The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and a membership institution. It protects and promotes the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents. It was formerly known as Welfare and Training Fund for Overseas Workers and was organized in 1977.
OWWA, as it is commonly known, is present in 31 overseas posts in 27 countries. It also has its regional presence in all seventeen (17) regions.
OWWA focuses on the welfare of the OFWs and their families. It is present in all three stages of migration: pre-departure, on-site, and upon arrival. Before the first-time workers leave, OWWA educates them on the realities of overseas work. They also undergo basic language training.
Abroad, OWWA assists the OFWs whenever they encounter concerns with their employers .
Finally, when the OFW is back, OWWA is ready with its livelihood trainings and programs for the OFWs’ reintegration.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is a national government agency vested with the special function of developing and implementing welfare programs and services that respond to the needs of its member-OFWs and their families. It is endowed with powers to administer a trust fund to be called the OWWA Fund.
By 2023, OWWA has instituted more effective mechanisms to ensure that the rights and interests of OFWs are adequate protected and safeguarded.
a. Delivery of welfare services and benefits; and b. Ensuring capital build-up and fund viability
OWWA is administered by the Board of Trustees through the Secretariat headed by the Administrator as the Chief Executive Officer and assisted by two Deputy Administrators.
The Board of Trustees is the policy-making body. It is a tripartite body with twelve (12) members representing the Government, management, and labor-OFW. Pursuant to RA 8042, a representative from the women’s sector was included. Below are the current members of the Board of Trustees:
|Chairperson: Sec. Silvestre H. Bello III||Department of Labor and Employment|
|Vice-Chair: Admin. Hans Leo J. Cacdac||Overseas Workers Welfare Administration|
|Usec. Sarah Lou Y. Arriola||Department of Foreign Affairs|
|Usec. Gil S. Beltran||Department of Finance|
|Usec. Herman B. Jumilla||Department of Budget and Management|
|Admin. Bernardo P. Olalia||Philippine Overseas Employment Administration|
|Capt. Felixberto I. Rebustes||Sea-Based OFW Sector Representative|
|Ms. Estrella D. Añonuevo||Women Sector Representative|
|Atty Antonio B. Partoza, Jr.||Land-Based Recruitment Sector Representative|
|Capt. Emmanuel L. Regio||Manning Sector Representative|
|Dr. Celerino L. Umandap||OFW Land-Based Sector Representative|
The Responsibilities and Powers of the Board of Trustees
Pursuant to EO No. 537 the Board is vested with the following responsibilities and powers:
1. To adopt policies, rules, and regulations to implement the objectives and purposes of OWWA;
2. To approve programs, projects, and the organizational structure of the OWWA Secretariat;
3. To formulate rules and regulations governing financial transactions, as well as fix the yearly appropriations of the Secretariat;
4. To ensure the efficiency of collection and the viability and sustainability of funds through sound and judicious investment and fund management policies; and
5. To perform any other act to attain the objectives and purposes of OWWA.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has adopted its Citizen’s Charter in the interest of the service and in compliance with R.A 9485, otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 (ARTA).
View / download: OWWA Citizen’s Charter
OWWA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac has directed all OWWA employees to comply with the guidelines, including, among others:
To ensure that the Citizen’s Charter is effectively implemented and sustained, OWWA management has initiated the following activities:
To promote transparency, accountability and efficient and effective service delivery, the Citizen’s Charter Team (CCT) and CCT Sub-Committee shall be conducting periodic systems review, revision and updating of the Citizen’s Charter.
Violence against women (VAW) violates human rights and continues to be one of the country’s perennial social problems. It manifests and perpetuates discrimination and gender inequality. It violates the fundamental right of women to live a life free from violence as upheld in international commitments and their local translation. VAW also affects women and girls’ general well-being, leaving long-term physical, psychological, sexual, and mental consequences, thereby hampering women from achieving their full potential.
This brochure is a summary of the Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women. It is a comprehensive women’s human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination through the recognition, protection, fulfillment, and promotion of the rights of Filipino women, especially those belonging to the marginalized sectors of society.
A booklet on Republic Act No. 11313 also known as the “Safe Spaces Act” or the “Bawal Bastos Law”. This contains the full-text of the said laws and their implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
A booklet on Republic Act No. 7877 also known as the “Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995”. This publication contains the full-text of the law and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR). This also contains the Civil Service Memorandum Circular No. 19 (Series of 1994) directing all government agencies, state colleges and universities (SUCs), and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) to adopt the Policy on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. This booklet also contains the DOLE issued Administrative Order No. 68 (Series of 1992) for the implementation of the Policy Against Sexual Harrasment in the Private Sector
This primer contains the full text of the laws and implementing rules and regulations of both the Republic Act 10364 and Republic Act 9208: The Anti-Trafficking Persons Act
A booklet on Republic Act No. 8353 also known as the “Anti-Rape Law of 1997 and Republic Act No. 8505 also known as the “Rape Victim Assitance and Protection Act of 1998”. This contains the full-text of the said laws and their implementing rules and regulations (IRR). The Rape Victim Assitance and Protection of 1998 will provide necessary assistance and protection for rape survivors by establishment and operation of rape crisis center in every provice and city to protect and assist rape survivors in the litigation of their cases and their recovery.
