Grant of rebates to qualified Owwa members reset to 2019

QUALIFIED Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) members will have to wait up to next year for their rebates.

This, after Owwa said it will need more time to determine those who could qualify for the rebate since it involves the arduous task of sifting through the records of hundreds of its members since the 1970s.

“We expect to have an announcement at the last quarter of the year (2018) for a launch or release [of the program] in the first quarter of next year (2019),” Owwa Administrator Hans J. Cacdac told the BusinessMirror in an interview.

Initially, the program was set to be implemented in May, but Owwa was forced to reset it to a new date.

On a positive new, Cacdac said they already determined, through a completed actuarial study, that the existing Owwa fund will be enough for the program.

Under Republic Act 10801 or the Owwa Act of 2016, those entitled to the benefit should have been Owwa members for at least 10 years and have not availed themselves of any service or benefit from Owwa.

“So right now our regional offices are updating the databases to include those who have never availed themselves of Owwa service,” Cacdac said.

“We don’t want to come up with a program where we will give rebates to people who are not qualified for it,” he added.

Last week, ACT OFW party-list Representative Aniceto Bertiz III threatened to push for the deferment of the deliberations on the 2019 budget of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) if its fails to submit the result of the actuarial study of Owwa for the rebates and a breakdown of its administrative costs in previous years.

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