Tag Archive: OFW


07 - 04

Are you leaving the country to work as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) for the first time?

We researched on important information that OFWs need to be aware of before they sign a contract with an employer or an agency.  We are sharing this list from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to help all aspiring Pinoys be on the safe side when scouting for job opportunities abroad.

In 2015, the POEA reported that there are more than 1.8 million OFWs around the world, 1.4 million of which are land-based and most of the OFW population is composed of women workers.  These statistics dictate the urgent need to keep Pinoys well-informed of their rights and privileges in as far as labor (whether domestic or international) is concerned.

We hope the following list lifted from the POEA can help our kababayans prepare themselves for the 2-year haul of working in foreign soil.

Read on.

OFWs are entitled to:

  • A minimum monthly salary of $400 (USD or its equivalent in the country where the OFW will be deployed).
  • At least one day off per week.
  • Free transportation from the Philippines to the host country and back.
  • Free accommodation and food.
  • Free medical and dental services.
  • Vacation leave with pay of up to 15 days a year.
  • Personal life accident, medical and repatriation insurance from a reputable insurance company.
  • Remittance of money to the Philippines, and assistance from the employer in setting up a bank account.
  • Just and humane treatment from the employer.

OFWs are reminded as well to take care of their passports and work / residence permits.  Keep photocopies of these important documents in their possession at all times.  They are also encouraged to leave photocopies with their families in the Philippines as reference.

The minimum age requirement for OFWs is 23 years old.  Do not even attempt to fake your age when applying for a job as this will definitely result in serious problems later on, more so when discovered by (sometimes unforgiving ) foreign employers.

If you are applying as a household service worker, your employment contract must be approved by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office for your protection.  There should be no placement fees to work abroad as well.

If you have questions about OFW rights and privileges, send us a message and we will do our best to search for the answers for you.

Source: www.poea.gov.ph

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05 - 10

To work abroad and be able to provide handsomely for their families in the Philippines is a common goal among most Filipinos.  Time and distance become insignificant at the promise of a better compensation package, a legitimate contract, and sometimes, an opportunity to migrate overseas with the family.

While most OFWs are able to enjoy the sweet fruits of their labor, it is no secret that more than a handful of them come back home with broken hearts and dreams.  Why is this so?

We researched on the top reasons our beloved OFWs give up on their goals abroad, pack their bags, and take the next flight out back to where they came from.  What problems plague overseas workers and how can these be prevented?  Read on.

1. Becoming a victim of Illegal Recruitment

Lack of proper information and awareness, as well as failure to check with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) before engaging with an agency, are the main reasons why Pinoys fall prey to illegal recruiters.

Avoid becoming a victim of illegal recruitment by diligently checking with the POEA if your agency is properly listed as a recruitment firm and has a good track record among other workers.

2. High placement fees

Another red flag when engaging with a recruitment agency are exorbitant placement fees that you know you will not be able to pay even after you’ve completed your 24-month contract abroad.  Some recruiters will encourage you to agree to an “installment plan” where part of your salary automatically goes to paying for your placement fee’s outstanding balance.  Do not fall for such “sweet talk”, especially if they compel you to give them authorization to deduct some amount from your salary.

You have the right to refuse a job offer if it obviously puts you in debt even before you leave the country.

3. Employer abuse

This could be an offshoot of numbers 1 and 2.

Abuse does not only mean physical or verbal; some employers discriminate against your race or religion and that too is considered as abuse.  If you find yourself in this situation, get in touch with the Philippine embassy in your location and ask for help right away.

4. Extra-marital relationships and broken families

This happens for a multitude of reasons but most common is the OFW’s inability to cope with homesickness and loneliness.  Others find the need to get into illicit relationships for additional income and sustain their stay abroad (i.e. marriage for convenience).

You can avoid this by maintaining consistent and meaningful conversations with your spouse and children even when you are far.

5. Landing in jail for offenses they did not commit

Nightly news are never without OFWs and their families seeking the government’s intervention for false accusations that landed their loved one in a foreign jail cell.  The scenes are as heartbreaking as your nightly telenovela and sadly, most end up with the poor OFW coming home in a wooden box.

Stay away from dubious groups and avoid engaging in questionable transactions while you are abroad.  Always keep your personal belongings secured especially if you live with other overseas workers.

