13 Exclusive Privileges Given Only to OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers)
Courtesy Lane and Exclusive Branch for OFW Passport Applications
OFWs who need to renew their passport can now visit Robinsons Galleria anytime and without any reservation needed. This branch is dedicated to OFWs according to Rappler.com. All you need to bring is your employment contract and a plane ticket, and you will be able to apply for a new passport.
VIP Lounge in Ayala Malls
Ayala Malls have started a program where all OFWs can enjoy exclusive access to their VIPinoy lounge, free access to Family Lounges in Ayala Malls, Priority Lane, Reserved seats in selected mall concerts & events, and discounts in Ayala Malls Cinemas. All you need to do is to sign up and submit some documents and you’re good to go.
However, VIPinoy has just announced that their program will close on October 1, 2017. So if you are able to get membership before they close it, you will still be able to enjoy some of its benefits until 2018. For more information, please refer here
50% Discount on shopping, hotel accommodations, travel, retail perks and tour packages from SM and GPC Affiliates
Of course, SM Malls also have their own membership program for OFWs. In this program, OFWs will have exclusive access to their SM Global Pinoy Lounger where they can do free voice calls, the internet, beverages, access to charging stations and hotel standard C.R.
In addition, members also get exclusive discounts from different establishments and hotels. For more information, you can refer here
Almost 50% Discount on Travel Tax for OFW Dependents and Spouse
According to JBSolis.com, OFW dependents or spouse can now avail of the standard reduced travel tax. THis is as long as the dependent is between 2 years and one day to their twelfth birthday. All you need to do is visit or pay TIEZA online with documents (passport, airline ticket, OEC, marriage contract, etc).
OFWs and Qualified Dependents Confined Abroad or in the Country Can Reimburse Paid Bills from PhilHealth
Whether it is the OFW or his dependents are hospitalized, PhilHealth will give financial assistance to the patient. In addition, OFWs that have reached their retirement age or have at least paid 120 months in total are entitled to a lifetime membership. Depending on the patient’s sickness, OFWs can reimburse or claim up to hundred thousand pesos.
Just keep in mind that there are requirements and conditions before you can claim your benefits so it’s best to personally inquire at PhilHealth for this. You can also refer to this link for more information.
Also Read : PhilHealth Benefits You Didn’t Know You Have
Enjoy the Interest of Your Deposit in Advance and Avail Collateral Free Loans from BPI
OFWs who decide to open a BPI Advance Savings account will get exclusive privileges such as faster returns from their savings. Moreover, you will also get better interest rates compared to their regular savings account. As for loans, you can avail of a personal loan that you can pay up to 36 monthly installments without the need of any collateral. Qualified OFWs can get as much as 3x their monthly income with loan amounts from 20,000 to 1,000,000 pesos. For more information, please visit here and here.
Build Your Credit with BDO’s Kabayan Savings Account
Now, this savings account is almost like any savings account. THe only difference is you can open an account with only 100 pesos (for PHP account) or 100 dollars (for dollar account) as an initial deposit. You earn BDO Rewards points in every remit and savings plus you also build your credit in the bank. With a long credit history, it will be much easier for you to apply for loans in the future. This includes home, auto, and personal loans. Read more about this here.
Housing Loan from SSS
If the OFW has been a member of SSS and has contributed in the last 36 months, he or she can be qualified to avail the Direct Housing Loan Facility of SSS. In this program, an OFW can loan up to 2,000,000 pesos that are payable for a maximum of 15 years. However, the loan will only be approved if the owner or borrower or his immediate family will be the ones to occupy the property. To get the complete requirements for this privilege, visit this link.
OFW Exclusive Immigration Booths in NAIA
When you leave or come back to the Philippines, one of the first thing that an OFW has to go through are the long lines in the immigration. Good thing NAIA already has special booths dedicated for OFWs so you don’t need to go through all that.
Tax-Free Shopping at Duty-Free
Aside from the 10,000 worth of goods, an OFW can bring in the country that will not be taxed, OFWs can also do additional tax-free shopping in Duty-Free Philippines. Provided that they visit within 15 days after their travel and 30 days in Christmas season. For more information, visit this link.
Voluntary Savings Program of Pag-IBIG
Another savings program that every OFW should consider getting is Pag-IBIG’s POP. In this program, OFWs can save up with a better interest rate. You will be given a choice to save from 100 pesos to 1,200 pesos a month. After 20 years, with 5% interest rate, you will get 31,419.33 pesos to over 377,000 after 20 years. For more information, refer to this link.
Free Language Courses from TESDA
OFWs and pre-qualified OFWs can avail of TESDA’s free language courses. In this program, they can learn all the basics of the country’s language they will work for – for free! The slots for this program are very limited but they prioritize giving it to OFWs so don’t worry.
Health, Education, Insurance Assistance from OWWA
OFWs have the option to be a member of OWWA for only $25 and instantly get medical, life and travel assistance. This includes claiming up to 100,000 pesos depending on the sickness, a pre-departure education program that includes language and culture familiarization, access to on-site services, and family welfare assistance. For more details about their benefits, you can visit their site.