This book contains the implementing rules and regulations of the Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women. It is a comprehensive women’s human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination through the recognition, protection, fulfilment and promotion of the rights of Filipino women, especially those belonging in the marginalized sectors of the society.
OWWA was created through:
Letter of Instruction (LOI) No. 537 (Annex A)
A “Welfare and Training Fund For Overseas Workers” was created on 01 May 1977 in the Department of Labor through a Letter of Instruction (LOI) No. 537 signed by President Ferdinand E. Marcos. This LOI provides social and welfare services to Filipino overseas workers including insurance coverage, social work assistance, legal assistance, placement assistance, cultural services, remittance services, and the like. Sources of Funds comes from earnings and welfare fund collections from Overseas Employment Development Board (OEDB), Bureau of Employment Service (BES), National Seaman Board (NSB) and other donations, contributions.
Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1694 (Annex B)
President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed a Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1694 on 01 May 1980, formalizing the LOI No. 537, which created the Welfare and Training Fund For Overseas Workers, into Welfare Fund for Overseas Workers or referred to as Welfund. This PD orders the transfer of all fund sources to the Welfund and its administration by the Board of Trustees.
Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1809 (Annex C)
On 16 January 1981, President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed PD No. 1809 amending certain provisions of the PD No. 1694. Amendments include government banks as depository banks for the Welfund; expanding number of members of the Board of Trustees, from 7 to 11; and administration of the Welfund by the Board of Trustees through a Secretariat.
Executive Order (EO) No. 126 (Annex D)
President Corazon C. Aquino signed an Executive Order No. 126 on 30 January 1982 reorganizing the Ministry of Labor and Employment and for other purposes. Under Section XIX. Attached Agencies, item f., the Welfare Fund For Overseas Workers administration or Welfund was renamed into Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
Executive Order (EO) No. 195 (Annex E)
President Fidel V. Ramos signed an Executive Order No. 195 on 13 August 1994 providing Medical Care (MEDICARE) Program for Filipino overseas workers and their dependents. It is a compulsory coverage for those Filipino overseas workers not covered by the Philippine Medical Care Program of SSS.
Republic Act (RA) 8042 (Annex F)
Republic Act 8042 or known as the “Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995” was approved by President Fidel V. Ramos on June 7, 1995. This Act strengthened OWWA’s mandate and services for OFWs and their dependents and expanded the composition of the Board of Trustees.
Under Section 15 of this Act, OWWA, in coordination with appropriate agencies, shall undertake the repatriation of workers in cases of war, epidemics, disasters or calamities, natural or man-made, and other similar events without prejudice to reimbursement by the responsible principal or recruitment agency. However, in cases where the principal or recruitment agency cannot be identified, all costs attendant to repatriation shall be borne by the OWWA. For this purpose, an Emergency Repatriation Fund, initially in the amount of Php100M was created and established under the administration, control and supervision of OWWA.
Section 17 establishes the Re-placement and Monitoring Center or RPMC for returning Filipino migrant workers wherein the DOLE, OWWA and POEA were tasked to formulate a program that would motivate migrant workers to plan for productive options such as entry into highly technical jobs or undertakings, livelihood and entrepreneurial development, better wage employment, and investment of savings.
Section 21 establishes a Migrant Workers Loan Guarantee Fund in order to further prevent unscrupulous illegal recruiters and loan sharks from taking advantage of workers seeking employment abroad. OWWA, in coordination with government financial institutions was tasked to develop financing schemes i.e., Pre-departure Loan and Family assistance Loan for ready to leave Filipino overseas workers and their families.
Section 32 states the additional membership to the OWWA Board of Trustees coming from women sector.
OWWA Omnibus Policies (Annex G)
OWWA Board of Trustees passed a Resolution No. 038 on 19 September 2003 instituting the Omnibus Policies of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. The Board promulgated and codified the policies, rules and regulations to provide guidelines on OWWA membership and its coverage, collection of contribution, and availment of benefits. It also embodied the policies on fund management, programs and services administration and corporate governance.
Republic Act (RA) 7111 (Annex H)
RA 7111 an Act establishing the Overseas Workers’ Investment Fund to provide incentives to overseas workers, reduce the foreign debt burden, and for other purposes was approved by President Corazon C. Aquino on 22 August 1991.
Executive Order (EO) No. 446 (Annex I)
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed an Executive Order No. 446 on 12 July 2005 tasking the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment to oversee and coordinate the implementation of various initiatives for OFWs.
Memorandum of Instruction No. 002 Series of 2015
Procedures and Guidelines for Monitoring the Compliance of PDOS Providers
Memorandum of Instruction No. 007 Series of 2015
Supplemental Guidelines in the Conduct of the Arabic Language Training Course for Household Service Workers Bound for Middle East, Except the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia