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OWWA Assisted 99 Stranded OFWs from KSA

OWWA extended  assistance to  a total of 99  OFWs  employed by Saudi Oger Ltd., Saudi Bin Laden Group of Companies,  and others from among  the  nine companies  which suffered financial setback in Saudi Arabia, resulting to  OFWs’  displacement from their jobs.  The statistics was from July 26, 2016 to August 12, 2016. The Filipino migrant workers arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA),   via different flight carriers.  OWWA Repatriation Team extended necessary assistance at the airport to the distressed OFWs, The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) arranged for the repatriation of the Filipino migrant workers including exit visas from their respective employers and return tickets. OWWA shouldered the tickets of the distressed OFWs.  They are entitled to avail of the financial assistance under the Relief Assistance Program (RAP). 


OWWA Administrator Rebecca J. Calzado said that as long as qualified recipients of the monetary assistance are able to submit complete documentary requirements, they are assured of receiving the corresponding amount on the same day that they applied at any OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO) nearest their place of residence.


This is in consonance with the marching order of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello lll for the government agencies to expedite the processing of the monetary assistance. 


Since the agency started to accept qualified repatriated OFW applicants and families of OFWs still at jobsites   to its monetary assistance late last week, the OWWA National Capital Region (NCR) receives an average of 100 claimants a day. The Philippine Overseas Labor Offices in Riyadh and Jeddah are likewise distributing cash assistance, food and hygienic kits to OFWs in the 9 big companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

OWWA Begins Releasing Financial Assistance to Affected OFWs in KSA and Their Families

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has begun releasing  the financial assistance to affected OFWs in Saudi Arabia and their families here under the  Relief Assistance Program (RAP) approved by its Board of Trustees. Labor Secretary Silvestre  H. Bello lll chairs the OWWA Board of Trustees.   


Under the RAP,  a cash assistance of P20,000.00 shall be extended to  affected OFWs who are either staying in camps or live-out in KSA,  or have been repatriated to the Philippines,  but have not received their salaries or end-of-service benefits.  Families of affected OFWs who are still at jobsite shall likewise be granted P6,000.00 financial assistance. Qualified to avail of the RAP are affected OFWs employed by  9 companies in KSA namely; Mohammed al-Mojil Group (MMG);Saudi Bin Laden Group of Companies (SBG); Saudi Oger Ltd. (SOL); Mohammad Hameed Al-Bargash & Bros. Trading & Construction; Aluminum Company (ALUMCO L.L.C.); Rajeh H. Al Merri Contracting Company; Arabtec Construction L.L.C.; Real Estate Development and Investment Company.  


The Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLO-OWWA) in Riyadh, Jeddah and Al-Khobar  shall distribute the financial assistance to qualified OFWs still at jobsite. On the other hand, qualified workers already repatriated back to the Philippines as well as the families  of those still at jobsite may claim their respective financial assistance through the OWWA Regional Welfare Offices nearest their residence here.


OWWA Administrator  Rebecca J. Calzado  has instructed all OWWA implementing units,  including  those in the 17 Regional Welfare Offices (RWOs),   to  facilitate the release of the   OFWs’ and their families’ RAP based on the guidelines that have been prepared  for this purpose. Documentary requirements for claimants may be viewed at the OWWA website For queries, please contact OWWA hotlines (+632) 551-1560 / (+632) 551-6641; text (0917) 898-6992; or email:


OWWA Alert Infographics























Guidelines and Procedures in the implementation of the Relief Assistance Program (RAP) for Affected OFWs in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and their Families

OWWA ALERT! (01) 27 July 2016


What               :           Guidelines and Procedures in the implementation of the Relief

                                    Assistance Program (RAP) for Affected OFWs in Kingdom of

                                    Saudi Arabia (KSA) and their Families


Coverage       :            This one-time grant is exclusively for affected OFWs who are either staying in camps or are live-out in KSA or who have been repatriated to the Philippines but have not received their salaries or end-of-service benefits from  any of the  following:


                                    ·         Mohammed al-Mojil Group (MMG)

                                    ·         Saudi Bin Laden Group of Companies (SBG)

                                    ·         Saudi Oger Ltd. (SOL)

                                    ·         Mohammad Hameed Al-Bargash & Bros. Trading & Construction


                                    ·         Aluminum Company (ALUMCO L.L.C.)

                                    ·         Rajeh H. Al Merri Contracting & Trading Company

                                    ·         Fawzi Salah-Al Nairani Contracting Company

                                    ·         Arabtec Construction L.L.C.

                                    ·         Real Estate Development and Investment Company


Objective        :            The Relief Assistance Program (RAP) aims to cushion the impact

                                     of forced unemployment/income displacement of OFWs in Saudi

                                     Arabia due to serious financial problems faced by their employers.


