The Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) has released funds amounting to a total of P26 million to 10,512 long-time members under the OWWA Rebate Program, according to OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac. As a member of OWWA for at least ten years and have not filed any claims or received benefits for themselves or their dependents, you may be eligible to receive a rebate from the government agency.
Republic Act 10801, otherwise known as the OWWA Act of 2016, was intended to institutionalize and strengthen a wide range of services and benefits for Filipino migrant workers. The rebate program and is funded by the $25 OWWA membership fee collected from both land-based and sea-based OFWs every two years.
Overseas Filipino workers who have been OWWA members for at least 10 years with five or more contributions as of December 31, 2017, and have never taken advantage of any OWWA program are eligible to receive a rebate.
Those who qualified for the rebate program may receive between P941.25 and P13,177.50, depending on the number of contributions. This computation was based on an actuarial study commissioned by OWWA which determined the capability of the OWWA Fund. Data from the actuarial study allowed for a total of P1 billion to be earmarked for distribution to the 556,000 beneficiaries of the program per OWWA database. A total of P2 billion is also allocated for release to the next batches of qualified OWWA members.
Rebate release has already started but in an effort to facilitate its distribution to the qualified members, OWWA opened the OWWA Rebate Portal, an online system for OFWs to verify their eligibility and set appointments to visit the nearest OWWA office. The portal was opened on September 1, 2019.
Here’s a step-by-step procedure that OWWA members can take to check for eligibility and claim their rebates:
- Visit www.owwa.gov.ph and click the banner that features the OWWA Rebate Program or visit the OWWA Rebate Verification Form at http://rebate.owwa.gov.ph/
- Fill out the form to verify if you are eligible to receive the rebate.
- If you are eligible based on your entered data, you will see the rebate amount displayed on the screen.
- Reserve an appointment by picking the date, time, and office where you can claim your rebate. Upon confirmation, you will receive an appointment code via SMS on your nominated mobile phone.
- On the day of the appointment, show your appointment code sent as a text message on your mobile phone.
- Share your bank account where the OWWA rebate will be credited.