6. Failed family business

OFWs entrust their hard-earned money to their parents, siblings, or spouses in the hope that this is invested properly and used wisely to meet the go out of control.  Sadly, this also causes rifts among family members, and husbands and wives.  family’s needs.  But because of lack of research and proper business planning, investments fail to grow and expenses

7. Dwindling value of the Philippine Peso

This is something that is beyond anyone’s control unless you are the President of the country.  Yet this affects an OFW’s family’s monthly income so much.  That is why it pays to learn how to invest properly and grow a profitable side business.  This ensures you of a passive income that you can count on whenever the country’s economy adversely affects your household income.

8. Getting caught in violent uprisings and natural disasters abroad.

Again, this is beyond your control as an OFW or an OFW’s allotee; and again, you can respond positively to these types of setbacks with a stable savings account and a profitable investment.

9. Unable to get assistance from consular and embassy officials abroad.

Either the OFW is deployed in a remote area or the Philippine embassy in his country has limited manpower and so they are unable to attend to all Pinoys seeking assistance.

10. Compelling family problems back home

A terminally ill parent, a child getting hooked on drugs, or a spouse running off with a new partner; these familiar situations are surefire ways to get a Pinoy OFW to come running back home.

There may be more problems that plague overseas workers that are not mentioned in this article.  But obviously, these are not enough to keep Filipinos from seeking employment abroad.  It is every person’s responsibility to ensure that he gains more from the effort of leaving his family behind than the price he has to pay in the end.

We hope this article helped shed light on some of the issues experienced by Pinoy OFWs and their families.  Your own experiences, lessons, and advises to fellow OFWs are most welcome too!

Reference:

http://www.pinoy-ofw.com

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03 - 21

Last year, we featured the announcement on vacationing OFWs’ exemption from filing an OEC if they are returning to the same employers abroad.  This took effect on the first week of September of the same year.  Included in the privilege is the OFW’s exemption from paying travel taxes and terminal fees when exiting the country as covered by Section 35 of RA 8042 (Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act).

There are rampant cases, however, where these fees are incorporated in the cost of the airline ticket bought by OFWs online or over the counter.  And in order for them to “refund” the paid fees, they have to line up at the airport.  Most OFWs are not aware of this or do not have the luxury of time to wait in line for their reimbursement.

Good news!

Starting April 30, 2017, the P550 terminal fee will automatically be waived for OFWs purchasing tickets over the counter; the same will be extended to online ticket purchases by the end of July 2017.  This means that departing OFWs no longer need to go through the process of “refunding” terminal fees that are supposedly incorporated in the price of the tickets they purchased!

Not just for OFWs

The exemption is extended to other Pinoy travelers such as pilgrims, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) delegates, and other Filipinos authorized by law and the Office of the President to travel outside the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration is appealing to have the unreturned fees (those not refunded by OFWs) accounted for and returned to the OWWA who stands as Trustee of OFWs.

Share this news with your OFW friends and relatives!

Source:

http://www.rappler.com/nation/164286-ofws-automatic-exemption-airport-terminal-fee-april-july

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03 - 10

SSS members who have found better earning opportunities abroad may continue to enjoy the same privileges as members who reside in the country.  One such benefit is the salary loan facility of the SSS; this enables members to borrow an amount to meet short-term credit needs and be able to repay at affordable terms and interests.

What are the qualifications?

a. The OFW’s monthly SSS contributions must be updated.

  • For one-month salary loan – the member-borrower must have 36 posted monthly contributions, six of which should be within the last twelve (12) months prior to the month of filing of application.
  • For two months salary loan – the member-borrower must have 72 posted monthly contributions, six of which should be within the last twelve (12) months prior to the month of filing of application.

b. The OFW must be under 65 years of age at the time of application.

c. The OFW has not been granted final benefit (total permanent disability, retirement, and death).

d. The OFW has not been disqualified due to fraud committed against the SSS.

