carmichael Road West, Nassau, The Bahamas
Telephone Number: (+1 242) 558 2838