Are you a Filipino who has been living and working in Bahrain for some time now? If so, then you should also be an active member of the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration or OWWA, a government agency that protects the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), wherever they may be in the world!
Being an OWWA member entitles you to certain benefits and services, so it’s important that you keep your membership active. Whether you are a new member or if you are planning to renew your membership in Bahrain, this article is for you! You can apply as a new member or renew your membership at the POLO-OWWA (Philippine Overseas Labor Office – Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration) office, which is located at the Philippine Embassy in Manama, Bahrain.
- What is OWWA?
- Benefits of OWWA Membership
- Requirements for OWWA Membership or Renewal
- How to Apply for OWWA Membership in Bahrain
- Video – Social Benefit Programs of OWWA
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 1. To apply for OWWA membership or renewal, do I need to book an appointment in advance?
- 2. Is there are a dress code at the POLO-OWWA Bahrain office?
- 3. How much does it cost to be an OWWA member?
- 4. When do I become a member of OWWA?
- 5. Will my OWWA membership expire?
- 6. What else can I do at the POLO-OWWA office in Bahrain?
- Contact Information – OWWA Bahrain
- Google Map Location
What is OWWA?
OWWA is one of the agencies of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) of the Philippine government. As the name suggests, this agency is focused on promoting and protecting the welfare of OFWS — in the Kingdom of Bahrain as well as in other parts of the world.
To become an OWWA member, you need to apply and pay a membership contribution of BHD 11.23. This contribution is valid for a two-year membership, regardless of your job site, recruitment agency, or duration of employment. After two years, you will need to renew your membership in order to be eligible for the programs and services of OWWA.
Benefits of OWWA Membership
In the event that you need emergency assistance from the Philippine government, you will find that being an OWWA member comes in handy. The agency provides a wide range of programs and services that will surely benefit you and your dependents.
For instance, OWWA provides the following social benefits to its members:
- Disability / Dismemberment. In cases of accidents and injuries sustained while working abroad, members are entitled to a disability/dismemberment benefit of up to PHP 100,000.
- Death Benefit. For deceased members who were active members of OWWA at the time of death, beneficiaries will receive up to PHP 100,000 for deaths due to natural causes, and PHP 200,000 for accidental deaths.
- Burial Gratuity. A funeral grant of PHP 20,000 is provided to the deceased members’ beneficiaries, as financial assistance in the burial of their loved ones.
- Supplemental Medical Assistance for OFWs (MEDplus). This provides financial medical aid for OWWA members who are hospitalized, either at their job site abroad or while in the Philippines. This aid serves as a supplement in the payment of hospital or medial bills, with the amount reaching up to PHP 50,000 — depending on the equivalent PhilHealth benefits, as indicated by the health corporation’s case-rate system.
Aside from the above social benefits, OWWA members (and their dependents) may also avail of the agency’s various education scholarship and training benefits, welfare programs, reintegration program, and repatriation assistance benefits.
Requirements for OWWA Membership or Renewal
Perhaps you are applying as an OWWA member for the first time, or maybe you are planning to renew your membership soon. Either way, here are the requirements that you need to prepare for OWWA membership or renewal:
- Duly accomplished OFW Information Sheet (or membership form);
- Passport (original and photocopy of the data page);
- Certificate of Employment (photocopy);
- POLO-verified Employment Contract (photocopy);
- Letter/Certificate from Employer stating that you are not on the list of employees due for termination, resignation, or cancellation of contract;
- OWWA membership fee of BHD 11.23; and
- Personal appearance at the Philippine Embassy.
How to Apply for OWWA Membership in Bahrain
To apply for OWWA membership or renewal in Bahrain, please be guided by the following steps:
1. Download the OFW Information Sheet (or OWWA Membership Form) here.
2. Print the information sheet and fill out the required details. These include your OR Number, OR Date, Validity, and Date.
Next, provide your personal data, such as your Full Name, Date of Birth, Highest Educational Attainment, Course, Contact Number, and Address in the Philippines.
Then, write down your Contract Particulars, including the Name of Employer/Company, Address, Telephone Number, Jobsite/Country, Job Position, Monthly Salary/Currency, Contract Duration, and Name of Agency (if applicable).
