Press Release
September 27, 2015


Senator Sonny Angara has sponsored a bill which seeks to institutionalize and strengthen the government's support to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families by introducing reforms to the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

Under the proposed measure, OWWA is declared as a national government agency and an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment "vested with a special function of developing and implementing welfare programs and services that respond to the needs of its member-OFWs and their families."

Since 1980, OWWA is an independent financial agency that manages the OWWA Fund or the welfare fund of overseas workers and provides services to its contributing members like loans and insurances.

It is entirely self-funded through the contributions of its members and receives no allocation from the national government.

"Hindi lamang po pangongolekta ng kontribusyon ang gawain ng OWWA. Mandato po ng OWWA na tiyakin ang kaligtasan at kapakanan ng OFWs. Kaya ang sabi naman ng DBM o ng Department of Budget and Management at ng Governance Commission or GCG, ang OWWA ay isang NGA o national governmentas agency at nararapat na pinopondohan ito ng gobyerno taun-taon," said Angara, acting chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development.

The bill also seeks to include the reitegration of OFWs as one of the core programs of OWWA, mandating that not less than 10 percent of the total collection will be used for the reintegration program every year.

The bill further provides that the OWWA fund can only be used to exclusively serve the welfare of member-OFWs and their families, and ensures transparency in the utilization and management of the funds.

"Kapag naisabatas ito, magkakaroon ng isang bagong OWWA na malinaw ang mandato at tunay na mapagkakatiwalaan ng OFWs at maging ng buong bansa," Angara said.

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