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JAN 27, 2016

NR # 4092

Enactment of new OWWA charter pushed

A lawmaker has urged President Aquino to prioritize the enactment of the new charter of the
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Rep. Susan A. Yap (2nd District, Tarlac) said the House of Representatives has already
approved House Bill 4990 on third and final reading while the Senate passed the counterpart bill,
Senate Bill 2955, yesterday.
The proposed new charter will establish clear-cut guidelines for the procedure for OWWA
membership registration and renewal, ensure sufficiency of the agencys operative budget to support
full protection of OFW welfare, and create the OWWA Fund as a private fund held in trust, according
to Yap.
The measure aims to better promote the welfare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)
through the new charter that will redefine the functions of OWWA as a national government agency
vested with the special function of developing and implementing welfare programs that respond to
the needs of member-OFWs and their families, Yap said.
Under the measure, OWWA Board of Trustees shall be created as the policy-making body of
OWWA, composed of 12 members, chaired by the Secretary of Labor and Employment.
The members of the OWWA Board shall not receive any compensation except per diem at
rates allowed under existing rules and regulations.
The measure establishes the OWWA Secretariat to be headed by the OWWA Administrator
and as the Chief Executive Officer shall be assisted by two Deputy Administrators.
OWWA shall be provided with a sufficient operative budget to support full protection of the
OFW welfare, which shall be reviewed annually by the OWWA Board with emphasis on adequate
funding for services and agency efficiency.
The measure grants benefits and services to member-OFWs, such as reintegration of OFWs,
repatriation assistance, loan and credit assistance, workers assistance and on-site services, social
benefits death and disability as well as health care and educational and training benefits.
The measure also known as the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Act, also creates
the OWWA Fund as a private fund held in trust by OWWA and from the sum total of the amounts
under the management and fiscal administration of the Board, including the US$25 contributions and
other amounts that shall accrue to the Fund as fees, investment and interest income.
The OWWA Fund can only be used for the purposes for which it was created, to serve the
welfare of member-OFWs and their families, which shall include the financing of core programs and
services of the OWWA.
As one of the core programs of OWWA, the reintegration of OFWs is provided and makes the
National Reintegration Center for OFWs as an attached agency of OWWA. (30) jc