MANILA, Philippines – The Overseas Worker Welfare Administration (OWWA) launched Tuesday (November 6) the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) e-Card courtesy of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The OFW e-card holders can easily access the different programs of OWWA, welfare services, scholarships, trainings, social benefits and many more, through on line.
This will also save OFWs cash through its paperless transactions.
The e-card can also be used as an exit clearance whenever leaving the Philippines.
“That the card will benefit OFW’s in many ways possible and the e-card is not just proof of OWWA membership upon payment of the required contribution but as a means for easier access to OWWA programs ang services and that a card will also function as a government issued ID card,” explained OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.
OFWs can apply through on line, and can claim their IDs to any regional OWWA offices.
As the benefits and programs developed, services of e-cards will be extended to other agencies such as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Bureau of Immigration (BI), Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIZEA), through an open database and easy link.
OFW Gilberto Dularte has been working in Saudi Arabia as service crew over the past 10 years.
And every time he goes home, he said, he would encounter hassles in going thru long queues of document processing from the time he steps into the airport.
“Kasi dati nung una pa nung wala pang mga ganitong card talagang pagtyatyagaan mong pipila sa owwa para makabayad ka lang ng oecpara makabalik ka lang sa pupuntahan mo sa abroad,” said Mang Gil.
With the e-card, things will be easy for Mang Gil to transact and process his papers with different concerned government agencies.
Mang Gil is just one of the 250,000 OFWs who will enjoy different benefits of having the OWWA OFW e-cards, which can be obtained, free of charge.
“Basta lahat ng transaction andito na eh pwede nang gamitin ito eh kaya nga lang walang pera nga daw ito,” he concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)