Finally, provide details about your Legal Beneficiaries or Qualified Dependents. Review and check all your details to make sure that everything is correct. Then, sign the form and produce two photocopies.
3. Go to the POLO-OWWA Bahrain office, which is located at the Philippine Embassy in Manama. Wait for your turn, then submit all of the requirements. Please take note that incomplete documents will not be entertained.
4. Pay the OWWA membership fee (BHD 11.23). Don’t forget to get your official receipt. That’s it! You are now an active member of OWWA.
Video – Social Benefit Programs of OWWA
As mentioned earlier, being a member of OWWA comes with certain benefits. Check out this video featuring the agency’s social benefit programs, as shared by its official Facebook page. In particular, the video focuses on how to avail of OWWA’s health-related programs and services for OFW members:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some commonly asked questions — and answers — about becoming a new member or renewing your membership with OWWA:
1. To apply for OWWA membership or renewal, do I need to book an appointment in advance?
No. At present, there are no booking appointments required for membership o renewal applications at the POLO-OWWA office in Bahrain. Such requirements are needed for passport-related appointments only. For OWWA-related applications, simply head to the POLO-OWWA office at the Philippine Embassy in Manama and submit the requirements.
That being said, the agency may decide to establish an online booking system for OWWA membership or renewal applications in the future. Be sure to stay updated by following official websites and social media pages for the latest announcements!
2. Is there are a dress code at the POLO-OWWA Bahrain office?
Yes, there is a dress code at the POLO-OWWA office and the Philippine Embassy in general. Since it is a government office, you will need to wear appropriate attire. Avoid wearing tank tops, sleeveless tops or sandos, mini-skirts, sandos, and slippers. You will not be allowed to enter the building if you wear such attire.
3. How much does it cost to be an OWWA member?
The OWWA membership fee costs BHD 11.23 per member.
4. When do I become a member of OWWA?
As soon as you pay the OWWA membership fee and receive your official receipt, you automatically become a member of the agency. This means that your application can be processed within just one day!
5. Will my OWWA membership expire?
Yes. Your initial contribution is valid for two years. After this, you will need to pay the OWWA membership fee again to renew and keep your membership active.
However, please take note that your OWWA membership becomes inactive if your working visa expires or if you change jobs — even if less than two years have passed. When you change jobs, you will need to renew your OWWA membership, this time under the name of your new company or employer.
6. What else can I do at the POLO-OWWA office in Bahrain?
Aside from paying for your OWWA membership fee, you can also pay for your Social Security System (SSS) contributions as well as your Pag-IBIG contributions at the POLO-OWWA office in Bahrain.
As you can see, applying for OWWA membership or renewal in Bahrain is fast and easy, provided that you have all the requirements ready. Meanwhile, make sure that all your documents are complete, and that the information you have provided is correct — to avoid encountering any problems or delays.
Again, you don’t need to book an appointment in advance; simply go to the POLO-OWWA office at the Philippine Embassy and submit your requirements. Nevertheless, be sure to stay tuned and follow the agency’s official social media pages, in case there are any changes in scheduling and other procedures.
Contact Information – OWWA Bahrain
The POLO-OWWA office in Bahrain is open between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm, from Sundays to Thursdays. If you have any questions or concerns, you can get in touch with the office through the following contact details:
Address: Villa No. 939, Road No. 3220, Block 332, Bu Asheerah, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain (Embassy of the Philippines in Manama, Bahrain)
Telephone: +973 17721908 (during office hours) / +973 34673268, +973 37258755, or +973 38270741 (24/7)
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Notice that there are two sets of telephone numbers for OWWA Bahrain. One is for telephone communications during office hours, while the rest are 24/7 “hotlines” that you can contact anytime, any day of the week. Please do not hesitate to contact these numbers, especially if there’s an emergency.
Google Map Location
The POLO-OWWA office in Bahrain is located at the Philippine Embassy in Manama. Notably, this building is situated next to the Abu Asheerah Garden, and is behind the Embassy of Brunei. Below is the office’s location on Google Maps, for your reference: