OWWA sets aid for pandemic-hit OFWs in Central Luzon

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Central Luzon affected by the pandemic may now avail the financial assistance offered by Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

OWWA Regional Director Esperanza Cobarrubias disclosed that they launched the Educational Assistance through Scholarship in Emergencies (EASE) program to provide educational aid to the dependents of its active OFW members.

“We provide an amount of PhP10,000 per annum for a maximum of four years to the dependents of our OFWs including land-based, sea-based, and even the balik manggagawa, who were repatriated in the country since the declaration of the COVID-19 outbreak last February 1, 2020,” she said.

Children of single or married OFWs who are in the college level without any existing scholarship grants are eligible to avail this.

As for the requirements, Cobarrubias detailed that applicants should attach a valid passport, flight ticket or boarding pass with arrival stamp evidencing return to the country from February 1 onwards, and official receipts or proof of OWWA membership. 

“For their children, they should submit documents proving their relationship such as birth certificate, or certificate of non-marriage if the member is single. We also require certificates of grade, and proof of enrollment in their post curriculum,” she stated.

The director announced that active OWWA member-OFWs shall file the applications online at https://ease.owwa.gov.ph and they will be issued a downloadable Scholarship Agreement for signature and notarization if they qualify.

In addition, OWWA is also offering the Tabang OFW which is a Tertiary Education Subsidy for college-level dependents of repatriated, displaced, or deceased OFWs. 

“Qualified beneficiaries shall receive a one-time grant of PhP30,000 each. They can use this to pursue higher education. One college-level dependent will be considered for every qualified OFW,” Cobarrubias explained.

For married OFWs, the dependent is their child who is single and 30 years old and below; while for single OFWs, the dependent is their child, sibling, niece, or nephew who is single and 30 years old below.

Also, Tabang OFW requires that the dependent is qualified for admission and retention in any state university/college, Commission on Higher Education-recognized local university/college or a private higher education institution. (HEI).

“The student should also not have been expelled in any HEI, is enrolled in an undergraduate/post-secondary program, and is not a beneficiary of a scholarship or grant from any government agency,” Cobarrubias reminded.

For the requirements under Tabang OFW program, OWWA asks for passport and other travel documents, proof of arrival if returning OFW, proof of displacement, death certificate if the OFW passed away, embassy official transmission, proof of relationship to the dependent such as birth certificate, and an affidavit stating that the dependent is not a recipient of a government scholarship grant.

Moreover, Cobarrubias specified that undocumented OFWs shall present their proof of displacement or repatriation, termination from work which will be coming from the employer, or a certification from Philippine Overseas Labor Office that they were assisted during the time of the pandemic to avail the Tabang OFW assistance.

“This educational assistance is in partnership with Department of Labor and Employment and Commission on Higher Education,” she mentioned.

The Tabang OFW online application form can also be accessed via https://ease.owwa.gov.ph

OWWA reminded that all transactions in their offices are made online for the safety and security of its members. (CLJD/JLDC-PIA 3)

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