What are the steps in applying for a salary loan?

a. Download and fill-out a Member Loan Application form.

b. Present your SSS ID.  If the OFW does not have an SSS ID yet, he needs to file for application of SSS card (Form E-6).

c. Prepare two valid identifications (ID); any two of the following will suffice:

  • Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)
  • Unexpired Driver’s License
  • Passport
  • Postal ID
  • School or Company ID
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN) card
  • Seaman’s Book
  • Membership card issued by private companies
  • Overseas Worker Welfare Administration (OWWA) card.
  • Senior Citizen’s card
  • Voter’s Identification card / Affidavit / Certificate of Registration
  • ATM card with cardholder’s name; or with certification from bank (if without name).
  • Credit card
  • Fisherman’s card issued by BFAR
  • GSIS card / Member’s Records / Certificate of Membership
  • ID card issued by LGUs (Barangay/Municipal/City)
  • ID card issued by professional association recognized by PRC.
  • Birth Certificate
  • Baptismal Certificate
  • Marriage Contract
  • NBI Clearance
  • Pag-IBIG Member’s Data Form
  • Permit to carry firearms issued by the Firearms and Explosive Unit of PNP.
  • PHIC Member’s Data Record
  • Police Clearance
  • Seafarer’s Registration Certificate issued by POEA
  • Temporary Driver’s License issued by LTO
  • Transcript of Records
  • Alien Certificate of Registration
  • Bank Account Passbook
  • Certificate from Office of Southern / Northern Cultural Communities; or Office of Muslim Affairs
  • Certificate of Licensure / Qualification Documents / Seafarer’s ID and Record Book for Maritime Industry
  • Certificate of Naturalization from the Bureau of Immigration
  • Life Insurance Policy
  • Birth / Baptismal certificate of children.

Who may file the Salary Loan Application?

a. If filed by Member-borrower’s authorized representative, bring the following:

  • Member-borrower’s Member Loan Application
  • Member-borrower’s SS card or any two valid IDs both with signature (at least one with photo).
  • Authorized Representative’s SS card or any two valid IDs both with signature (at least one with photo).
  • Letter of Authority (LOA) signed by both the member-borrower and the member-borrower’s authorized representative.

b. If filed by Employer/Company’s Authorized Representative, bring the following:

  • Accomplished Member Loan Application.
  • Authorized Company Representative (ACR) card issued by SSS.
  • Letter of Authority (LOA) from employer and any two valid IDs both with signature and at least one with photo.
  • Acknowledgment stub and any two valid IDs both with signature and at least one of the IDs with photo.

c. If filed by the member’s representative:

  • Present member’s SSS card or two valid IDs, one of which with photo and signature.
  • Authorization letter signed by the member and the representative.

Where does an OFW file his loan application while abroad?

a. OFW members may submit their applications at the SSS Representative office in the country of their location.

b. In case there is no SSS office in a particular country, the member may send the application and supporting documents to his relatives in the Philippines and authorize them to file at the SSS branch.

c. Any document issued abroad and forms part of the application must be authenticated by the Philippine Consulate/Embassy.

Source: www.sss.gov.ph

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02-20

While we anticipate the approval of the proposed 10-year validity of Philippine passports, we should continue to mark our calendars as to when we should be applying for a passport renewal.  Currently, Philippine passports have a 5-year validity period and most passengers who have less than a year before their passports expire are no longer permitted to leave the country.

This is a dilemma encountered by most OFWs.

So what happens if your passport expires while you are overseas?

Read on:

1.Allow a one year renewal period.

Avoid waiting until you only have a few weeks left before your passport expires.  The process of renewing your passport from abroad takes at least 8 to 12 weeks.

2. Visit the Philippine Embassy / Consulate General in the country where you are currently located.

a. Bring your passport and other pertinent documents related to your travel or stay.

b. The Philippine Embassy will send your renewal application to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office in Manila.

c. Check online if the Philippine Embassy in your area requires applicants to set up an appointment.  Most Philippine Embassies accommodate walk-in applications for passport renewal.

d. All details such as photographs, fingerprints, and signatures will be taken on-site.

3. What are the documents you need to bring?

a. Duly accomplished passport application form, typed or printed legibly on black or blue ink.

b. Latest passport.

c. One (1) photocopy of each of the data page/s of the passport.

d. Photocopy of any valid identification card where the middle name is fully spelled out, such as state4 ID, driver’s license, Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, or Baptismal Certificate.

e. Proof that applicant has not applied for foreign citizenship, e.g. resident alien card (green card).

These requirements may vary depending on the host country of the Philippine Embassy you will be applying to.

4. But how about if the passport IS already expired?

If your passport got lost or is already expired and you need to travel back to the Philippines, you have to secure a Travel Document from the Philippine Embassy in your host country.

What is a Travel Document?

  • Travel documents are issued to Philippine nationals returning to the Philippines, who for one reason or another, have lost their passport or cannot be issued a regular passport.
  • It is also issued to Filipino citizens who are being sent back to the Philippines.
  • It is valid for a non-extendable period of thirty (30) days from date of issuance and only for a one-way direct travel to the Philippines.  It cannot be used for re-entry to the host country.

