by Carlito C. Dar
BAGUIO CITY – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) under its OFW Dependents Scholarship Program (odsp) offers educational financial assistance to legal dependents of low income Overseas Filipino Workers.
OWWA’s ODSP, which started in 2010, is a scholarhip program that offers financial assistance to qualified dependents of an active or OWWA member OFW, who receive a monthly salary of not more than 400 US dollars, who shall enroll in any four-year or five-year baccalaureate or associate course in any state college or university.
According to OWWA-CAR Regional Director Manuela Pena, the said program which is being offered nationwide, aims to provide opportunity to poor but deserving students, to earn a baccalaureate degree or associate degree or associate degree and become agents in community development.
Under the program, legal dependents of qualified OFWs, either a child of married OFW or a brother/sister of single or childless married OFW, will be entitled to financial asssitance of P20,000 per year or P10,000 per semester that shall cover tuition fees and other academic related expenses.
Thus, Pena calls on all active OWWA member OFWs in the region who are qualified for the ODSP to avail of the program, as each qualified OFW is entitled to one scholar-beneficiary, given that the legal dependent is a high school graduate or graduating high school studeng below 21 years old during the time of application and has not previously availed of any other OWWA scholarship.
According to Pena, each province in every region is given slots for the said scholarship program every year. In the Cordillera, there are 80 OSDP slots available for the opening of the school year 2012-2013. Baguio-Benguet, Apayao, Kalinga, and Ifugao are alloted 12 slots each, while Mountain Province has 20 available slots, she disclosed.
Aside from ODSP, OWWA has other scholarship program for its active mebers which include the Education for Development Scholarship Program or EDSP, wherein OFW dependents, upon passing a qualifying exam would also be entitled for a scholarship grant for any baccalaureate course of his choice.
There is also the SESP or the Skills-for-Employment Scholarship Program, which an active OWWA member OFW or his dependent can avail – for a short-term training program. This provides a maximum assistance of P4,5000 per course leading to the completion of a vocation or technical course in any school accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.#