For OFWs in Syria, you should renew your OWWA membership to be able to access the varying services, programs, and support the institution provides to its active members. Filipinos who have also obtained employment in Syria via visit visas and haven’t registered for the OWWA membership are encouraged voluntarily apply.
The POLO office in Damascus, Syria, is in the same building as the Philippine Embassy and doesn’t have POLO-OWWA Labor Attache. So the Philippine Embassy in Syria handles the inquiries and related services for OWWA. And if you’re wondering how to become an OWWA member in Syria, follow the guide below.
Many Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) sacrifice their time and being away from their families to build a better future. However, being an OFW is not easy as they may encounter difficulties working overseas.
Thus, the Philippine Government established the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, an agency working with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), which is mandated to promote and protect the welfare of OFWs.
OWWA also provides a membership program to OFWs, which allows them to avail of varying services and support to help them and their families’ lives and careers.
Moreover, becoming an OWWA member ensures that OFWs are protected, by providing support in times of hardships, like legal assistance for employer conflicts and access to quarantine facilities, transportation, and financial aid for Covid-19.
Registered OWWA members can also access beneficial services and programs, such as education and training benefits, scholarships for OFW dependents, livelihood programs, loans, reintegration, and repatriation.
Additionally, the OWWA membership acts as an insurance policy providing OFWs with calamity, disability, medical, death, and burial benefits. Thus, OFWs in Syria should apply or renew their OWWA membership once it expires to maximize the benefits provided by OWWA.
To become an OWWA member in Syria, here are the following reminders you need to comply with, both for renewal or first-time applicant:
- Duly accomplished OFW Information Sheet
- Photocopy of Active and Valid Proof of Employment
- Photocopy of Valid Visa and Work Permit
- Original and photocopy of passport (showing the data page)
- Photocopy of the Employers ID or passport
- OFWs must present a letter of certification from the employer or company, verifying that they are not on the list of terminated, resigned, canceled, or employees due for termination.
- OWWA membership fee of exactly US$25.00 (converted to local currency based on foreign exchange rate)
Although OWWA serves to promote and protect the welfare of OFWs all over the globe, there are qualification criteria members need to meet and maintain to keep an active OWWA membership.
OWWA requires its members to be actively and continuously working and have “legal” or “documented” employment processed under POEA with valid work permits and visas. In addition, OWWA accepts Filipino members who have acquired permanent residency status in foreign countries and remain Filipino citizens with full-time or permanent employment.
However, not all OFWs can become OWWA members since the institution only accept members who have active and continuous employment. So the following individuals are not qualified for the OWWA membership, including employees:
- Due for termination
- Due for cancellation
- Under the “No work, No pay” scheme
Booking an OWWA Appointment in Syria
As of writing, there is no available appointment system for the OWWA membership application in Syria. However, OFWs need to book an appointment with the Philippine Embassy in Damascus, Syria, since they handle OWWA related services and concerns.
On their Facebook post, the Philippine Embassy in Syria states that applicants who need any consular services should book an appointment to receive them. They also advised the public to contact the Consular Section of the Embassy at least two working days before their chosen appointment date.
In addition, the appointment system in Syria has been around since August 2018, so it’s better to check the Philippine Embassy in Syria’s Facebook page and website for the latest appointment process.
Step by step on how to set up an appointment for OWWA payment
To set up an appointment with the OWWA office in Syria for the OWWA membership fee payment, follow the steps below:
- Contact the OWWA Damascus, Syria office to verify your OWWA membership. You may email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call their hotline numbers +963 949 155 557/ +963 011 613 2626.
- Book an appointment for the OWWA membership application at least two days before your preferred visit.
- Then, before you head to the OWWA Damascus, Syria office, make sure that you have a confirmed appointment schedule.
Paying OWWA Membership in Syria
After booking a confirmed appointment with the OWWA Syria office, secure the applicable requirements for your application. Also, ensure to take a screenshot of your confirmed booking appointment as it may serve as your gate pass to enter the Philippine Embassy in Syria.
You can also pay the OWWA membership fee on the day of your visit once your application is verified. And to pay the OWWA membership fee, follow the steps below.
Step by step process of paying the OWWA membership
- Visit the OWWA office in Damascus, Syria.
