The dream to be a seafarer and take on the world through sea takes a lot more time and effort than most people think, but it’s sure no big deal even for those who did not major in maritime studies or similar fields. This is where the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) comes in with Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (MDA), a benefit program for college graduates who intend to pursue a maritime career overseas.
The Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (MDA) is a bridging program offered to bachelor’s degree holders in the fields of mechanical engineering (BS ME) or electrical engineering (BS EE) who wish to pursue a career in maritime engineering (BS MarE).
They will then be able to enroll in specialized courses in any OWWA-accredited educational institution or training center, in order to finish a bachelor’s degree and pass the licensure examination before becoming marine officers. And as this is also a scholarship program, qualified beneficiaries are entitled to a grant of up to PhP 38,120 and a 3-month allowance of PhP 15,000.
If you are or you know someone who aspires to travel the seas as a full-time marine officer, let this guide you through the process, so you can make the most of this opportunity.
The Mariner’s Dugtong Aral (MDA) is a special OWWA scholarship intended for college graduates who want to pursue a career in maritime studies. So if you are a Mechanical or Electrical Engineering major, and you want to work in the shipping industry, this program can help you find your way.
This scholarship covers expenses for your college education, with OWWA allocating up to PhP 38,120 per beneficiary. This includes the training fees paid to an accredited school or center where you can take courses that will help you become a licensed mariner.
Qualified beneficiaries of Mariner’s Dugtong Aral Program are entitled to monetary assistance not exceeding PhP 38,120, and a PhP 15,000 stipend for three (3) months.
This is, in addition to the biggest benefit that is an opportunity at getting a bachelor’s degree in Maritime Engineering and a step closer to fulfilling
To qualify for the program, an applicant must be:
- A Filipino citizen
- An active OWWA OFW member, if already applied for OWWA membership or a qualified dependent of an active OWWA OFW member
- 000A qualified dependent of married or single parent OWWA members is a single child no older than 30 years
- 000Qualified dependents of single OWWA members include a single child, sibling, or nephew or niece no older than 30 years
Qualified applicants are required to attain the following documents to proceed with their application:
- Duly filled up Application Form
- Proof of OWWA membership (i.e: official receipt)
- 2 copies of recent and identical 2×2 ID photo
- Any of the following documents to certify most recent residency:
- 00000NBI clearance
- Recent Internet/electrical/water bill
- 000Recent bank statement/statement of account of your credit card
- Either of the following to certify relationship to OWWA OFW member:
- 000Birth certificate of the applicant, if the applicant is a child of a married or single parent OWWA OFW member;
- 000Birth certificate of applicant and CENOMAR of OFW, if the applicant is a sibling, nephew or niece of a single OWWA OFW member
- Transcript of Records from enrolled college or university – for either BS Mechanical Engineering (BS ME) or BS Electrical Engineering (BS EE)
- Original Passport, Seafarer’s ID or Record Book
- A sworn statement certifying that the applicant is not a current recipient of any government-funded scholarship grant and has no pending scholarship applications therein.
How to Process OWWA Mariner’s Dugtong Aral Scholarship
Once your documentary requirements have been completed, you may proceed with the application process:
- Go to your designated OWWA Regional or Satellite Office to get a copy of the application form.
- FIll in all required information and attach all documentary requirements.
- Submit your application.
- Wait to be contacted by an authorized OWWA representative who will confirm your application.
- Accepted applicants will be sent via email a copy of the Scholarship Agreement Form, which is to be printed, signed, notarized and returned to the OWWA Regional Office for confirmation.
- Only applications with complete documentary requirements are processed, so make sure to secure your requirements before submitting them.
- A Notice of Award (NOA) will also be sent to accepted applicants, which they are to submit to the OWWA-approved training center where they intend to enroll for a marine engineering degree. The NOA shall only be valid for 45 days upon acceptance, so be sure to present it once enrolled.
- Eligible beneficiaries for the program will be announced by OWWA, and the grant shall be sent directly through bank transfer. Therefore, you must have a bank account in your name ready, should you be accepted.
- The financial grant may not be able to cover the entire tuition fee for your intended school or training center. Any additional cost shall therefore be shouldered by the applicant.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Please go over these FAQs so you can get a better idea what to expect from this OWWA MDA scholarship for seafarers.
1. Is the program exclusive for engineering graduates?
Yes, the program is specifically designed for graduates of BS Mechanical Engineering and BS Electrical Engineering who intend to pursue a career in Marine Engineering by completing a bachelor’s degree and passing the licensure exam.
2. Can we apply for more than one dependent if we are both OWWA members?
No, if you are a married OFW OWWA member, even if your spouse is also a member, you are only entitled to one (1) qualified dependent for this program.
3. How much is the grant for MDA? How often will it be given?
A one-time scholarship grant of up to PhP 38,120, plus a monthly stipend of PhP 15,000 for 3 months will be given to qualified beneficiaries. The one-time grant shall vary from one applicant to another, subject to review and assessment of OWWA and concerned agencies.
4. Can I still apply if the tuition in my intended school exceeds the grant?
Yes, you can still apply. However, additional costs from the school shall be shouldered by the applicant, should they qualify for the program.
5. Am I required to be an OWWA member upon accepting the grant?
No, beneficiaries who complete the degree are not required to be OWWA members, although it is highly encouraged, especially if you intend to work overseas.
Indeed, the OWWA Mariner’s Dugtong Aral Program lives up to its name – bridging people to their dreams, and the Filipino service across the globe. So to all aspiring mariners, make sure to seize this opportunity and get closer to expanding your horizons with OWWA MDA.
For more information on MDA and other OWWA programs, you may visit their website at www.owwa.gov.ph or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OWWAofficial. You may also download the OWWA Mobile App to stay updated on the latest projects and programs.