The travel Document can only be issued when:

  • The consular officer determines that its use is warranted by emergency/critical circumstances.
  • It cannot be used as a short cut in complying with the requirements for the renewal of a passport or the replacement of a lost passport.

Renewing your Philippine passport abroad may be the last thing you would want to do while on a trip, whether as a tourist or an overseas worker.  You can avoid this by simply making sure that your passport is kept up-to-date.  Until the law on the 10-year validity period for Philippine Passports has been ratified, we all need to exert a little more effort in making sure that our passports are updated and are not expiring anytime soon.

Sources:

http://www.dfa.gov.ph/2013-04-04-07-00-36

http://bangkokpe.dfa.gov.ph/consular-office/services/passport/travel-document

http://www.philippineembassy-usa.org/philippines-dc/consular-services-dc/faq-dc/

http://www.pinoyhood.com/renew-passport-abroad/

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02-14

In June 2016, we shared the news on the government’s proposal to extend Passport and Driver’s License validity from 5 years and 3 years respectively, to 10 years for both.  Fast forward to eight months from the time the news broke out, the House of Representatives have submitted their approval to extend the lifespan of Philippine passports to 10 years!

The amendment of House Bill 4767, Section 10 of the RA 8239 (Philippine Passport Act of 1996) will positively impact OFWs, seafarers, and business people who travel often.  The government aims to help Pinoys save on time, effort, and money by extending passport validity to 10 years; this has also been the public’s clamor for a while now since the U.S. Embassy now grants 10-year multiple entry visas to Filipino applicants.

The bill has been transmitted to the Senate and will undergo three readings before the final decision is handed down.  The entire country awaits the approval and enactment of this proposition.

Tell us what you think about this latest update on Passport Validity.

Source:

http://www.rappler.com/nation/161366-house-approves-bill-extending-passport-validity-10-years?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=referral

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10 Best Tips to Avoid Getting Offloaded from Your Flight

01-11

One of the worst things that can happen to a traveler is to get offloaded from his flight.  The truth is, there is no definite list of things that one can do in order to completely avoid being barred from boarding his plane.  It can happen to a tourist, a CEO on a business trip, and even OFWs.

This article intends to inform travelers of what they need to have on hand when checking in and boarding their planes.  These are based on actual experiences of other travelers as well as tips from Immigration Officers (who have seen one too many passengers suffer the consequences of incomplete and insufficient documents to corroborate the veracity for their trip).

