2017 may not have ended just yet, but there’re plenty of things to look forward to in the coming year especially for OFWs and their dependents. In an announcement made by Senator Sonny Angara last Sept 17, the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) will receive its own funding from the Philippine Government to support its programs starting next year. The budget proposal sits at P916 million on top of the P1.96 billion OWWA Fund from membership contributions. This development is in accordance to the Republic Act 10801 or the OWWA Act of 2016 which lawfully distinguishes OWWA as a national government agency to closely function alongside the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
According to Senator Angara, the additional government funding will help cover personnel and operating costs mainly for general administration services and to provide prompt support to OFWs worldwide in times of emergency and global crises. With the release of the 2018 budget, the OWWA can allot its fund for their programs which are categorized into four areas: social benefits, worker’s welfare assistance program, family welfare and social services, and education and training assistance.
screenshot of OWWA website
How to Apply for the OWWA Scholarship
In its commitment to provide education and training assistance to OFWs and their dependents, OWWA created a Scholarship Program which is set to take effect on academic year 2018-2019. There are two types of scholarship grants offered by OWWA:
- OFW Dependent Scholarship Program (OFWDSP) – This program can be availed by OFW dependents (siblings or children) who are planning to enrol or are already enrolled in any degree course in a state college or university of their choice, and whose OFW relative earns a monthly salary of NOT more than USD 400 in equivalent. If granted, the recipient of the scholarship will receive P20,000 in total for one whole academic year which they can use for covering their school tuition (if there is) or other academic-related fees.
- Education for Development Scholarship Program (EFDSP) – The program is open to all OFW dependents who are planning to enrol or are already enrolled in any 4- or 5-year degree course in their university of choice. The recipient will be entitled to a total of P60,000 per academic year.
Requirements and Qualifications for Scholarship
Any dependent of an OFW who is an active member of OWWA may apply for any of the aforementioned scholarship grants. To apply, the dependent must (be):
- Not above 21 years of age
- A Filipino citizen
- Have a weighted GPA of not lower than 80%
- part of the upper 20% of the graduating class (an incoming freshman in college)
- not be under any other scholarship programs/grants
- have not previously taken the OWWA scholarship qualification exams
- have passed the qualifying exam of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
- have passed the entrance exam given by his/her choice of school to enrol in
- the only dependent of the OFW receiving this particular type of scholarship from OWWA.
If you’ve screened your (dependent’s) eligibility and wish to pursue application, you will need to prepare the following required documents to proceed:
- 2 copies of the completely filled-out application form
- 2 pcs of recent 2×2 ID photos
- Any document to validate proof of relationship to the OWWA member
- For children of OFW: NSO birth certificate
- For siblings of OFW: NSO birth certificates of both the applicant and the OFW
- For OFWs who are not married: Certificate of No Marriage
- Proof of OWWA membership of OFW (i.e. official receipt of OWWA contribution or a copy of the OWWA verification sheet)
- Form 137 for incoming college freshmen or the official transcript of records (TOR)/Grade Certificate for those already enrolled in college.
- Medical certification/clearance with proof of physical fitness (Form 2A)
- Certificate of Good Moral Character (Form 2B)
- 2 copies of the school principal’s certification of the student’s academic distinction (to prove that the applicant belongs to the upper 20% of the class) – Form 2C
- Written statement of the parent/s specifying that the applicant has never taken the OWWA qualifying exams; has not gained substantial unit(s) in any degree course; and that the applicant does not benefit from any existing scholarship grant at the time of application. – Form 2D
- Written statement coming from the applicant specifying that he/she has neither applied for resident/immigrant status in other countries nor hold a dual citizen status, as signed and authorized by his/her parents. – Form 2E
As always, make sure that you have gathered all necessary requirements and documents prior your application in the nearest OWWA regional office.
Note: Filing of application resumes this 2018 sometime between June and August after OWWA readjusted their program in line with the K-12.