Through the combined efforts of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) can now avail “Reintegration Program”
This Reintegration Program is developed and implemented by the government and its agencies to help OFWs become productive and capable after returning to the country when their overseas employment ends.
It provides OFWs and their families with access to livelihood projects and services that will assist them in reducing the social cost of migration as well as the impact of forced repatriation due to unforeseen events. Through this program returning OFW OWWA members will be given the training to prepare and rebuild their new life in the country.
Here are some of the programs made available to support returning OFWs:
1. Preparedness-Building (On-Site)
The government is doing this program not just to help returning OFWs regain financial stability, but also to teach them financial literacy, value formation, Techno-skills, entrepreneurial development, and capacity building.
2. Reintegration Efforts
The government is still working and putting a lot of effort to enhance programs under their Reintegration System – and as expected every OFW will benefit from it. All agencies involved in this are exerting all necessary efforts, especially during this time of pandemic where growing numbers of OFWs are returning to the country.
3. Financial Awareness Seminar (FAS) and Small Business Management Training (SBMT)
- NRCO Livelihood Beneficiaries
These activities are intended to encourage beneficiaries to nurture, preserve, and foster their business ventures for them to grow into larger enterprises that will help create more jobs and assist small entrepreneurs. This simple act will then contribute to the nation’s economic growth and progress.
4. Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP)
- Dependents of OFWs who were active OWWA members at the time of death
Only one child will be given a scholarship grant
- P5,000- Allowance for Elementary
- P8,000- Allowance for High School
- P10,000- Allowance for College
Surviving spouse if the OFW was married or mother/father, if the OFW was single, will receive livelihood assistance of P15,000.
5. Livelihood Development Assistance Program (LDAP)
- Undocumented Returning OFWs who
- Acquired their passports through fraud
- Do not have travel documents
- Have employment contracts but not processed by POEA
- Possess expired visas or permits
- Valid but inappropriate visa
- Business start-up kit worth P10,000 (this will consist of materials based on your proposed business)
6. Balik-Pinay, Balik-Hanapbuhay
- This program is for OFW women who were displaced due to conflicts and hostilities in their host country.
- OFW women who are victims of abuse, illegal recruitment, trafficking, pre-terminated, and exploited by their employers.
All eligible beneficiaries will be given P10,000 worth of:
- P7,500 (Starter Kit Cost)
- P2,500 (Training Cost)
7. Balik-Pinas, Balik-Hanapbuhay
- OFW OWWA member who was forced to stop from working because the company or employer is experiencing a financial crisis, OFW who was displaced.
- OFW who was victimized by human trafficking, illegal recruitment, maltreatment, sexual abuse, and other tragic situations abroad, distressed
- OFW is currently waiting to be sent home to the Philippines.
- Active OWWA Members will get a maximum benefit of P20,000
- Inactive OWWA Members with more than one-month contribution will get a maximum of P10,000
- Inactive OWWA Members with only a one-month contribution will get a maximum benefit of P5,000
- Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Pag-unlad ng Samahang OFWs (Tulong Puso)
Both OWWA and Non-OWWA members are qualified for this program. You need to have a group with a minimum of 5 members to avail of this Tulong Puso Program. At least eighty percent (80%) of the members of the OFW group must be OWWA members and/or their families.
- Micro-sized OFW groups 5 to 10 members may avail up to a maximum of Php 150,000.00 grant
- Small-sized OFW groups of 11 to 15 members are eligible for a grant of up to Php 250,000.00.
- Medium-sized OFW groups with 16 to 30 members may apply for a grant of up to Php500,000.00.
- Large-sized OFW groups with 31 or more members are eligible for a grant of up to Php 1,000,000.00.