Entitlement    :             The RAP is a one-time grant of financial assistance provided to

                                    each qualified affected OFW or family in the following amounts:


1.    TWENTY THOUSAND PESOS (P20,000.00)  to be paid in Saudi Riyals  One Thousand Five Hundred Ninety (SR1,590.00) to each affected OFW still at jobsite;

2.    TWENTY THOUSAND PESOS (P20,000.00)  to each affected OFW who was repatriated to the Philippines; and

3.    SIX THOUSAND PESOS (P6,000.00)  to each family of affected OFW who is still at jobsite.


The Philippine Embassy/Consulate/Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) shall provide the list of affected workers which shall form part of the Program database. The worker’s inclusion in the database shall be a pre-requisite for the release of financial assistance. In addition, the list of names of repatriated workers and qualified families shall form part of the database.


POLO and Regional Welfare Offices (RWOs)  shall regularly update the list of beneficiaries.


Documentary Requirements:


1.         For affected OFWs at the jobsite:

            a.         Accomplished Application Form; and

            b.         Proof of identity (passport, iqama, payslip; employment contract, or similar

           document that establishes the worker’s identity)

2.         For repatriated workers:

            a.         Accomplished Application Form;

            b.         Passport or travel document; and

            c.         Proof of unpaid salaries/benefits (i.e. SPA in favor of Philippine Embassy/

                        Consulate official; employer certification, complaint filed in appropriate office, etc. )

3.         For families of affected OFWs still at the jobsite:

            a.         Accomplished Application Form;

            b.         Proof of relationship to OFW:

            Photocopy of Birth Certificate of the OFW, if the OFW is single;

             or  Photocopy of Marriage Certificate, if the OFW is married; and

            c.       One valid government-issued ID with picture

For further inquiries, please contact the following:


as of July 2016


Regional Welfare Office




E-mail Address


Landline Number









(074) 300-3658




(072) 700-0330





(078) 373-0316





(045) 961-6375




(049) 545-3746




(02) 353-9016




(052) 437-4562




(033) 337-4484




(032) 254-3199





(053) 321-4376




(062) 991-2785




(88) 857-6511




(082) 300-9273




(083) 228-1076




(064) 421-7237




(085) 815-1894




OWWA responds to COA findings on high-end gadgets

In response to a news article citing the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the purchase of high-end mobile phones and electronic gadgets, OWWA Administrator Rebecca J. Calzado said that explanation/clarification to the audit observation has already been submitted to COA.


The news article pointed out that COA questions the excessive purchase of Apple iPads and iPhones and that more than one gadget is issued to some employees. The audit team further observed that these high-end smartphones and tablets have the same capabilities compared to less expensive brands.


OWWA justified the acquisition of the said gadgets are within the limit by making it clear that the iPhone units were not purchased but are offered “free” as inclusion to the post-paid plans, with 24 months lock-in period, availed by the agency. OWWA further stressed that these post-paid plans are more advantageous to the government than separate purchases of individual mobile phones.


OWWA has submitted a list of the active units of iPhones and the corresponding users to show that no official was issued more than one mobile phone.


iPads, on the other hand, were issued to OWWA key officials because of the necessity to check and transmit urgent and important e-mail messages when they are outside the office attending interagency meetings and other official functions.


Administrator Calzado ensures the OWWA clientele and the public that the agency stands by its commitment of a transparent and judicious fund stewardship. Furthermore, the agency has been astute in the utilization of its funds by strict adherence to the government procurement process.

OWWA and PhilHealth Team Up for MEDplus

OWWA Administrator Rebecca J. Calzado and PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Alexander A. Padilla signed today, 02 June 2016, the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the implementation of the Supplemental Medical Assistance Program for OFWs or MEDplus, a medical assistance program for OFWs that supplements the benefit provided by PhilHealth.


The MEDplus, approved for implementation by the OWWA Board of Trustees in September 2015, is a one-time financial assistance provided to active OWWA and PhilHealth members who are diagnosed with and subsequently hospitalized due to a dreaded disease whether in the Philippines or in their country of employment.  It matches the benefit granted by PhilHealth to its members under its case rate system but not to exceed fifty thousand pesos (P 50,000.00) per member.  Subsequent availments are allowed for the same dreaded disease but not to exceed the limit. The list of dreaded diseases is jointly identified and defined by OWWA and PhilHealth.


OFWs whose OWWA membership coverage has already lapsed but are still active PhilHealth members are given additional sixty (60) days coverage upon expiry of OWWA membership validity.


Under the agreement, OWWA shall implement the program through its eighteen (18) Regional Welfare Offices (RWOs) throughout the country. RWOs shall accept and process claims, in accordance with the guidelines to be crafted by OWWA and PhilHealth within 60 days upon signing of the MOA. RWOs shall, likewise, maintain a database on availments.


