Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA)

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is an agency of the Philippine government that works to protect and promote the welfare and well-being of Filipino overseas workers. Established in May 1, 1977, OWWA provides a wide range of services designed to ensure that Filipino expatriates are provided with safe, secure and quality working conditions abroad.

From providing medical assistance and financial support for those who become stranded overseas, to helping families reunite with their loved ones abroad, the OWWA helps guarantee the safety and security of Filipinos who go out into the world in search of better opportunities.

By offering comprehensive programs such as health insurance coverage, educational grants for children left behind by their parents, legal aid services and other forms of assistance, OWWA has been instrumental in empowering our countrymen both at home and abroad.

owwa overseas workers welfare administration agency for ofws

Brief History

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) was formed with the primary goal of safeguarding the rights and promoting the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The establishment of OWWA marked a significant milestone in recognizing and addressing the unique challenges faced by OFWs. Over the years, OWWA has evolved, adapting to the changing needs and circumstances of OFWs worldwide.

OWWA was initially an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). But since the inception of the newly-created Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), the DMW is now in partnership with OWWA to help Filipino migrant workers abroad.

Purpose and Mission of OWWA

OWWA operates with a central mission: to ensure the wellbeing of OFWs and their families. Guided by this mission, the organization develops programs and services that cater to the diverse needs of its members. The principles that guide OWWA’s operations and services are deeply rooted in a commitment to serve and protect OFWs.

owwa logo
OWWA logo

Structure and Organization

OWWA Board and Management

OWWA’s organizational structure includes a board and management team, each playing crucial roles in governing the organization and implementing its services. The board members contribute their expertise in various fields, ensuring that the organization’s strategies and policies align with its mission. On the other hand, the management team carries out the day-to-day operations, ensuring efficient service delivery to OFWs.

Regional and Overseas Offices

OWWA maintains a network of regional and overseas offices to better serve OFWs around the world. These offices act as vital links between the organization and its members, providing essential services and facilitating communication.

MWO-OWWA Offices Abroad

OWWA has partnered with the Philippine Embassy and other foreign embassies to establish a network of Migrant Workers Offices (by the Department of Migrant Workers) abroad. These MWO offices are also the branches where the OWWA Offices are located. These MWOs support OFWs by providing services such as medical assistance, legal aid, and other forms of counseling. You can check out the official list of MWO offices here.

Services and Programs

Benefits for OWWA Members

OWWA members can avail themselves of various benefits, including financial assistance, educational scholarships, and healthcare coverage. Each of these benefits is designed with the objective of providing support and security to OFWs and their families.

Scholarship Programs

OWWA offers scholarship programs to provide educational opportunities to OFWs and their dependents. These scholarships aim to alleviate the financial burden of education and open doors to better employment opportunities.

Training and Skills Development Programs

OWWA’s training and skills development programs are aimed at equipping OFWs with the necessary skills to thrive in their respective fields. By participating in these programs, OFWs can enhance their career prospects and ensure their competitiveness in the global job market.

Social Benefits

OWWA provides a range of social benefits, including livelihood programs and counseling services. These initiatives are designed to enhance the quality of life of OFWs and their families, providing them with resources and support to navigate the challenges of overseas employment.

Health and Disability Benefits

OWWA offers health and disability benefits to ensure the wellbeing of OFWs. These benefits cover various conditions and provide financial aid to members during times of illness or injury.


Eligibility Criteria

Becoming an OWWA member requires meeting certain eligibility criteria. These criteria are set to ensure that those who stand to benefit most from OWWA’s services can avail themselves of membership.

Application Process

The application process for OWWA membership involves a few steps, including the submission of necessary documents and payment of membership fees. This process is designed to be straightforward and accessible, ensuring that OFWs can easily become members and start benefiting from OWWA’s services.

Membership Fee

Membership fee are a crucial part of OWWA membership. The fee is only USD25 and it is valid every 2 years. This fee serve as the fund source for the various services and benefits that OWWA offers. They are carefully calculated to remain affordable while ensuring the sustainability of the organization’s operations.

Partnerships and Collaborations

Local Partnerships

OWWA has established partnerships with local organizations and government agencies. These partnerships enhance the reach and effectiveness of OWWA’s services, allowing the organization to extend its impact and better serve OFWs.

International Partnerships

OWWA also collaborates with international organizations and foreign governments. These collaborations contribute to the protection and welfare of OFWs, facilitating the exchange of best practices and fostering cooperation on issues concerning overseas employment.

Challenges and Issues

Issues Faced by Overseas Workers

OFWs face various issues, from labor rights violations to health concerns, and social isolation. Understanding these issues is crucial in formulating effective interventions and policies.

Role of OWWA in Addressing these Issues

OWWA plays a critical role in addressing the issues faced by OFWs. Through its programs and services, OWWA strives to mitigate these challenges and provide necessary support to OFWs. However, like any organization, it faces its own set of challenges in fulfilling this mandate.

Future Directions

OWWA is continuously working towards enhancing the welfare of OFWs. Its future plans and initiatives are designed with this goal in mind, focusing on areas where it can make the most significant impact.

The global workforce is constantly changing, with new trends and challenges emerging. OWWA is adapting to these changes, evolving its strategies and programs to meet the needs of today’s OFWs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is OWWA?

OWWA stands for the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. It is a Philippine government organization that aims to protect and promote the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families through various services and programs. It seeks to provide them with financial assistance, educational scholarships, healthcare coverage, training, skills development programs, social benefits, and other forms of support.

2. Who are eligible to become an OWWA member?

To be eligible for OWWA membership, applicants must be Filipino citizens working abroad. They must also meet certain requirements such as being at least 18 years old and having a valid employment contract with an overseas employer.

3. How much does OWWA membership cost?

OWWA membership costs USD25 every two years. This fee helps fund the various services and benefits that OWWA provides to its members.

4. What benefits do OWWA members receive?

OWWA members can avail themselves of various benefits such as financial assistance, educational scholarships, healthcare coverage, training and skills development programs, social benefits, health and disability benefits.

5. What steps need to taken to become an OWWA member?

The process for becoming an OWWA member involves submitting necessary documents such as proof of identity and employment contract as well as paying the required membership fees. Once these steps have been completed successfully, applicants will be issued an official membership card that will allow them access to all the services offered by OWWA.


All in all, if you are an Overseas Filipino Worker, you should look into becoming a member of OWWA. It is an organization that provides important services and benefits to its members such as financial assistance, educational scholarships, healthcare coverage, training and skills development programs, social benefits, and health and disability benefits.

With the help of OWWA’s services and resources, OFWs can enjoy greater peace of mind in their overseas employment endeavors.

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