In the event of conflicts, natural or man-made disasters, or epidemics, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is there to help. The OWWA designed a program that will help Filipino people living abroad in emergencies. This program is called the Repatriation Assistance Program. This program, with the help of other foreign agencies, will shoulder the repatriation of Filipinos without compensating them.
The Repatriation Assistance Program helps overseas Filipinos, alive or deceased, to return to their home in the Philippines. With the help of the Local Government (LGU), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and other agencies, Filipinos who suffered physically, mentally, and emotionally can safely go back home.
OFWs and non-OFWs can take advantage of these services offered by OWWA’s Repatriation Assistance Program:
- Airport assistance
- Free food at the airport
- Free transportation to a quarantine facility and free quarantine accommodations are given upon arrival
- Temporary shelter at the OWWA Halfway House
- Psychosocial therapy
- Stress debriefing
- Transportation facilities or fares going to his or her own home
- Work referrals
OFWs’ families and next-of-kins (NOKs) can also request assistance from OWWA overseas posts on behalf of their OFW family members.
OWWA Repatriation Loan
OWWA also provides repatriation loans and cash aid for Overseas Filipino Workers. They do this to help our Kababayans to start over and recover from whatever misfortune came to them. The OWWA provides the following programs and benefits:
- Reintegration Program for OFWs. This program offers livelihood opportunities to OFWs and their families.
- Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Livelihood Program for OFWs. This program is a non-cash livelihood program consisting of techno-skills and/or entrepreneurial training, starter kits/goods, and other services that can start a livelihood.
- Balik Pinas Balik Hanapbuhay Livelihood Program for Filipina OFWs. This program focuses on distressed Filipino women who are returning to the Philippines.
- Tulong PUSO Livelihood Program for OFWs. This program was created in lieu of the Covid-19 Pandemic. This program focused on supporting OFW organizations or groups.
- OFW Enterprise Development and Loan Program (OFW-EDLP). OWWA, together with LandBank, created the OFW Business Loan Program. This program aims to help OFWs who want to build their own business.
To be suitable for Repatriation Assistance Program, one must be:
- Filipino Citizen
- Active or non-active Overseas Filipino Workers
- Land-Based workers
- Sea-Based / Seafarers
Here’s the list of documents you will need if you want to claim your Repatriation Assistance benefits:
- Contact Number and exact address
- Exit Visa
- Application form / Intake form
- Overseas Employment Contract (OEC) or other proof of employment overseas
- Travel documents
- Boarding pass or proof of repatriation
OWWA Repatriation Assistance Program Application
If you want to apply for OWWA’s Repatriation Assistance Program, follow these 5 easy steps to guide you.
Step 1: Go to the Philippine Embassy or Consulate near you.
Step 2: Prepare your Exit Visa and other documents
Step 3: Get a request for Repatriation Assistance Program and fill out the application form or Intake Form
Step 4: Go to the designated case officer
Step 5: Wait for a call from the Embassy
- Appropriate coordination with the Legal Service
- Appropriate coordination, update, and service delivery with Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in the concerned job site.
The OWWA Repatriation Assistance Form can be downloaded here. You can submit the form 5 days prior to your scheduled flight to an authorized staff of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), or Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO).
An Exit Visa is a document that gives you permission to leave the country. The purpose of this document is to control the number of people leaving the country, prevent political rebels or criminals from leaving, monitor people who have debt, ensure work visa holders complete their sponsored employment, and prevent the emigration of skilled workers.
Your employer or sponsor can apply for your Exit Visa online or go to Passport Office. But if you are undocumented, do not have a passport or have an expired one, or do not have an existing employer, you may ask the Philippine Embassy or Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) to process it for you. If you have any criminal case, you must settle it first before the Exit Visa can be approved.
Video: How to Claim OWWA Repatriation Assistance Program?
If you want to know more about how to claim the OWWA Repatriation Assistance Program, watch and follow this video tutorial by Team Dial Adventure.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Repatriation Assistance Program?
OWWA’s Repatriation Assistance Program aims to help distressed OFWs to go back to their home country.
Can I go home without Exit Visa?
No, you can’t. You need to secure an Exit Visa to leave your host country and go back to the Philippines.
Can I use a travel document as Exit Visa?
No, you can’t. Exit Visa is not a travel document.
Most people think that living and working abroad is an easy job and will give you automatic success in life. We consider them as modern heroes but this is not always the case. It is not always rainbows and butterflies but a thorny path with loneliness and sacrifices. They do these in order to give the life that their families deserve.
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) works for the protection and promotion of the well-being of all Overseas Filipino Workers. OWWA understands the sacrifices and hardships of our Kababayans. This is why they, together with other Philippine agencies and foreign agencies, created the Repatriation Assistance Program which will help them in times of dire need and will make sure that they will go home safe and sound in their home country. If you need help, do not hesitate to contact the Philippine Embassy, consulate, or the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in your host country immediately.