The OFW e-CARD assistance desk is now available at the three passenger terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). This was announced by the management of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) last January 10, 2019.
The assistance centers were established in cooperation with Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). The goal is to provide vital information to all concerned Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) about the benefits of an OFW OWWA eCARD according to OWWA chief Hans Leo Cacdac.
“Dear OFW e-Card holders, OWWA and POEA teams are ready to assist you at NAIA,”
Cacdac expressed in his official Twitter account.
The OFW e-CARD was officially launched on November 14, 2018, at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. According to DOLE Secretary Sylvestre Bello III, the OFW e-CARD serves as a direct response to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to cater to the needs of all active OFWs.
With an active OFW e-CARD, OFWs will have direct access to various OWWA services such as social benefits, welfare services, professional training, livelihood programs, and scholarships. Apart from these privileges, it can also serve as a valid government-issued identification card when making transactions with other government agencies and private institutions.
The great news is, the OFW e-CARD is free as long as you have an active Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC), an OWWA membership and a non-expired passport. Cacdac also added that the OFW e-CARD can provide urgent verification and reduce the documentary requirements from OFWs.
Every OFW e-CARD contains an exclusive OWWA membership number with QR code to avoid misrepresentation and data breach. DOLE Secretary Bello, who also acts as OWWA Board of Trustees Chair, hopes to cover over 250,000 Balik-Manggagawa under Phase one of the OFW e-CARD project.
Once they get the OFW e-CARD, OFWs can present it at any OWWA Regional Welfare Office in the Philippines when inquiring for OWWA programs and services. Sooner or later, the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices and consulates abroad will also be tasked to accommodate all OFWs concerns using the OFW e-CARD. In addition, the assistance desks are expected to deliver important announcements including POEA job vacancies, updated news, and new policies specifically for OFWs.
OFWs with active OWWA membership status can send their application for an OFW e-CARD via the OWWA official site www.owwa.gov.ph. OFWs may claim their card once they return to the Philippines. Also, family members will be allowed to claim the card, provided that they submit a clear copy of the OFW passport together with an authorization letter.
The OFW e-CARD is a testament which shows the government’s appreciation for the country’s modern heroes. With or without the OFW e-CARD, the current administration will continue to enhance all the OFW policies to create a better tomorrow for the OFWs.