Good news has come for our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) because Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) launched an e-card, a membership card that provides easier access to government benefits.
On Tuesday led by OWWA, the Duterte administration distributed 50 e-cards to selected OFWs.
“The OWWA is the only agency under the Department of Labor and Employment that has a legal mandate to provide an e-card for OFWs. Through this OFW e-Card, member OFWs will have easier access to our programs and services,” Administrator Hans Cacda said.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello helps the distribution of the OFW e-card to Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).
The e-card serves as a replacement of the I-DOLE OFW I.D, wherein it will be a proof of membership and an overseas employment certificate (OEC) for all OFWs.
“Kasi hindi ka made-deploy kung wala ‘yung OEC mo. Pag pakita mo ‘yan, you can be allowed to go out already and you will not be charged nung terminal fee at no travel tax,” Bello said.
The OFW e-card will also gives access to welfare services, scholarships, training programs, and other social benefits.
According to Philippine News Agency, an estimated 250,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are expected to initially benefit in the Phase 1 of the OFW e-card project of the OWWA.
“This project is currently in its first phase and we are expecting to cover around 250,000 Balik-Manggagawa OFWs. We will soon be working on the next phase that will benefit more OFWs and will include more and better features of the card,” Bello said.
“This OFW e-card is expected to greatly improve the delivery of OWWA’s programs and services to its member-OFW in order that they may enjoy the benefits due them,” Bello added.
OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said the card is available for free to all Balik-Manggagawa OFWs with an active OWWA membership, a valid Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) to Exemption Number, and a valid passport.
“Through this OFW e-card, member-OFWs will have an easier access to our programs and services, as it allows instant verification of OWWA membership and reduces documentary requirements,” said Cacdac.
“OWWA has set up OFW e-card help desks in all its regional offices in the country and overseas posts across the globe, to cater to queries and concerns of OFWs applying for the OFW e-card,” he added.
For OWWA members who would like to apply for an OFW e-card may visit the OWWA website, www.owwa.gov.ph.
OFWs may claim their e-card upon return to the Philippines or through their family member, if they present an authorization letter and a copy of the OFW’s passport identification page.
When availing of the OWWA programs and services, OFWs may present the OFW e-card at any OWWA Regional Welfare Office in the country or at the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices and embassies/consulates in their jobsites.