PhilHealth shall provide training and access to MyPhilHealth Portal to authorized OWWA personnel for purposes of online verification of PhilHealth benefit payments to its members as it will be the basis of processing MEDplus claims.


“MedPlus is part of OWWA’s commitment to continually develop and implement welfare programs that are responsive to the needs of OFWs and their families. This collaboration with the PhilHealth will help our member-OFWs further reduce their medical expenses.” Administrator Calzado said.

Insurances of the EPS Returnee Workers as of 27 May 2016
DFA and COMELEC recognize TFC for its continued support for overseas voting

Overseas voting turnout breaks past election records; TFC makes final call for overseas Filipinos to #Vote4ASelfieWorthyPH before closing of overseas voting on May 9 worldwide


(Quezon City May 6, 2016) - As the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA OVS) and the Commission on Elections Office for the Overseas Voting (COMELEC OFOV) announce that overseas voting turnout has broken past election records this week with 303,103 total voters to date, the two agencies acknowledged The Filipino Channel (TFC) and the network’s continued support for overseas voting in the recently concluded “Media Recognition Night” held at Macapagal Avenue in Manila, Philippines.

A few days before the closing of the overseas voting on May 9, Manila time, COMELEC OFOV Chairman and Commissioner Arthur Lim awarded the plaque of recognition to TFC, represented by Ailene Averion, ABS-CBN managing director for Asia Pacific, for helping the agencies surpass the 1 million mark (1,376,067) of registered voters for purposes of the national and local elections, through concerted efforts.


Commissioner Lim said: “We give credit where credit is due.  Without media, all these strides that have been taken, among them, breaching the 1 million registered voter mark, would not have been fruitful.  It was through media, that voter information; voter education; and interest in overseas voting were really developed and encouraged.”

As part of its thrust to be that veritable companion in overseas Filipinos’ journey overseas as they build a future for themselves and their families, TFC first entered into a partnership with DFA OVS and COMELEC OFOV in 2012 for the propagation of OFs’ right to suffrage, key to enabling them to choose the next leaders.  For the 2012 registration and 2013 elections, the three organizations jointly developed the campaign “Boto Mo, Kinabuakasan ng Bawat Filipino” which tells of how the future of every Filipino lies in their hands.

Through its reach across North America, Europe, Oceania, Middle East, and the rest of Asia; and its multi-platform coverage from internet protocol television (IPTV), satellite, cable and online (; including its community engagements via theatrical and special events, TFC has brought the campaign multi-fold.

In 2015, the prestigious PR Society of the Philippines (PRSP) recognized the campaign for effectively reaching the most number of Filipinos, convincing these registered OFs to register and helping the agencies to convert them into voters. 

On the same year, DFA OVS and COMELEC renewed ties to support the 2016 elections, yet again.  Starting with the registration campaign, TFC shared with OFs all over the world about how they have the right to choose the country’s next government official; that their vote matters despite their distance; and the two agencies have made it easier for them to register via the irehistro campaign led by broadcast journalist Atom Araullo.

This year the campaign takes on a new phase by leveraging on the power of social media, specifically the selfie, to engage the OFs to paint a better picture of the Philippines through their own posts.  With two public service announcements dubbed “Selfie” and “Groufie,” TFC encouraged OFs to take selfies of themselves or their families and loved ones, with a background of what they want changed in the Philippines and post it on their social media networks using the hash tag #Vote4ASelfieWorthyPH

Celebrities have heeded the call and have shared their own thoughts on the coming elections: 


1.) “It’s Showtime,” "Sakto,"  and “Umagang Kay Ganda” host Amy Perez; comedienne – actress Marietta “Pokwang” Subong,” actress and “TFC Connect” host Dimples Romana; PBB Teen Housemates Joj and Jai; and comedienne Kitkat

2.) Icons and emerging artists from the music industry such as Inspirational Diva Jamie Rivera, and “The Next Big Diva" Morissette

3.) News personalities such as of overseas voting campaign ambassador "Red Alert" host, and highly popular broadcast journalist Atom Araullo; TV Patrol anchor and Sagip Kapamilya advocate Bernadette Sembrano; and respected broadcast journalist, and overseas Filipino advocate Jing Castañeda, award-winning broadcast journalist and "Bandila" host Julius Babao, “Mismo” host Awhel Paz; ANC’s Mornings@ANC host and widely followed reporter Ginger Conejero, TV Patrol’s Tara Grets host Gretchen Fulido; "Magandang Gabi Dok" host Niña Corpuz; and highly respected ANC anchor Cathy Yang

4.) Umagang Kay Ganda, ABS-CBN Sports + Action, and DZMM Teleradyo’s Tina Marasigan;, ANC & DZMM’s Barbie Salvador; as well as My Only Radio For Life’s (MOR 101.9), DJ Chacha, and comedian-host and “Pangako Sa `Yo’s” DJ Jai Ho

5.) Music Myx VJ Ai dela Cruz and Boto Mo, Patrol Mo (BMPM) brand ambassador Gretchen Ho


Through the help of these selfies, TFC hopes to help the two agencies gain momentum in the last seven days.  As of today, there are 303,103 registrants who have cast their votes versus last election’s 118,823 voters end of period in 2015 or 16% turnout, and which has already beaten the turnout in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013.

