The Seafarer’s Upgrading Program is another scholarship grant that the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration offers for sea-based Overseas Filipino Workers or seafarers. Those who want to enhance their knowledge and skills in order to expand their career abroad can take advantage of this scholarship program.
It’s important for sea-based OFWs to keep up with international maritime standards and technical advances so that they can continue to be relevant and eventually be promoted to higher positions. If you’re looking to upgrade your maritime skills, the SUP is the best option that OWWA has to offer. Read on to learn how you can apply and submit all the required documents to get a slot in this program.
What is the OWWA Seafarer’s Upgrading Program?
The OWWA Seafarer’s Upgrading Program is a financial assistance program that offers up to Php 7,500 for seafarers who want to upgrade their skills. Applicants can avail of a scholarship for every three recorded contributions. If you’re working as a Filipino seafarer, the SUP scholarship is ideal for your skills upgrade goals.
Under this short-term training program, the seafarer-grantee may choose any TESDA- or MARINA-accredited training or course based on the provided list. They can enroll in their preferred training center that is recognized by OWWA. For the record, OWWA only recognizes training centers that are accredited by TESDA and MARINA.
The main goal of OWWA is for seafarer members to benefit from job-related training programs and courses in the maritime sector based on the standards of the Maritime Training Council. The minimum financial assistance given to grantees starts at Php 1,200 depending on the course they are enrolled in. For trainees who will undergo training at the National Maritime Polytechnic, financial aid includes transportation and meal allowances.
Qualifications for Seafarer OFW Members
To be qualified for the OWWA SUP scholarship grant, you need to meet the following:
- Must be a Filipino citizen
- Must be an active OWWA member
- Have at least one contribution for first-time applicants
Seafarers who are OWWA members can earn subsequent entitlements for every three recorded membership contributions. Also, subsequent availments should be filed within 90 days of the OFW’s last arrival in the country, regardless of whether it’s for a vacation or due to the expiration of an employment contract.
Requirements When Applying for SUP
Once you meet the qualifications, the next step is to secure all the documentary requirements for SUP application:
- Duly accomplished application form
- OWWA Membership certification
- Two copies of 2×2 pictures
- Recent copy of residency
- Valid and original copy of Philippine Passport, or the Seaman’s Identification and Record Book
How to Apply?
When you’re ready to apply for the SUP scholarship grant, here are the basic steps in filing an application for this scholarship program for Filipino seafarers offered by OWWA:
Step 1: Prepare all the required documents for the SUP application.
Step 2: Submit the complete requirements to the local OWWA office near you.
Step 3: If you get a slot, OWWA will contact you for details.
Step 4: You will receive a Notice of Award, and then you need to enroll in your chosen training center and complete the course in 45 days in order to keep your application valid for free educational training.
Video: Free Training for Seafarers | How to Avail OWWA SUP
In this video, you will understand how to qualify for the OWWA Seafarer’s Upgrading Program, what are the requirements, and how to apply through the nearest OWWA office in local areas. There are helpful tips for hassle-free processing of the documents so make sure to watch the whole video.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions that applicants seek answer for when it comes to applying for the SUP scholarship grant:
1. Can I still join the training if my expenses exceed Php 7,500?
Yes, you can attend the course/training but you need to shoulder the exceeding amount.
2. How much will I receive for the SUP financial assistance?
Qualified seafarer-grantees will receive up to Php 7,500 for the allowance upon enrolling in their chosen training center and course program.
3. How many days is the validity of the Notice of Award?
The Notice of Award is valid within 45 days of accepting, so make sure to use it before it expires. Not using the NOA within the validity period means you need to wait for your next appointment.
4. How long is the processing of SUP application for non-NCR residents?
Residents outside NCR will wait for up to seven working days before their applications are processed upon submitting their requirements. Each application is subject for verification by other OWWA Regional Welfare Offices in the Philippines.
5. Do I need to pay back the amount OWWA will give under this scholarship program?
No, this is a free training program for OWWA members who are sea-based OFWs or seafarers. You can get an amount up to Php 7,500 and enroll in your preferred MARINA-accredited training center and course program.
So you’ve read about the OWWA Seafarer’s Upgrading Program and now know how to apply, what requirements to submit, and how to qualify for the scholarship financial assistance. It’s important for seafarers to continue learning and upgrading their skills in order to reach new heights in their career. More importantly, it gives Filipino seafarers a competitive advantage in order to meet the competency standards of the International Maritime Organizations.
Remember to complete all the requirements mentioned on the list before visiting the nearest OWWA office in your area. Also, you may check the qualifications to see if you meet them and can apply for the SUP scholarship. For residents of Metro Manila, SUP application processing may take two working days after submitting the requirements. Check with your OWWA Regional Welfare Office branch to see how long it will exactly take for your application to be processed.