Are you an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who is based in Abu Dhabi? If so, make sure that you are an active member of OWWA. You can do this by registering as a new member or renewing your membership at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office – Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (POLO-OWWA) office in Abu Dhabi.
To clarify, POLO and OWWA are under the Philippine government’s Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Both agencies are tasked to assist OFWs by protecting their rights as well as promoting their welfare and interests, wherever they may be in the world. Applications for OWWA membership and renewal are processed at the POLO-OWWA office, which is located at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
- What is OWWA?
- Benefits of OWWA Membership
- Requirements for OWWA Membership or Renewal
- How to Book an Appointment for POLO-OWWA Abu Dhabi
- How to Apply for OWWA Membership in Abu Dhabi
- Video – How to Apply for OWWA Membership/Renewal
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Contact Information: POLO-OWWA Abu Dhabi
- Google Map Location
What is OWWA?
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is an agency of the Philippine government focusing on the promotion and protection of OFWs’ welfare worldwide. In order to become a member of this agency, OFWs simply need to apply and pay a membership fee of USD 25 or AED 92. Through this contribution, they are given a two-year membership, after which they can renew for another two years, and so on.
Benefits of OWWA Membership
What are the benefits of being an OWWA member? First of all, you can easily avail of the following services and assistance in any OWWA regional and overseas office:
- Information and guidance;
- Psycho-social counseling and conciliation;
- Legal assistance, training, outreach missions; and more.
Furthermore, OWWA provides the following education and training benefits for members and/or their dependents:
1. Pre-Departure Education Programs
These are mandatory orientation/training for departing OFWs:
- Country Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS)– whole day orientation
- Comprehensive Pre-Departure Education Program (CPDEP) – 3 to 6-day training for Household Service Workers (HSWs)
2. Scholarships, Training, and Incentive Programs
Meanwhile, the agency also offers the following programs for members and/or their families:
A. Scholarship and Incentive Programs for OFWs/Seafarers
- Seafarer’s Upgrading Program (SUP) – A short-term upgrading course for seafarers. The first availment comes with PHP 7,500 training assistance. The program may be availed again in another training course after three recorded memberships with OWWA.
B. Scholarships for Dependents
- Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP) – A scholarship program for qualified dependents of OFWs. It comes with a maximum of PHP 60,000 assistance per school year, leading to a four or five-year baccalaureate course in any college or university.
- OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (OFWDSP) – A scholarship program for dependents of OFWs whose monthly salary is not more than USD 4000. It includes a maximum of PHP 20,000 assistance per school year, leading to an associate or baccalaureate degree in a state college or university.
- Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP) – A scholarship program for survivors of deceased OFWs. It comes with PHP 5,000 for elementary, PHP 8,000 high school, and PHP 10,000 for college students per school year. A livelihood assistance of PHP 15,000 is also given to the surviving spouse.
C. Short-term Training Programs for OFWs and Dependents
- Skills for Employment Scholarship Program (SESP) – A scholarship program that includes a maximum of PHP 14,500 per course for a short-term training program, leading to the completion of a vocational or technical course in any TESDA-accredited school.
- Information Technology Program – A training program that seeks to bridge the communication gap by equipping OFWs and their families with computer and Internet skills.
Aside from all of these programs, OWWA provides case management assistance for members and their families through its Workers’ Welfare Assistance Program. Likewise, it also conducts Emergency Repatriation in cases of distressed or displaced OFWs. And finally, OWWA has Reintegration Programs to assist OFWs upon their return to the Philippines.
Requirements for OWWA Membership or Renewal
To apply for OWWA membership or renewal, you need to prepare the following requirements:
- Online appointment;
- Duly accomplished OFW Information Sheet;
- Passport (original and photocopy of data page);
- Copy of Valid Visa (exceeding 90 days validity);
- POLO-verified Employment Contract (for new applicants, domestic workers, or those who are changing employers);
- Latest Certificate of Employment (for membership renewal and working for the same employer);
- Letter/Certificate from Employer stating that you are not on the list of employees due for termination, resignation, or cancellation of contract;
- OWWA Membership fee of AED 92;
- Employment Contract Verification fee of AED 40; and
- Personal appearance at the Philippine Embassy.
NOTE: You can download and print the OFW Information Sheet from here.
How to Book an Appointment for POLO-OWWA Abu Dhabi
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the POLO-OWWA office in Abu Dhabi has been implementing a “no appointment, no entry” policy. Hence, whether you are applying for OWWA membership/renewal, employment contract verification, or other services, you need to book an appointment online.
Here is a step-by-step guide on booking an appointment:
- Visit the POLO Abu Dhabi official website booking page at https://poloabudhabi.weebly.com/booking-page.html.
- You will see the appointment pages “Slot A, Slot B, Slot C, and Slot D” on the screen. Pick a slot and choose your preferred date and time.
- Enter your personal information including your full name, mobile number, and email address.
- Click “Schedule Event.” After this, a “Confirmed” note indicating your appointment details will appear.
- Check your email to see the confirmed appointment and take a screenshot. That’s it!
Once again, please remember that a booked appointment is required to visit POLO-OWWA Abu Dhabi. Remember that “one appointment, one person only” applies.
How to Apply for OWWA Membership in Abu Dhabi
Once you have a confirmed appointment, you can now prepare for your visit to POLO-OWWA Abu Dhabi. Please be guided by the following sets of steps:
A. For New Members/Domestic Workers/Change Employer:
- Go to the POLO-OWWA office and submit these requirements: accomplished OFW Information Sheet, POLO-verified Employment Contract, Passport, and Visa (original and photocopy).
- Pay the OWWA Membership fee of AED 92.
B. For Renewal (Same Employer):
- Go to the POLO-OWWWA office and submit these documents: accomplished OFW Information Sheet, latest Employment Contract, Passport, and Visa (original and photocopy).
- Pay the OWWA Membership fee of AED 92.
Upon paying the membership fee, you are now an active member of OWWA!
Video – How to Apply for OWWA Membership/Renewal
To learn more about applying for OWWA membership or renewal, including the steps on booking and preparing requirements, here is an informative video shared by “Pinay Abroad Vlogs” on her YouTube channel. Check it out!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Meanwhile, here are the answers to commonly asked questions about OWWA membership and renewal applications:
1. To apply for OWWA membership or renewal, do I need to book an appointment?
Yes. The POLO-OWWA office in Abu Dhabi currently has a “no appointment, no entry” policy. Hence, you need to book an appointment online before you go there.
2. Is there are a dress code at the POLO-OWWA Abu Dhabi office?
Yes. The POLO-OWWA office — as well as the Philippine Embassy in general –requires a “smart casual” attire for all visitors. The following attire are considered inappropriate and are therefore not allowed: sandos, tank tops, sleeveless tops, ripped jeans, shorts, mini skirts, and slippers.
In addition, wearing of face masks is strictly required, for everybody’s health and safety.
3. How much does it cost to be an OWWA member?
The OWWA Membership fee costs AED 92.
4. When do I become a member of OWWA?
Upon payment of the membership fee, you automatically become an official member of OWWA. It’s a quick and easy process!
5. Will my OWWA membership expire?
Yes. The membership fee or contribution is valid for two years, after which you will need to renew your OWWA membership to remain as an active member. You can actually apply for renewal around three months before your initial membership ends.
Applying to become a new member of OWWA or renewing your membership is pretty much a straightforward process, as long as you meet all the requirements. Of course, see to it that your documents are complete and up to date. Also, make sure that the information you provide is true and accurate, to avoid any problems or delays.
Contact Information: POLO-OWWA Abu Dhabi
The POLO-OWWA office is located at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi. If you have any concerns or queries, you can get in touch with the office through the contact details below.
Please note that the office is open between 7:30 am and 3:30 pm from Monday to Thursday, and between 7:30 am and 12:00 pm every Friday.
Address: Villa 2, W-48, Street No. 8, Sector 2-23, Plot 51, Al Qubaisat, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi)
Telephone: +97158 594 3131 (OWWA Membership) / +97154 557 2121 (OWWA Requests for Assistance – Welfare) / +97154 557 2121 (OWWA Requests for Assistance – COVID Infected OFWs)
Moreover, you may notice that there are different telephone numbers for OWWA, depending on your purpose. There is a number for OWWA membership, and separate numbers for requests for assistance — welfare or COVID-related — respectively. Be sure to dial the right number, based on your specific need. Also, don’t hesitate to call the office in cases of emergency.
Google Map Location
The POLO-OWWA office is located in Villa 2, situated within the same address as the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi. Here is the office’s location on Google Maps, for your reference:
DISCLAIMER: We hope that the above guide has been helpful, especially if you are planning to apply for OWWA membership or renewal soon. To learn more about the latest requirements, procedure, and other details related to OWWA membership, please visit the official website of the POLO-OWWA office in Abu Dhabi.
READ NEXT: How to Renew your Philippine Passport in Abu Dhabi