OWWA rebate expected in first quarter of 2019

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Filipino domestic workers in Central (File photo)

The much-awaited rebate for Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) members is expected to be distributed early this year, according to OWWA officials.

OWWA administrator HansLeo Cacdac had said the guidelines for rebate for those who had been OWWA members for at least 10 years and had not availed of any OWWA program or services was expected this “first quarter” of 2019. One source said the rebate could be ready by March.

Cacdac said they had to reset the rebate to this year because OWWA had to go through the records of thousands of its members since the 1970s.

“The guidelines will be out in the first quarter. The funds to be used will not include the contributions of new members,” Cacdac said in an interview on the radio program of former Labor Undersecretary Susan “Toots” Ople on Dec. 29.

Under Republic Act 10801 or the OWWA Act, those who have been OWWA members for at least 10 years and have not availed of any OWWA service or benefits should get a rebate of financial assistance.

However, Cacdac said OWWA members should not expect a huge amount when they get the rebate from the US$25 (or around P1,300) membership fee they paid.

“I also want to sort of level expectations dito sa rebate kasi may lumapit sa akin, ‘Magkano ba ‘to, Admin? P50,000?’ Teka sandal,” he said.

“Yung konsepto sa rebate is commensurate at the very least dun sa contribution. Now, as to whether or not eksaktong amount ng contribution dinidetermine pa ng actuary natin,” he added.

Cacdac said the rebate that an OWWA member would get would depend on the amount of her contribution and the number of times she made that contribution.

“It will be measured against the number of contributions and the amount of contribution,” he added.

Here in Hong Kong, Welfare Attache Marivic Clarin also tempered the expectations of OFWs who had been waiting for the rebate since it was announced last year.

“Ang rebate kasi akala nila ganun kalaki. When we say rebate, it’s just a portion of your contribution na puwede maibalik sa iyo,” Clarin said in an interview.

“Kunyari nakalagay P300 ang makukuha, so times the number of contributions kasi merong 10 or 20 years ng member pero isang beses lang nagbigay. It’s times the number of contributions,” she said.

“Baka mamaya mas mahal pa ang pamasahe mo kasi one time or twice lang nagbayad, kaya maliit lang talaga,” she added.

Clarin said they were urging OWWA members to instead avail of their programs, like the scholarships that provide up to P300,000 for children of overseas Filipino workers.

“Sa scholarships, you can get a maximum of P300,000 for a mere $25 contribution. Kung magqualify ang inyong anak, you can get P60,000 a year,” she said.

“So kung five-year course, that’s P300,000. Doon na ako kaysa sa maghintay ng rebate,” she added.

Clarin said OFWs could ask their relatives back in the Philippines to apply for the scholarships for their children in OWWA regional offices.

“O kung mayroon pong magkasakit, pwede ka magkaroon ng P20,000. The rebate is not that much,” she added.

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