BINMALEY, Pangasinan – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is reminding overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to renew their membership with the agency every two years to enable them to avail of the maximum welfare assistance that is available for them and their families.
OWWA Administrator Arnaldo Ignacio made the call as he spearheaded the Hero’s Welcome for Pangasinense caregiver Angelyn who was among those killed in the ongoing Gaza crisis.
“Si Angeline ay active member ng OWWA, lahat ng benepisyo na makukuha ng kanyang pamilya ay aming ibibigay,” Ignacio said during the necrological service held on Saturday.
Aguirre’s remains arrived in Pangasinan on November 04.
Aguirre, who embodied the true essence of Filipino service commitment, has gained the respect and admiration of the world as she refused to leave her Israeli employer amid the attack of Hamas militants in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, Israel on October 7.
Ignacio said in recognition of Aguirre’s service and heroism, OWWA has provided her family with a comprehensive range of benefits, including a funeral service package, human remains transportation, death and burial benefits amounting to P220,000 and an Educational Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP) grant of P15,000.
He said aside from the financial assistance from OWWA, Aguirre’s family will receive P50,000 every five years for the maintenance of Aguirre’s grave and monthly financial assistance between P94,000 and P134,000 from the Israeli government.
“The exact amount is still to be determined by the Israeli government,” he said.
Ignacio emphasized that the Philippine government is recognizing all of the sacrifices of every OFW around the globe by providing them with social benefits, education and training, repatriation and reintegration services, and other special programs.
However, Ignacio said only active members can avail of the maximum welfare assistance from OWWA.
“’Yong matatanggap nilang financial benefit ay hindi pareho ng matatanggap ng active member. At saka marami pa kasing ibang programa na para doon sa aktibong member na nagbabayad ng 25 dollars every two years,” he added.
According to OWWA-Region 1 officer-in-charge regional director Gerardo Rimorin, active members may avail of the agency’s programs and benefits, such as death benefits amounting to P100,000 (P200,000 if accidental); burial assistance of P20,000; P7,000-P10,000 compensation if disabled due to work; maximum of P20,000 as a form of medical assistance for work-related illness; education and training benefits for family members; the Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay livelihood program; and the OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (ODSP).
“Yong mga non-active, kung may nangyari sa kanila ay P20,000 lang ang matatanggap. So imagine, with two years validity of the membership, maraming benepisyo na ibibigay ang OWWA sa pamilya o sa OFW,” Rimorin said.
Despite all the benefits, Rimorin added that less than half of the more than 500,000 workers abroad from Region 1 are active members of OWWA.
“Hinihikayat namin lahat ng mga OFWs, kapag dumating kayo rito sa Pilipinas, i-activate always ang membership especially ‘yong mga balik-manggagawa OFWs natin,” he said.
Rimorin said the $25 membership fee is valid for two years regardless of the worker’s contract duration, change of employer, job site, or recruitment agency.
He said OFWs may renew their membership through the
· OWWA Mobile App or by processing it at OWWA desks in their host countries. OFW may check the OWWA Directory if available.
Rimorin said in renewing the membership of OFW, the relative should bring with them the OFW valid employment contract or any proof of active employment, a valid work permit visa of OFW, a passport page showing photo and personal data of OFW, an authorization letter from OFW, and a valid identification card of the representative (next of kin).
The OWWA Region 1 office is located on the 2nd floor of Kenny Plaza along Quezon Avenue, San Fernando City, La Union.
Rimorin said for queries, concerns, and requests for assistance, OFWs or their relatives may call OWWA Hotline 1348 (plus 632 if they are abroad) from Monday to Sunday, including holidays.
“For OWWA-Region 1, they may call through cellphone numbers 0908-863-4300, 0908-863-4250 or send a message through OWWA Region 1’s official Facebook page,” he said.