  1. Be ready with sufficient travel documentation.
    • Your passport must have at least six months before expiration.
    • Your visa must be updated (if visa is required in your destination).
    • Print out your hotel booking confirmation as well as receipts to prove that you have paid your accommodation in full.
    • Be able to present a return ticket to the Philippines, where the date and time of your flight are clearly stated.  The date on your return ticket must not exceed your allowed period of stay.
    • If on a guided tour, print out a copy of your itinerary and familiarize yourself with the places you will be visiting.
    • OFWs must have their work contracts handy.
    • If traveling with a minor who is not your child, or minor is illegitimate and traveling with the father only, be able to present the necessary travel permits secured from the DSWD.
    • Your PSA Marriage Certificate and PSA Birth Certificates could come in handy to verify your age and affinity.
  2. Provide consistent, clear, and confident answers to the Bureau of Immigration officers.
    • Maintain your composure when being interviewed by an Immigration officer.  Listen carefully to his questions and provide honest answers.
    • Avoid saying too much; simply state what is being asked of you.
    • Expect questions such as: “What attractions are you planning to visit in….?” and “Who will be paying for your trip?”  Again, it pays to be familiar with your travel itinerary and be prepared to prove that you can afford the trip.
  3. Dress appropriately.
    • While travelers are free to dress as they please, it would do a first time traveler good to choose clothing that is not too revealing or too casual.
    • If traveling to a country during winter season, you are expected to bring a jacket, beanies, and gloves.  When traveling to the Middle East, you are expected to wear the prescribed clothing in the country, especially for women.
    • Showing too much skin might trigger an impression of a sex worker which is a red flag among immigration officers.
  4. Immigration Officers look out for solo travelers.
    • When traveling alone, be prepared for further questions from Immigration officers as the Immigration is particular on travelers’ safety and security, more particularly for female solo travelers.
    • Any inconsistency in the traveler’s answers and documents, however minor this may be, could be grounds for the passenger to be denied his flight.
  5. Be firm with the purpose of your trip.
    • If you have nothing to hide, you should be able to ace the interview and be allowed to board faster.
    • Immigration officers do not only listen to your answers, they also observe your body language.  Be confident and sincere when talking to them.
  6. Be able to prove that you can afford the trip.
    • Sponsored travelers must be able to provide an affidavit of support and guarantee, including letters of invitation authenticated by the Philippine consulate or embassy in your destination country.
    • Prepare a copy of your financial statements, certificate of employment, proof of salary, credit cards, and other proofs of residency.  Unemployed travelers must be prepared to show how they will be paying for the trip; if someone else is paying for the trip, prepare authenticated letters of invitation and other proofs that someone else will be shouldering your expenses while abroad.
  7. Be able to provide information about your sponsor (if you have one).
    • If someone else is paying for your trip (a friend or relative who resides in your destination country, your school or office), you should be able to support this with documents.
    • Have their complete names, addresses, and contact information handy during the interview.
  8. If traveling as a government worker, secure the necessary clearances and other permits.
    • If you are a public school teacher, barangay councilor, etc., keep your clearance or travel permit handy during your interview.  Failure to present a travel clearance could prevent you from boarding your flight.
    • Private employees must have sufficient documents to prove they are employed and have been granted leave by their employers.
  9. Review your travel history.
    • If you have been traveling for some time, review your old passports and be able to recall your most recent trips.  First time travelers must be consistent in their reason for traveling abroad (will visit parents who live abroad, giving myself a break, would like to experience snow, etc.).
    • Any history of being offloaded in the past could raise red flags.  You need to be able to state the reason why you were denied your flight in the past and how the issue was resolved.
  10. Watch your attitude.
    • Avoid getting into an argument with the Immigration Officer.
    • Answer politely at all times.
    • Do not attempt to bribe the officer in order to get past inspection.

Immigration Officers are there to help keep the safety and security of travelers.  It is our obligation to submit to their inspection and provide them with truthful statements and authentic documents, if only to prove that our trip is what we declared it to be: tour, business trip, emergency, etc.

These are tips that can help travelers better prepare for their flights and be able to enjoy a hassle-free journey to their destinations.  The decision to detain a passenger and prevent him from taking his flight is entirely the discretion of the Immigration Officers or any other circumstances that may arise even if the passenger has met all the items listed in this article.

Source: https://www.pinoy-ofw.com/news/35048-9-tips-to-avoid-offloading-at-naia.html

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How To Apply for an SSS OFW Housing Loan

10-25

Filipinos seize work opportunities abroad in the hope that they can double their income and be able to provide handsomely for their loved ones in the Philippines.  Foremost in an Overseas Filipino Worker’s agenda is to purchase a house and lot, a family vehicle, and secure their children’s educational funds.  The Philippine government has consistently provided ways and means to help OFWs realize their goals.  One such support is by providing socialized and low-cost housing through the Social Security System (SSS).

You will be surprised to know that the SSS offers a maximum housing loan amount of Php 2,000,000.00, and may be shared among three qualified SSS members, related within the first civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.  This means that if both husband and wife are OFWs, they can apply for a joint housing loan and share in the amortization.

For everybody’s information, we have summarized the list of requirements and procedures when applying for an SSS OFW Housing Loan.  You may also visit the SSS website at www.sss.gov.ph for more information regarding this loan offer.

Who are Eligible Borrowers?

OFW Member is qualified to borrow if he meets the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Member is a certified Overseas Filipino Worker;
  2. Member is a voluntary OFW member of SSS;
  3. Member has at least 36 months contribution and 24 continuous contributions in the period prior to application;
  4. Member is not more than 60 years old at the time of application and must be insurable.  Members aged 60 years at time of application will have a maximum loan term of 5 years;
  5. Member was not previously granted an SSS housing loan;
  6. Member has not been granted final SSS benefits;
  7. Borrower and spouse is updated in the payment of their SSS loan(s), if any.

The spouses of an existing borrower may still qualify for an SSS housing loan if the loan of the existing borrower was obtained prior to the date of marriage and the loan is not delinquent.

What are the Loan Purposes?