Voting is open for Overseas Filipinos until May 9 Manila time.  OFs can go to their nearest Philippine Embassy, MISSION or Manila Economic and Cultural Office and bring their valid passport and ID.  For dual citizens, they can bring the original or certified true copy of the order of approval of their application to retain or require allegiance issued by the post or the Bureau of Migration. For seafarers, they can bring a copy of their seaman’s book and valid ID.

OFs can also continue to participate in TFC’s overseas voting campaign and post a scene or scenario they want improved in the homeland, use the #Vote4ASelfieWorthyPH and post on their social networking sites.  For more information, visit,

Commissioner Arthur Lim, Marianne de Vera, Ambassador Princess, MD Ailene Averion, Atty. Jane Valeza, Lawrence Reyes, & Ed Castro

COMELEC OFOV Chairman Commissioner Arthur Lim

Baldoz to illegal Filipino migrants in South Korea: Avail of voluntary departure to avoid re-entry ban

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz enjoined illegally staying Filipinos in South Korea to avail of the Korean Government’s six months voluntary departure program to avoid the penalty of re-entry ban imposed to undocumented foreigners.


According to the Labor Chief, the South Korea government has implemented the voluntary departure for illegal migrants program, which started on 1 April and will end on 30 September this year.


All illegal migrants willing to leave the country must have viable passports and airline tickets and report to immigration offices on the day of their departure.


As of January 2016, there are 54,437 Filipinos residing in Korea and 12,364 of them are illegally staying or working in the country. “We are enjoining undocumented Filipinos in South Korea to avail of this program, thus avoid being entangled with South Korea’s immigration laws,” said Baldoz.


“The Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in South Korea is willing to cooperate to South Korea government by widely disseminating the voluntary return program through its official website and Facebook and by distributing the leaflets of the program at the Consular Section,” Baldoz said, adding that the program will also be promoted at any opportunity to the Filipino community.


The Ministry of Justice (MOJ)-Korea Immigration Service earlier discussed the management of illegal migrants with labor-sending countries, which includes China, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, East Timor, Kazakhstan, and Russia.


The South Korean’s immigration policy temporarily suspends the re-entry ban for those who will submit themselves to the scheme; thus will have the privilege from being exempted from the five-year re-entry ban imposed on over stayers, and from the penalty for illegal migrants and their employers.


Aside from the exemptions, those who will opt for voluntary departure can leave the country freely without detention and can go back to Korea after receiving the re-entry visa from the diplomatic mission abroad.


“This is an opportunity for labor sending countries to enjoin their nationalities who are illegally staying or working in South Korea to voluntarily return to their home countries by submitting themselves to the scheme, thus prevent the possibility of being deported and banned,” said Baldoz.


Among the sanctions that an illegal migrant will face once caught by the authorities include a re-entry ban for up to five years regardless of the period of overstaying, and imposition of an enhanced criminal penalty and increased fines.


Meanwhile, as standing procedure of the scheme, all illegal migrants willing to leave the country must secure a flight ticket, valid passport and other pertinent travel documents, and to report to immigration offices at all ports of entry on the day of their departure.


However, if they entered the country using a forged passport, there will be more time needed for verification of identify. In this case, they are advised to visit immigration offices prior to the scheduled flight departure time.


The Immigration offices at ports of entry in South Korea can be reached at 032-740-7391-2 for Incheon Airport and 051-979-1300 for Gimhae.


As of January 2016, there are 53,437 Filipinos residing in Korea and 25,421 belong to the non-professional employment category, or those who work in the manufacturing sector like in factories or agro-processing establishments.


According to reports, the higher number of foreigners in Korea is due to the expansion of its entry permits to boost tourism and invite more investments.


To deter illegal immigration, the South Korean government has formulated plans to prevent the entry of foreigners deemed as “high risk” in becoming illegals, and to deter South Korean companies from employing illegal workers.


The Korea Immigration Service has also undertaken crackdown, together with the police, as part of the government’s twice-a-year curbing of illegal workers and immigration criminals, including illegal migration brokers.