8. Enterprise Development and Loan Program (EDLP)
- OFWs who are certified OWWA Members (Both Active and Non-Active)
- Must have completed EEDT or Enhance Entrepreneurial Development Training
For OFWs who are still abroad, you may be represented by:
- Legal spouse (if married)
- Parents not older than 60 years old (if single, widow, widower, separated)
- Children who are at least 18 years old (if widow, widower, separated)
- For sole proprietors, the minimum loan amount is P100,000, and the maximum loan amount is P2,000,000.
- The minimum loan amount for Partnerships, Corporations, and Cooperatives: P100,000 Maximum loan amount: P5,000,000
OFW RISE Program
The OFW-RISE Program seeks to provide returning OFWs with an online course that will be available through the TESDA Online Program (TOP), allowing them to turn their business ideas into business plans.
TESDA has expanded its online services to its clients as an alternative to traditional face-to-face training, which is still not permitted in most areas of the country. The said government agency will facilitate the hosting of OFW-RISE with collaboration with the OWWA and PTTC websites, as well as the issuance of electronic certificates of completion to participants. Meanwhile, OWWA will co-lead the management team in charge of overseeing the program’s overall implementation and facilitating the application of OFWs who have completed the course with business canvas outputs to OWWA livelihood programs.
Video: OFW Guide to OWWA Reintegration Project
Check out this video clip below which features information about the OWWA reintegration program for your reference:
Good news for displaced OFWs due to Pandemic!
Another good news is that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic will now have access to new business and livelihood opportunities. This is through the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), and Coca-Cola Philippines to implement the OFW Reintegration through Skills and Entrepreneurship (OFW-RISE)
The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, recognized the TESDA Online Program as a tool to assist people, particularly OFWs, in becoming productive during these trying times. “In response to the President’s directive to provide special programs to help them rebuild their lives back here in the country, the agencies involved are constantly developing ways to assist returning OFWs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions and answers about the Reintegration Project by OWWA:
1. Can I be qualified for the reintegration program even without OWWA membership?
Yes, there are some programs wherein inactive and non-OWWA members can join.
2. What is the difference between Reintegration and Repatriation?
Reintegration involves mainstreaming a returning OFW into the Philippines society, by providing training, programs, and financial assistance services to establish new ways to earn money.
Repatriation is bringing back distressed OFWs in the Philippines, which is their home country. This will include airport assistance, temporary shelter, stress debriefing, psychosocial counseling, and transport services to OFW’s respective provinces.
3. Can I avail myself of Reintegration Livelihood programs even if I’m already in the Philippines for a month?
Yes, a lot of programs don’t exclude qualified applicants even if they are already staying in the Philippines for some time.
4. Can I still be part of the Reintegration Program even if I possess an expired visa or permit?
There are specific programs under Reintegration Services that cater to OFWs with expired visas, permits, and even those victims of illegal recruitment.
5. Is the Reintegration program only for returning OFWs?
Yes, OWWA Reintegration Program is only for returning OFWs.
6. What if I already have a business in the Philippines? Can I still be qualified for a program under the Reintegration System?
Yes, there is no disqualification policy for those who already have business in the Philippines.
7. Can I avail of two or more programs listed above? I am a returning OFW and I have the qualifications.
Yes, if you are qualified. Some of these programs are just training and free, so you must grab the chance to avail programs that you are qualified for.
The Reintegration efforts of the government are undeniably commendable. Despite the crisis brought by the pandemic, government agencies are still pushing through this kind of welfare act.
This is an eye-opener and encouragement to those OFWs who choose to stay abroad despite being maltreated and underpaid because they don’t want to come back to the Philippines with zero pocket and investment. There are also some cases where OFWs refuse repatriation during the peak of the pandemic because they know that life in the Philippines would be more complicated.
But honestly, these are just concerns and illiteracy about programs of the government for returning OFWs. The government has the ability and means to provide a good future for every returning OFWs. You as an OFW must know what these programs are and how you can avail them.
The government is doing its part to help to return OFWs build a new life and of course, generate income without leaving the Philippines again. Awareness and effort are important, there is a path for success through the government’s Reintegration program.