The allowable purposes for a loan are as follows:

  1. Construction of a new house or dwelling unit on a lot owned by the applicant free from lien/encumbrances;
  2. Purchase of a lot and construction thereon of a new house or dwelling unit; and
  3. Purchase of an existing residential unit which may be a house and lot, a condominium unit, or a townhouse.

The property subject of the loan must be occupied by the owner-borrower or his/her immediate family member upon purchase of the unit.

What are the Requirements and Procedures?

The member may file the application at the nearest SSS cluster branch or at the Housing and Business Loans Department, 5/F SSS Building, East Avenue, Quezon City.

The following documents should be submitted upon filing of application:

  1. Original copy of the following:
  • Mortgagor’s Application for Housing Loan with 1”x1” ID pictures of Principal Applicant and Spouse;
  • Certificate of Loan Eligibility (CLE) and P100 service fee;
  • Certification from POEA / DOLE / OWWA / SSS Foreign Representative Office or Philippine Embassy / Consular Office
  • Deed of Sale or Contract to Sell with statement of latest balance for purchase of lot or house and lot;
  • Appraisal Report from Home Guaranty Corporation accredited appraisal companies;
  • Certificate of Acceptance and Occupancy duly signed by the borrower if house is 100% complete at the time of loan filing;
  • Duly notarized Special Power of Attorney (if filing is through a representative).

2. Original and Photocopy of the following:

  • Latest Contract of Employment and latest Employer’s Certification duly authenticated by Philippine Consulate;
  • Owner’s copy of the TCT / OCT / CCT;
  • Certified true copy of TCT / OCT / CCT issued by the Register of Deeds;
  • Latest Property Tax Declaration and Realty Tax Receipt.

3. Other documents:

  • Lot plan with vicinity map duly signed and sealed by Registered Surveyor or Geodetic Engineer (blue print).
  • Building plans / specifications / picture of the house (blue print);
  • A set of twelve postdated checks covering twelve monthly installments and shall be repeated every twelve months thereafter until the loan is fully paid.
  • Tax Mapping / Subdivision Plan
  • Affidavit of Undertaking to continue paying monthly SSS premium contributions for the duration of housing loan.

4. Notes:

  • Present original and submit one (1) photocopy of required documents for authentication purposes;
  • Applicant and spouse must be up-to-date in the payment of all existing loan accounts with SSS subject to verification by the SSS;
  • SSS reserves the right to require additional documents if deemed necessary;
  • Application Fee – ½ of 1% of loan amount or P500 whichever is higher but to exceed P3,000.00 to be deducted from the first loan release;
  • Inspection Fee – P500 for both within and outside Metro Manila.

Source: https://www.sss.gov.ph/sss/appmanager/pages.jsp?page=dhofwapply

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OWWA Benefits for Disabled OFWs

10-13-1

One of the most common questions we receive from our readers is regarding the benefits that an OFW may expect from the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) after they have lost their physical capacity to work abroad.  Similar with local private and government employees based in the country, an OFW must be protected by an insurance that will cover his and his family’s needs in the event that he could no longer perform his tasks as an OFW.  The OWWA handles this for Pinoys working on contract abroad.

Here are the lists of social benefits that OWWA members can look forward to as well as the documentary requirements needed when claiming these benefits.  These were lifted from the OWWA website as well as other online materials related to the subject:

What is OWWA?

The OWWA is an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and a membership institution.  OFWs are encouraged to apply for membership at the OWWA.  They can either enroll through the POEA upon processing of their contract or as voluntary members while waiting for an opportunity to work abroad.  Each OWWA applicant pays a membership contribution of USD 25.00 to make their membership effective.

What are OWWA’s Benefits for Overseas Filipino Workers?

OWWA members are covered with life insurance for the duration of their employment contracts.

Disability and Dismemberment Benefit

A member shall be entitled to disability/dismemberment benefits ranging from Php 2,000.00 to Php 50,000.00 for partial disability.  In case of total permanent disability, a member is entitled to Php 100,000.00.

Death and Burial Benefits

Death benefits include Php 100,000 for deaths due to natural causes and Php 200,000.00 for death due to accident.  On top of the death benefit, the legal heirs shall also be entitled to Php 20,000 as funeral expense assistance.

What are the Requirements when Claiming these Benefits?

For Life Insurance, Disability, Dismemberment, and Burial Benefits:

  1. Passport (for land-based OFW), and Seaman’s Service Record Book (for Sea-based OFW).
  2. Certificate of Membership issued by the OWWA Membership Processing Center (MPC).
  3. OFW/Seaman’s undertaking executed by claimant (for Death Claim).

