Owwa ramps up financial advisory services for OFWs, their families

File photo: Women OFWs at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuwait

CAPITALIZING on a growing demand for financial programs, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) is ramping up its financial advisory support for overseas Filipino workers, thousands of whom have benefited from it in the past.

The Owwa revealed its plans after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and BDO Foundation launched on Monday a new financial literacy campaign dubbed the Pinansyal na Talino at Kaalaman (PiTaKa) program. 

Related story in Banking page: BSP sees more OFWs saving via ‘PiTaKa’ program

OWWA Administrator Hans J. Cacdac said the program aims to provide financial services to as many OFWs as possible by making it part of the mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation Seminars (PDOS) and Post Arrival Orientation Seminars (PAOS).

He cited the growing number of beneficiaries of the Owwa’s Balik Pinas, Balik Hanapbuhay (BPBH) in recent years.

In 2018, Owwa released P700 million to help 35,000 BPBH beneficiaries start their business–the biggest number of OFWs, who availed BPBH program in the last three years.

He noted that in 2016, their BPPH beneficiaries only numbered 3,600, but then soared to 19,000 in 2017 after they raised the amount of the cash aid from P10,000 to P20,000.

“As you could see, there is a really strong demand [for the said service],” Cacdac said.

Larger savings

Cacdac said they also plan to launch the campaign in social media since OFWs–both those documented and undocumented–tend to extensively use it when communicating with their loves ones back at home.

“The PiTaKa campaign will complement the existing and current financial literacy initiatives, both of the government and private sector, by reinforcing a more ‘reachable,’ ‘likeable’ and ‘shareable’ campaign,” Cacdac said. 

Pension and stakeholder aid

Aside from BSP and BDO Foundation, Cacdac said they will be partnering with the Employers Confederation of the Philippine (Ecop) in monitoring the performance of the BPBH beneficiaries.

He said the planned partnership will also enable to them to tap Ecop members to provide mentoring or subsidy to BPBH participants, who would like to start their own business or still become an employee with a higher pay, respectively.

“Sec. [Silvestre] Bello has already given us the green light to partner with Ecop among other respective partners to help us monitor, measure, and guide to the recipients of the reintegration fund,” Cacdac said. 

Migrant stakeholders have been criticizing the previous reintegration program due to its weak financial literacy component, which lead unsustainable business from its beneficiaries. 

Further augmenting their PiTaKa program, Cacdac said is the recent signing into law of Republic Act (RA) 11199 or the Social Security System (SSS) Rationalization Act, specifically its provision on making it mandatory for OFWs to become SSS members.

Cacdac noted their Owwa programs only focus on livelihood, scholarship  and welfare assistance and lacks the necessary pension component for OFWs. He said this is addressed by the RA 11199. 

“Once they [OFWs] have income support, this will address basic needs of OFWs so they could now devote a portion of their savings to business,” Cacdac said.


Instead of the typical financial literacy campaign which tend to focus on the figures, the OWWA chief said the materials for PiTaKa will put emphasis on values formation and forming new financial behavior instead.

BDO Foundation President Mario A. Deriquito said they are currently in the process of developing the modules and training the personnel, which help in implementing PiTaka.

“We are targeting to complete these preparations in the next two to three months,” Deriquito said.

Currently, BDO Foundation has produced three catchy music videos for PiTaKa to be used in the PDOS and PAOs sessions of OFWs.

National Reintegration Center for OFWs officer-in-charge director Roel B. Martin said the rolling out of PiTaKa will depend on the fund Owwa will receive for the program this year.

Initially, he said the program will target household service workers (HSW) before it is eventually distributed to other categories of OFWs.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Article

Senators set to refile vetoed tax amnesty bill

Next Article

Keep a piece of Singapore and #SupportLocalSG at ShopDesignOrchard

Related Posts

Read more

BOP swings to deficit in February

The settlement of the country’s foreign currency debt obligations caused the Philippines’s balance of payments (BOP) to post a deficit in February, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).