OWWA offers Php7,500 subsidy for seafarers who will undergo training


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MANILA, Philippines – Through the Seafarers’ Upgrading Program (SUP), seafarers can receive free training through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) – and they even get a subsidy of up to Php7,500 per course taken.

Through SUP, training assistance for short-term maritime courses are provided for seafarers to help them improve their skills.

Seafarers interested to avail of the subsidy are free to choose the courses they want to take, depending on factors, like available courses offered as well as the accreditation of the institution from which the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) wants to study at.

OWWA offers Php7,500 subsidy for seafarers who will undergo training
Photo credit: Marlow Navigation

Examples of courses seafarers can take include the following:

Deck Courses

  • Cargo Handling and Care of Cargo
  • Deck Watch Keeping (DWK)
  • Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS)
  • General Operator’s Course for Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GOC for GMDSS)
  • Radar Navigation, Radar Plotting & use of ARPA (RNRPUA)
  • Radio Electronics Officer’s Course (REOC)
  • Radar Simulator Course
  • Ship Simulator Bridge Team Work (SSBT)
  • Trim and Stability

Engine Courses

  • Auxiliary System
  • Control Engineering
  • Engine Room Simulator
  • Engine Watch Keeping (EWK)
  • Lathe Machine Course
  • Marine Diesel Engineering
  • Shipboard Welding and Lathe Machine

Specialized Courses

  • Advance Training in Liquified Gas Tanker (ATLGT)
  • Advanced Messman Course
  • Advanced Training in Chemical Tanker (ATCT)
  • Advanced Training in Fire Fighting (ATFF)
  • Advanced Training in Oil Tanker (ATOT)
  • Basic Baking
  • Basic Culinary
  • Basic Food Service Management
  • Basic Training for Liquified Gas Tanker Cargo Operation
  • Basic Training for Oil and Chemical Tanker Cargo Operations
  • Catering Management – Chief Cook Course
  • Crisis Management
  • Crowd Management
  • Galley and Provision Management
  • Hazardous Material (HAZMAT)
  • Housekeeping Management (Steward Course)
  • International Cooking
  • Marine Pollution Consolidated (MARPOL I-VI)
  • Medical Care (MECA)
  • Medical Emergency First Aid (MEFA)
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boat (PSCRB)
  • Shore-based Fire fighting
  • Specialty Cuisine

Requirements to Avail of SUP Subsidy

Not everyone is eligible to avail of the SUP subsidy. Because this is a program by OWWA, the seafarer must be an active OWWA member at the time of application. OWWA allows seafarers to still avail of the program within 5 years of last employment as seafarer, provided that three or more OWWA contributions have been made in the past.

Seafarers interested to avail of the subsidy have 90 days from the date of arrival in the Philippines to submit the application for SUP.

While seafarers are free to choose their preferred training course, such should be taken through the following:

  • School/institution accredited by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)
  • Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)
  • Other authorized government institutions from the list of OWWA recognized and accredited Training Providers

Submit the following requirements to the nearest OWWA office:

  • 2”x2” Photo (2 copies)
  • Accomplished Application Form
  • Proof of OWWA Membership (can be secured at OWWA)
  • Valid Seaman’s book (SIRB) & Passport (bring original and photocopy)

Important Reminders

The SUP subsidy only covers Php7,500 per training course. This means that if the course costs more than this amount, then the seafarer should be the one to pay for the balance.

Seafarers can continuously avail of subsidy every after three recorded OWWA membership contributions.

Once the seafarer is given ‘Notice of Award’ by OWWA, this should be used within 45 days. If this deadline lapses, seafarers need to wait for their next contract to avail of the free training.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express


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