With the pandemic a little too far from over, COVID-19 cases are still spiking in many places, and Hong Kong is no exception. Despite this situation, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) based in Hong Kong need not to worry in case they test positive for the virus as Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) offers a special assistance program for them,
[Updated!] OWWA assistance for OFW Covid positive
OWWA Hong Kong offers assistance for OFWs who will test positive with COVID-19, funded by the Philippine Government.
This recovery and assistance program aims to lessen the burdens and worries of Filipinos who have acquired the virus through community transmission.
What is OWWA Hong Kong?
OWWA Hong Kong is a Philippine Government agency vested with the function of developing and implementing welfare programs and services to its members and their immediate families.
This agency is also responsible for implementing Philippine Labor policies and programs to protect the rights and promote the welfare and interests of Filipinos based in Hong Kong.
Supports offered by OWWA Hong Kong
In their duty to promote the welfare of and protect Filipinos working in Hong Kong, OWWA Hong Kong has a line-up of its programs anchored on that. Requirements and range of assistance varies per benefit, but these are the basic knowledge you should know.
1. Social and Health Benefits
These benefits are intended to assist member-OFWs and their immediate families in matters concerning health. These benefits include Disability and Dismemberment benefit, Death and Burial benefit, Supplementary Medical Assistance or MEDplus, and Welfare Assistance Program (WAP)
2. Education and Scholarship Benefits
These benefits are focused on enhancing the skills of member-OFWs and their beneficiaries. Programs under this include the Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP), Scholarships for Dependents, and Short-Term Training Programs for OFWs and their dependents.
3. Repatriation Assistance Program
When OFWs are forced to leave their host country due to all sorts of unrest like wars, OWWA offers assistance to them as they return home and receive airport assistance, temporary shelter and psycho-social counseling among others. Transport fares to their provinces are also provided, given that they comply with the requirements.
4. Reintegration Program
Help from OWWA Hong Kong does not just end when OFWs return home. They also provide assistance such as Balik Pinas! Balik Hanapbuhay Program,Tulong PUSO, and the OFW Enterprise Development and Loan Program.
How much does it cost to join OWWA Hong Kong?
Membership for OWWA Hong Kong costs 196HKD, which shall be paid upon filing.
How to register as an OWWA Hong Kong member?
Registering as a member-OFW in Hong Kong has a few requirements, which are listed as follows:
First and foremost, potential members must submit their OWWA Information Sheet, which can be downloaded through their website. They also need to submit a copy of their passport. Applicants will also need to submit proof that they are legally working in Hong Kong such as their work pass or work permit card and employment contract.
With the aid of technology, potential members can now process the application online. The process is pretty much the same. Prepare the documents and go to your OWWA Hong Kong office. After that, you need to look for the email where you will send your application documents. An official receipt will be sent in another email. Pay the dues for membership through online banking and you will have your membership activated.
Once the documents are prepared, head off to the OWWA headquarters in your region and follow the instructions to be given by the officer on filing.
The next step is to pay the necessary fees, and your membership will be automatically activated. You will be issued an official receipt which can be used as your proof of membership.
When and how to renew OWWA Hong Kong membership?
OWWA Hong Kong membership is valid for only 2 years. After such time, you will need to renew your membership by paying fees and submitting documents as well.
You can also renew your membership with the help of the OWWA Member Mobile App.
FAQ about OWWA Hong Kong
1. Is OWWA membership mandatory for OFWs?
OWWA Hong Kong requires ALL overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong to apply as members. This will ensure that they are covered and properly compensated in accordance with Philippine Laws and regulations.
2. How to contact OWWA Hong Kong?
2902 29/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, just five minutes away from Admiralty Station
General Enquiry: 6345 9324
Labor and Employment Emergencies: 2866 0640/ 2865 2445
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
3. What are OWWA Hong Kong’s COVID-19 related assistance to OFWs?
OFW members of OWWA Hong Kong will receive a special cash assistance worth US$200 or its HKD equivalent.
To avail of this assistance, member-OFWs simply need to submit their medical certificate or hospital discharge document. They may also opt to submit a positive RT-PCR or swab test. Another document required to avail this assistance include the passport and Hong Kong identification card.
Once these documents and requirements are settled, COVID-positive OFWs will need to create their own GMail account, in case they don’t have one yet. This will enable them to submit the documents online and answer Google forms for the application. OFW applicants will receive a reply from the agency once the documents are received and evaluated. The link for the Google Form can be found in the official OWWA Facebook page.
Another program launched to assist OFWs is DOLE-AKAP. This program aims to help Filipinos who are unable to return to their host country after the pandemic-induced lockdown which started on March 15, 2020. Applicants simply need to submit their proof of overseas employment along with other documents posted on their website.
OFWs are never left alone to work and live in Hong Kong. With the help of OWWA Hong Kong, there are many ways in which they can have the assistance they need for any circumstance.