- Present a copy of your confirmed appointment schedule to the guard (if requested)
- Proceed to the OWWA counter and submit your documents for verification.
- Pay the OWWA membership fee and other applicable fees.
- Collect your official receipt, and you are now an active member of OWWA.
Reminders from OWWA Office in Damascus
Apart from the requirements and qualification criteria for the OWWA membership, here are the following reminders when conducting business with the OWWA Syria office:
- Call or email the Consular Section of the Philippine Embassy in Syria at least two days before your chosen appointment date. All consular services are by appointment only, so book ahead of your visit.
- Ensure that your requirements are complete, or you won’t be able to renew or apply for the OWWA membership application.
- When visiting the OWWA Syria office, OFWs should wear proper or smart casual attire. Applicants wearing sleeveless or tank tops, sando, shorts, miniskirts, ripped jeans, and slippers won’t be allowed to enter the office.
- OWWA services, special programs, and regular activities are accessible by members three months after acquiring the membership.
- Visit the Philippine Embassy in Syria’s Facebook page and website for the latest announcements.
Video: OWWA Membership in Syria
For more details on OWWA membership, please watch the video below:
As shown in the video, OFWs can choose to renew their membership with the OWWA mobile app.
Paying the OWWA membership fee online is also possible through any over-the-counter payment method. Click Proceed and copy the Reference Number.
Then, open your G-Cash and click Pay Bills on the homepage. Click Payment Solutions under My Saved Billers and click the payment method you choose on the OWWA app.
Fill out the information form and click Confirm to pay the OWWA membership fee. So OFWs can conveniently renew their OWWA membership anywhere in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please check out the following answers to common questions about POLO office in Damascus:
1. How to book an appointment with OWWA in Syria?
To book an appointment for the OWWA membership application, contact the Consular Section of the Philippine Embassy in Syria. You may check their contact details below this article.
2. How do I renew my OWWA membership in Syria?
You can renew your OWWA membership in Syria by securing an appointment. Complete the requirements and ensure that you meet the qualification criteria for OWWA members. Then, visit the OWWA Syria office with a copy of your confirmed appointment schedule.
3. How to renew OWWA membership online?
Download the OWWA mobile app to renew your OWWA membership online. Sign up and log in to your account. Click the information option to see your membership status. If your membership is inactive, click Renew Membership Here. Next, fill out the required fields, choose a payment method, and pay the OWWA membership fee.
4. How much is OWWA membership in Syria?
The OWWA membership fee in Syria is 62,813 SYP or US$25.00 converted to the local currency based on the foreign exchange rate.
5. Can I pay for the OWWA membership online?
Yes, you can pay the OWWA membership fee online via OWWA mobile. Renew your OWWA membership in the app and choose a payment method payable via an online bank or e-wallet.
6. How long is OWWA membership valid?
The OWWA membership is only valid for two years, expiring on the date of application.
7. Why my OWWA membership is inactive?
Your OWWA membership becomes inactive if you have an expired work visa or the two-year validity period has passed. Also, you will have inactive membership status for changing employers since the validity period of the OWWA membership only applies to the same employer listed during the application.
8. Is OWWA membership mandatory?
Yes, the OWWA membership is mandatory for first-time OFWs processing their employment with POEA.
9. Are all OFW member of OWWA?
No, not all OFW are members of OWWA. OFWs who cannot comply with the requirements and meet the qualification criteria for OWWA members cannot apply for membership.
10. Who can avail of OWWA benefits?
Active or registered members of OWWA can avail the varying benefits they offer, while inactive members will receive limited benefits.
The OWWA membership will benefit OFWs, which provides varying benefits, from educational to financial support. So OFWs in Syria should apply for or renew their OWWA membership to enjoy the benefits of OWWA, which are accessible by registered members.
Also, don’t forget to book an appointment with the OWWA Syria office if you wish to process your OWWA membership.
Operating Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday to Thursday
Address: Hamzeh bin Al Mutaleb St. Bldg. 56, West Mezzeh Area, Damascus, Syria
Telephone Numbers: +963 949 155 557, +963 011 612 5138, +963 011 613 2626
Facebook Page: https://facebook.com/PHinSyria
Google Map Location
Please check out the POLO Damascus office map guide below: