When you need to renew your passport, apply for a marriage certificate, and do other similar tasks, then you’ll have to visit the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh. On the other hand, if you are planning to renew your OWWA membership, then the POLO-OWWA office is where you’ll have to go.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the requirements, fees, and steps in applying for OWWA membership or renewal in Riyadh. Being an active member of this agency entails benefits and services for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families.
- What is OWWA?
- Benefits of OWWA Membership
- Requirements for OWWA Membership or Renewal
- How to Book an Appointment with POLO-OWWA Riyadh
- How to Apply for OWWA Membership
- Video – How to Book an Appointment with POLO-OWWA Riyadh
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 1. To apply for OWWA membership/renewal, do I need to book an appointment?
- 2. Is there are a dress code at the POLO-OWWA office?
- 3. How much does it cost to be an OWWA member?
- 4. Is there anything else that I need to pay?
- 5. When do I become a member of OWWA?
- 6. Will my OWWA membership expire?
- 7. Is there anything else that I need to remember?
- Contact Information: POLO-OWWA
- Google Map Location
What is OWWA?
The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is an agency under the Philippine government’s Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). It usually works hand-in-hand with the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO). Together, these two agencies are mandated to protect and promote the welfare of OFWs worldwide.
Benefits of OWWA Membership
The POLO-OWWA office in Riyadh carries out programs focusing on the protection of workers, community networking, and education/training benefits, among others.
A. Protection of Workers
To protect OFWs, the POLO-OWWA office provides:
- Mediation/Conciliation. The office seeks to settle problems between workers and employers amicably, finding solutions that are acceptable to both parties.
- Handling of Requests for Assistance. The agency addresses various requests for assistance (RAs), which include cases such as non-payment of salaries, delayed salaries, unfavorable working conditions, sexual harassment, and maltreatment.
- Shelter Provision. The agency, through the Filipino Workers Resource Center, provides temporary shelter for runaway household services workers (HSWs) and other workers.
- Counseling. The agency provides counseling services for OFWs, via in-person and over-the-phone interactions.
- Repatriation. The agency provides repatriation assistance to OFWs. This may include negotiating with employers and immigration authorities, sourcing plane tickets, and booking airport assistance, as needed.
B. Community Networking
The POLO-OWWA office, in coordination with the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, actively establishes networks with different Filipino community associations in the country.
Likewise, the agency is also involved in the following programs and projects:
- DOLE-OWWA-Microsoft Tulay Project. This is a joint project that offers courses like computer basics and digital imaging, as well as hardware assembly and maintenance.
- Overseas Labor Education Program (OLEP). The agency holds OLEP sessions to educate Filipino community leaders and workers about the Saudi Labor Law and other laws that affect OFWs.
- Reintegration Preparedness Program. Together with Filipino community associations in Saudi Arabia, POLO-OWWA supports reintegration programs, which involve livelihood training courses on baking, meat processing, cosmetology, candle making, and more.
C. Education/Training Benefits
OWWA offers several educational and training programs, not just for OFW members, but also their families. Among these are the following:
- Seafarer’s Upgrading Program (SUP). This program includes training assistance worth PHP 7,500 per course for seafarers who are attending short-term courses.
- Education for Development Scholarship Program (EDSP). This program comes with a maximum of PHP 60,000 per school year. It is offered to qualified dependents (of OFWs) who are taking up a 4 to 5-year course in any college or university.
- OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (OFWDSP). This program includes a maximum of PHP 20,000 per school year. It is offered to dependents (of OFWs) who are taking up an associate or baccalaureate degree in a state college or university.
- Education and Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP). This program is for survivors of deceased OFWs. It comes with educational assistance worth PHP 5,000 for elementary, PHP 8,000 for high school, and PHP 10,000 for college students per school year. Livelihood assistance worth PHP 15,000 is also given to the surviving spouse.
- Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program (SESP). This program includes a maximum of PHP 14,500 for a course leading to the completion of a technical or vocational course in a TESDA-accredited school. It is offered to OFWs and dependents.
- Information Technology Program. This program focuses on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training for OFWs and their dependents. It covers topics like basic computer applications and how to use the Internet.
Requirements for OWWA Membership or Renewal
To apply for OWWA membership or renewal, you need to prepare the following documents and fees:
- Duly accomplished OWWA OFW Information Sheet;
- Original Passport;
- Certificate of Employment/Contract Verification (2 copies);
- SAR 40 – Fee for Balik Manggagawa (BM) and/or Contract Verification (for those who are transferring to a new employer); and
- SAR 94 – OWWA membership or renewal fee.
NOTE: The Certificate of Employment must indicate that the applicant is not in the company’s or employer’s list of workers due for termination, resignation, or cancellation of contract.
How to Book an Appointment with POLO-OWWA Riyadh
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the POLO-OWWA office in Riyadh requires applicants to book an appointment before going to the office. Follow these steps to book an appointment through their official appointment link:
- Go to the official appointment link of POLO-OWWA Riyadh at https://poloksa-ph.com/.
- Click “Book an Appointment” on the upper-right part of the page.
- Select “Click Here to Download OFW INFO Sheet” button for OWWA Services.
- Download and print the OFW Information Sheet. Enter all the required information.
- Click “Book Now” button for OWWA Services.
- Select your preferred date of appointment, then click “Reserve.”
- Enter the following information: full name, contact number, email address, CR Number (for company verification only), and Iqama/Saudi ID.
- Click “Confirm & Submit.”
- Check your email inbox for the approved appointment.
- Print the email confirmation and bring it to the POLO-OWWA office on the date of your appointment, together with all the required documents.
How to Apply for OWWA Membership
Now that you have a confirmed appointment, here are the steps in applying for OWWA membership or renewal:
- Go to the POLO-OWWA office in Riyadh.
- Show a printed copy of the email confirmation regarding your approved appointment.
- Present all the required documents for OWWA membership.
- Pay the OWWA membership or renewal fee (SAR 94). You may need to pay other fees (e.g. contract verification), depending on your situation.
- Get your official receipt. That’s it! You are now an active member of OWWA.
Video – How to Book an Appointment with POLO-OWWA Riyadh
To give you a better idea about how to book an appointment with POLO-OWWA Riyadh, check out this video shared by the YouTube channel, “AQUH NHOJ TV,” which was created by an OFW based in Saudi Arabia. The video was created as a guide for OFWs, with regard to booking an appointment with POLO-OWWA.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Meanwhile, here are some commonly asked questions — and answers — about applying for OWWA membership or renewal in Riyadh:
1. To apply for OWWA membership/renewal, do I need to book an appointment?
Yes. At present, you are required to book an appointment before going to the POLO-OWWA office in Riyadh. “Walk-ins” are currently not allowed.
You can set an appointment through https://poloksa-ph.com/ to secure a date and time for submitting your OWWA membership/renewal application.
2. Is there are a dress code at the POLO-OWWA office?
Yes, visitors are advised to come to the POLO-OWWA office in appropriate attire. Wearing of sandos, shorts, slippers, and other inappropriate attire are note allowed.
3. How much does it cost to be an OWWA member?
The OWWA membership or renewal fee is SAR 94.
4. Is there anything else that I need to pay?
You may need to pay SAR for Balik Manggagawa (BM) and/or Contract Verification when transferring to a new sponsor.
5. When do I become a member of OWWA?
As soon as your application is processed and your payment is received, you automatically become a member of OWWA.
6. Will my OWWA membership expire?
Yes. For every payment or contribution, membership with OWWA is valid for two (2) years. After this, you will need to renew your membership to remain active.
On the other hand, if you decided to transfer to a new employer in less than two years, you need to apply for OWWA membership again. This is because your OWWA membership will automatically expire if you change to a new employer.
7. Is there anything else that I need to remember?
Yes, please take note of these additional reminders:
- When setting an appointment, avoid making multiple bookings. Multiple bookings by the same applicant will be cancelled.
- Make sure that all your documents are accurate and complete. Incomplete documents will not be entertained.
- At the POLO-OWWA office, be sure to wear a face mask at all times. Also, maintain a 2-meter physical distance from others. This for everybody’s health and safety.
In the event that you may need legal assistance, emergency repatriation, or other services, being an OWWA member is definitely a big help. Likewise, when you have family members or dependents, they can also take advantage of the different educational/scholarship programs offered by the agency. Regardless of where you are and what your job is, make sure that you remain an active member of OWWA.
Contact Information: POLO-OWWA
If you have any questions or concerns, you can get in touch with POLO-OWWA through the contact details below. Please note that the office is open from Sundays to Thursdays, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Address: 3267 Makkah Al Mukarramah Rd, Al Mutamarat, 8103, Riyadh 12711, Saudi Arabia
Telephone: +96 650 285 0944
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (for administrative concerns) / email@example.com (for labor and welfare concerns)
Google Map Location
Since July 2021, the POLO-OWWA office has been located at 3267 Makkah Al Mukarramah Road, Al Mutamarat, Riyadh. 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 anytime soon. Also, please note that the above guide is presented for general, information-sharing purposes only. For more details about the latest requirements, fees, and procedures related to OWWA membership applications, please visit the official website of POLO-OWWA Riyadh.