If you’re an OFW in Iraq and wondering how to renew your OWWA membership, you’ve come to the right place. Also, we encourage OFWs who are not yet members to apply voluntarily for OWWA membership. This article is an in-depth guide on the OWWA membership application process in Iraq, including the documentary requirements and contact details of relevant offices that can help you. So read on to find out how to process OWWA membership in Iraq.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is an agency established on May 1, 1997, that works with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO). This agency was mandated to promote the welfare and ensure the safety of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families by paying an obligatory contribution for OWWA membership.
Through the OWWA membership, OFWs can access varying services, programs, and support to improve their livelihood and assist in their dependent education. In addition, the agency helps active members in times of distress or difficulties by providing them with financial or legal assistance. The OWWA membership also serves as insurance, providing OFWs with medical, disability, calamity, death, and burial benefits. That’s why OFWs in Iraq are encouraged to keep their membership active to enjoy these benefits.
Here are the following primary documentary requirements OFWs in Iraq should secure, whether 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 IQD based on the foreign exchange rate.
With the OWWA membership, OFWs and their dependents can ensure access to beneficial services, assistance, and programs, especially in times of need. However, the OWWA membership is not for all since OWWA has imposed qualification criteria. OFWs are eligible for OWWA membership if they have active and continuous work and are “legal” or “documented” workers with valid work permits and visas.
Moreover, OWWA encourages OFWs who have acquired permanent residency status in foreign countries to apply for OWWA membership. But they should remain Filipino citizens with full-time or permanent employment. Nonetheless, the following individuals who don’t meet the qualification criteria cannot 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 Iraq
At the time of writing, Iraq doesn’t have an online appointment system for OWWA membership. This country also doesn’t have a designated POLO. But the nearest office is POLO-OWWA Beirut, Lebanon, processing OWWA membership on-site.
The Philippine Embassy in Baghdad also conducts Consular Outreach Mission throughout Iraq, which may require an appointment. So for more information on OWWA membership, OFWs may contact the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, and POLO-OWWA Lebanon.
On the other hand, OFWs vacationing in the Philippines may book an appointment with DMW or OWWA Regional office to process their OWWA membership on-site. Do note some OWWA Regional offices accept walk-ins, and others require appointments. Thus, contact them ahead of your visit.
Applying for OWWA membership in Iraq
According to the Facebook post of the Philippine Embassy in Iraq, they conduct a Consular Outreach Mission, where labor-related services are often processed. But since it’s unclear if they process OWWA membership, we advise OFWs to contact the Philippine Embassy in Iraq for inquiries on the Consular Outreach Mission.
Meanwhile, OFWs vacationing in the Philippines may process their OWWA membership on-site at DMW or OWWA Regional office. We also recommend OFWs use the OWWA mobile app for convenience, making it possible to process the OWWA membership online and anytime.
Paying OWWA Membership in Iraq
OFWs have two ways to pay the OWWA membership fee based on their preferred application process. If processing the OWWA membership through Consular Outreach Mission, DMW, or OWWA Regional office, the contribution fee is payable on-site the same day.
But through the OWWA mobile app, OFWs can pay the contribution fee through an online bank, e-wallet, or over-the-counter payment centers in the Philippines. Moreover, processing your OWWA membership through the OWWA mobile app allows your relatives in the Philippines to pay the contribution fee based on your chosen payment method.
Step-by-step process of Paying the OWWA membership
Via On-site/Consular Outreach Mission (Philippine Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq)
- Contact the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.
- 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.
- Visit the designated application site in Iraq.
- Head 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 Iraq
If you’re processing your OWWA membership in Iraq, please keep in mind the following reminders:
- At the time of writing, there is no designated POLO in Iraq. The nearest office is POLO-OWWA Beirut, Lebanon.
- To process OWWA membership in Iraq, OFWs may choose from Consular Outreach Mission, OWWA mobile app, DMW, or OWWA Regional office.
- OFWs visiting the Embassy or any government office should wear proper attire. Applicants wearing strictly prohibited outfits, including sleeveless or tank tops, sando, shorts, miniskirts, ripped jeans, and slippers, won’t be allowed to enter the office.
- 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 recommend OFWs in Iraq contact the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad, POLO-OWWA Lebanon, and their agency to assist in processing their OWWA membership. Also, you may check their official websites and Facebook pages to get the latest updates.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to book an appointment with OWWA in Iraq?
As of writing, there is no online appointment system for OWWA membership in Iraq.
2. How do I renew my OWWA membership in Iraq?
You may renew your OWWA membership in Iraq via Consular Outreach Mission, OWWA mobile app, 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 Iraq?
The OWWA membership fee in Iraq is US$25.00 converted to IQD 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 members worth 20k pesos for Ofw ”Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay” program
Please check out the video below for more details on OWWA membership:
As discussed in the video, OWWA has a “Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay” (BPBH) program, which is a financial grant for OFWs. The BPBH program entitles active members to P20,000, and inactive members can get P10,000. Therefore, the OWWA membership will benefit OFWs long term.
To sum up, OWWA membership is essential for OFWs, providing them with different benefits to improve their livelihood. The OWWA membership will also benefit their families, especially in their education or during calamities. With that said, OFWs in Iraq should prioritize their OWWA membership to ensure access to OWWA benefits.
Most importantly, we advise OFWs to contact the relevant offices since there is no information online regarding OWWA membership. OFWs can also request assistance from their agency or download the OWWA mobile app to process OWWA membership.
Philippine Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq
Operating Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, from Sunday to Thursday
Address: Hay Al-Jamia, Mahalat 915 Zukak 22, House 6, Al-Jadriya, Baghdad, Iraq
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PHinIraq
Telephone Number: +964 750 810 5240
Operating Hours: 9:00 am-4:00 pm, Monday to Friday
Address: 2nd Floor W. Building, Mar Geries St., Hadath, Baabda, Lebanon
Website: https://pololebanon.weebly.com/, https://beirutpe.dfa.gov.ph/
Facebook Page: https://web.facebook.com/PHinLebanon/, https://web.facebook.com/pololebanon/
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Telephone Number: POLO- +961 05 953 523, +961 71 418 657/ OWWA- +961 05 953 524