Filipino overseas workers who need financial assistance can rely on the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) programs that include reintegration and livelihood assistance programs. The loan programs aim to help OFWs and seafarers start their own businesses or assist those who are going back home for good. While some programs are not considered loans, these are generally financial aid given to OFWs as a one-time cash grant.
It’s important to understand that loans are needed to be paid back with interest, but cash grants are free financial aid that OWWA members don’t have to pay back. If you want to ask about loans, you can check out your local OWWA office, or visit the official OWWA website in order to get updates about their loan programs.
Keep reading to learn about the loan options available for OFWs and how to process your application. Whether you’re looking for an OWWA loan or program that will help you financially, this article got you covered.
Who Can Avail OWWA Loans?
Active OWWA members who want to start a business but don’t have funds can take advantage of the OWWA programs that offer financial assistance aid. You can find financing opportunities that meet your needs in order to ease your burden and get out of finance-related problems.
There are qualifications and requirements to meet, but as long as you’re an OWWA member with active status, you’ll surely be assisted.
OWWA Loans for Land-based and Sea-based OFWs
Whether you’re an OFW or a seafarer, you can explore financing opportunities through OWWA loans as listed below:
- OFW Enterprise Development and Loan Program. This is for displaced OFWs due to policy changes, political crises, conflict, and other distressing events. It aims to help them rebuild their finances with credit assistance between Php 100,000 to Php 2,000,000 for individual loans, or Php 100,00 to Php 5,000,000 for group borrowers. OFWs can choose from different industries including franchising, transportation, rental, construction, agricultural, or trading business.
- Special Offer Landbank Loan for OFW. This business loan is offered by the Land Bank of the Philippines but requires an active OWWA membership for seafarers and OFWs to avail of. You can borrow from Php 300,000 to Php 2,000,000, which must be settled within 7 years depending on your loan term.
- Helping the Economy Recover thru OFW Enterprise Startups Loan Program (HEROES). This loan program is under the Department of Trade and Industry offered through the Small Business Corporation. The goal is to aid micro, small, and medium-sized businesses as well as repatriated OFWs who lost their jobs. You can borrow up to Php 100,000 with no interest, which you should repay in two years.
- Seafarers Upgrading Program. Not a loan, but this short-term training program sponsored by OWWA is for maintaining the competitive advantages of sea-based OFWs. Eligible seafarers may receive up to Php 7,500 after every course they complete through their local maritime training center.
- Mariner’s Dugtong Aral Program. Another program that doesn’t offer loans, but an OWWA-sponsored scholarship program to ensure Filipino seafarers have advanced skills in order to prepare them before boarding a ship and eventually being promoted to marine officers. Program beneficiaries can get up to Php 38,120 and a stipend for three months amounting to Php 15,000.
- OWWA Calamity Loan. While OWWA doesn’t offer loans after a calamity, rather they offer calamity assistance. OWWA members as well as their families may get a maximum of Php 3,000 per member if they are affected by earthquakes, typhoons, floods, and other natural calamities.
- OWWA Salary Loans. This type of loan has more relaxed application requirements and repayment terms compared to personal loans. However, OWWA doesn’t offer this loan as of this writing. If you’re looking to get funds, you can check out grants and livelihood assistance offered by OWWA.
- OWWA Housing Loans. Another thing that OWWA doesn’t currently offer, is that there are many other options from this list that you can choose to finance your new house acquisition. OWWA offers cash aids, and grants to help OFWs and seafarers secure their future while their beneficiaries also enjoy financing opportunities.
Video: OWWA Loan for Active and In Active OFW for 2023
This video explains who can avail of OWWA loans, whether it’s true that the loan amount ranges from Php 100,000 to Php 2,000,000, and helpful tips for OFWs to take advantage of these financial assistance programs offered by OWWA. It also mentions some of the best loans you can apply for as an OFW or seafarer.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I apply for an OWWA loan or program even if I’m still abroad?
Yes, as long as you’re an active OWWA member and can present ab OWWA certificate.
2. Do I need to attend the EEDT before availing of the OFW-EDLP?
Yes, you need to attend the Enhanced Entrepreneurial Development Training in order to get a Certificate of Attendance, which is required when applying for an OWWA loan.
3. What if I’m an inactive OWWA member, can I still avail of the OFW-EDLP?
Unfortunately, you can’t avail of this loan if you are no longer an active OWWA member.
4. Can I get a loan if I do not own properties?
While OWWA loans are considered no-collateral loans, you may present your mortgageable assets to assure the agency that you can repay your debts.
5. Where should I ask for additional details regarding OWWA loans?
Visit your nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office or POLO-OWWA branch to get information about the loan you want to avail of from OWWA.
Now that you have seen the complete list of the OWWA loans seafarers and OFWs can avail of, it’s easier to decide which particular loan you need. While some programs are only for financial assistance, you can apply for OWWA loans as long as you have an active OWWA membership. There’s no need to worry about going back home for good with these cash aid and loan programs for both land- and sea-based OFWs.