‘Give back to retiring OWWA members their money plus interest’

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MEMBERS of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) should be given back their money “plus interest” once they “retire” from being an overseas Filipino worker, a senatorial candidate said.

Former House Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” Tanada III said OWWA members should get back all their contributions if they retire without availing of any OWWA benefit or service.

“Every time a worker comes out, kailangan magbayad sa OWWA. So, ang lumalabas dyan parang insurance yan. Kapag may aksidente ka, merong tatanggapin,” Tanada said during a recent visit here in HK.

“Ang tanong—kung wala ka namang aksidente at magreretire ka na, ano ang pwedeng maging benefit sa magreretire?” he said.

Tanada, who is running under the Otso Diretso slate, noted that the rebate that OWWA announced last year had yet to materialize and would just involve a small amount.

“Yun ang kailangan tingnan kasi maraming nagsasabi na masyadong maliit yan,” Tanada said.

“So, ang tingin ko para sa akin eh it’s like an insurance now. You give and you (should be able to) get back as certain… well the whole principal ba, kung puwede yan ibalik mas mabuti,” he said.

“Plus, maybe a slight interest. So, ito yung mga kailangan tingnan at magawan natin ng paraan,” he said, adding that he would push for this if elected to the Senate.

Under the OWWA Act of 2016, OWWA members for at least 10 years and have not availed of any OWWA service or benefit are entitled to a rebate.

The rebate was supposed to have been implemented in May last year but it was postponed because OWWA had to go through the records of its members stretching back to the 1970s.

OWWA said that the rebate might be implemented in the first quarter of this year, but as of March 22, it had yet to materialize.

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