The OFW card will serve as an all-in-one ID card for Filipino Overseas Workers.
PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
MANILA — An estimated 250,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are expected to initially benefit in Phase 1 of the OFW e-card project, an official said.
“This project is currently in its first phase and we are expecting to cover around 250,000 Balik-Manggagawa OFWs. We will soon be working on the next phase that will benefit more OFWs and will include more and better features of the card,” Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Board of Trustees chair Silvestre Bello III said during the project’s launch at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City recently.
He said that the OFW e-card is a response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to enhance simple delivery of government services to the OFWs.
The card provides easy access to OWWA programs, including welfare services, scholarships, training programs and social benefits.
Meanwhile, OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said the card is available for free to all Filipino Overseas Workers with an active OWWA membership, a valid Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) to Exemption Number, and a valid passport.
OWWA members who would like to apply for an OFW e-card may visit the OWWA website, www.ecard.owwa.gov.ph.
OFWs may claim their e-card upon return to the Philippines or through their family member, if they present an authorization letter and a copy of the OFW’s passport identification page.
When availing of the OWWA programs and services, OFWs may present the OFW e-card at any OWWA Regional Welfare Office in the country or at the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices and embassies or consulates in the country where they work. The OWWA has also set up OFW e-card help desk in all its regional offices in the country and overseas posts across the globe, to cater to queries and concerns of OFWs about the card.
– Easier access to OWWA programs and services, including welfare services, scholarships, training and other social benefits
– Instant verification of OWWA membership, with less documentary requirements
– The digital version through the OWWA app may also serve as valid government ID since it contains a unique OFW membership number and QR (quick response) code
– Travel tax and terminal fee exemptions (exit pass or Overseas Employment Certificates)
– Access pass for information on government services such as information on contributions with the Social Security System (SSS) and Philhealth, among others
The government is currently working on turning the OFW card into a valid passport
The OWWA mobile app is another feature linked to the OFW card.
– Browse local news
– Online renewal of OWWA membership contributions
– Send email or message to OWWA’s 24/7 operations centre
– Apply for various OWWA programmes and services
– Connect to hotline numbers of Philippine Overseas Labour Offices around the world
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