Documentary Requirements for Life Insurance Benefits:

  1. Original Death Certificate issued by LCR or Authenticated by Philippine Statistics Authority or Foreign Death Certificate for OFW who died abroad and accident report for death due to accident.
  2. Burial Permit
  3. Official receipt of funeral expenses.
  4. ID picture of claimant
  5. Any of the following applicable documents certified by LCR or PSA:
  6. In the absence of birth/marriage certificate, the following must be submitted:
    • Certificate from LCR that fact of marriage/birth is not recorded in the civil registry.
    • Baptismal/marriage certificate certified by the Parish priest/office.
    • Affidavit of two (2) disinterested persons re: facts of birth/marriage and claimant’s relationship to the deceased.

Documentary Requirements for Disability Benefit

  1. Foreign medical certificate
  2. Medical certificate issued by the local attending physician with medical examination procedure, (e.g. x-ray, MRI, CT scan)
  3. Accident report

Releasing requirements

Any 2 (original and valid copy) of the following:

  1. Passport
  2. Office ID
  3. Postal ID
  4. Driver’s License
  5. Original NBI clearance
  6. Senior Citizen’s ID

Sources:

http://www.owwa.gov.ph/?q=content/faq/#social_benefits

https://owwabenefits.wordpress.com/owwahealthbenefits/

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10-10

Last week, we featured the reminders for Pinoy passport holders who are travelling as tourists and to work abroad under a contract.  Today, on our second and final installment of this 2-part series, we are going to share the basic documentary requirements for Pinoy emigrants and those travelling with a minor.

These were lifted from the Bureau of Immigration website.

  1. What are the departure requirements for emigrant Philippine citizens?
    • Unexpired passport;
    • Immigrant visa or residence card;
    • CFO-emigrant registration sticker (ERS); and
    • Validly-issued travel ticket.

The Emigrant Registration Sticker may be obtained by registering at the Commission on Filipino Overseas (CFO and by attending the pre-departure orientation seminar (PDOS).  Children aged 12 years old and below are exempted from attending the PDOS but still needs to register at the CFO.  Children aged 13 years and above need to attend the Peer Counseling Program.

2. When shall a DSWD-travel clearance for travelling Filipino minors be required?

A Filipino minor (below 18 years of age) shall secure a DSWD-issued Travel Clearance if:

  • He/she is traveling alone to a foreign country; or
  • He/she is traveling to a foreign country accompanied by a person other than his/her parents.

3. What are the exceptions to the DSWD-issued Travel Clearance?

These minor children shall be exempt from the DSWD-issued Travel Clerance:

  1. Those of Philippine Foreign Service or diplomatic corps officials;
  2. Those living abroad with Philippine emigrants, subject to child-trafficking regulations;
  3. Those with unexpired alien passports;
  4. Adopted children, subject to a court-issued adoption order with Certificate of Finality;
  5. Illegitimate children with biological mother. If traveling with biological father, a proof of lawful custody must be presented.
  6. Those with proof of unexpired visa for permanent residence outside the Philippines;
  7. Those accompanied by a court-appointed guardian, subject to proof of guardianship;
  8. Those accompanied by a solo parent, subject to a Social Welfare Office-issued ID.  If illegitimate, subject to a Local Civil Registrar-issued Certificate of No Marriage.

It is good to note that coming back home to the Philippines with a passport that has less than six months’ validity is allowed for the following:

    • Philippine passport holders;
    • Former Filipinos and their dependents (i.e. immediate family members);
    • Permanent Residents and other special visa categories requiring temporary residence (with valid ACR 1-Cards);
    • Holders of diplomatic, official, and government passports.
    • Holders of visa under Section 9 (except Sec. 9 (a) and 47 of Commonwealth Act No. 613, as amended, and special non-immigrant visas under special laws, where the validity of such visas extend beyond the expiration of their passports and there is an Embassy or Consulate in the Philippines of which they are a citizen or subject (with valid ACR-1-Cards, where applicable); and
    • Those admitted by the Commissioner on humanitarian grounds.

A complete list of the countries whose nationals are allowed entry in the Philippines even passports of less than six months validity from date of arrival is available at the BOI website.

Share these information with your family and friends to avoid delays and set-backs on your trips abroad.

Source: http://www.immigration.gov.ph/faqs/travel-req

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