OWWA SUP – Seafarer’s Upgrading Program

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) provides Filipinos working abroad with the Seafarer’s Upgrading Program (SUP), which intends to assist Filipino seafarers in enhancing their skills and broadening their expertise with varying technical advances. SUP helps Filipino seafarers to boost their competitive advantage and comply with the International Maritime Organizations standards. This OWWA program is open for first-time or returning Filipino seafarers with active OWWA membership status.

Also Read: OWWA ELAP Educational Livelihood Assistance Program

Under this program, qualified Filipino seafarers will receive financial support training of up to P7,500 per course provided by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), or other training centers accredited by TESDA. Take note that the financial assistance granted by OWWA under SUP is free and not a loan. So if you’re a Filipino seafarer who requires financial support for training, read on to learn more about OWWA SUP.

What is OWWA SUP Scholarship Program for Seafarers?

The Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP) is a short-term training program OWWA offers Filipino seafarers, providing them with job-related maritime courses based on the Maritime Training Council. It grants qualified applicants financial support worth P1,200 minimum to P7,500 maximum per training course in MARINA or TESDA-accredited centers. The amount also includes transportation and meal allowances for the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) trainees. But do note that Filipino seafarers (both men and women) can only apply for subsequent grants every three (3) OWWA membership contributions.


Whether you’re a first-time or returning Filipino seafarer, SUP is a beneficial program that can help enhance your skills and competency before setting sail again. This program grants qualified beneficiaries financial assistance from P1,200 minimum to P7,500 maximum per training course. But the applicant should shoulder the additional expenses. Meanwhile, the grants for applicants introduced to the National Maritime Polytechnic (NMP) will include transportation and meal allowances.

OWWA SUP Courses for Seaman

While qualified seafarers can freely choose the training course they want to take, the applicants should take up their courses at training centers accredited by the following:

  • Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)
  • A school or college accredited by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)
  • Training Providers accredited and recognized by OWWA or other government institutions

If qualified, here are some training courses Filipino seafarers can take under the SUP program:

  • Advanced Messman Course
  • Advanced Training in Chemical Tanker (ATCT)
  • Advanced Training in Fire Fighting (ATFF)
  • Advanced Training in Liquid Gas Tanker (ATLGT)
  • Advanced Training in Oil Tanker (ATOT)
  • Auxiliary System
  • 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
  • Cargo Handling and Care of Cargo
  • Catering Management (Chief Cook Course)
  • Control Engineering
  • Crisis Management
  • Crowd Management
  • Deck Watch Keeping (DWK)
  • Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS)
  • Engine Room Simulator
  • Engine Watch Keeping (EWK)
  • Galley and Provision Management
  • General Operators Course for Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GOC for GMDSS)
  • Hazardous Material (HAZMAT)
  • Housekeeping Management (Steward Course)
  • International Cooking
  • Lathe Machine Course
  • Marine Diesel Engineering
  • Marine Pollution Consolidated (MARPOL I-VI)
  • Medical Care (MECA)
  • Medical Emergency First Aid (MEFA)
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boat (PSCRB)
  • Radar Navigation, Radar Plotting & use of ARPA (RNRPUA)
  • Radar Simulator Course
  • Radio Electronics Officer’s Course (REOC)
  • Ship Simulator Bridge Team Work (SSBT)
  • Shipboard Welding and Lathe Machine
  • Shore-based Fire Fighting
  • Specialty Cuisine
  • Trim and Stability


To avail of the SUP program, here are the following qualifications the applicant should meet:

  • Must be a Filipino Citizen
  • The seafarer should have an active OWWA membership status at the time of application.
  • If you’re a first-time applicant, you should have a single OWWA membership contribution.
  • Subsequent grants are only approved for every three (3) OWWA membership contributions. But the application should be filed within ninety (90 days) from the applicant’s arrival in the Philippines, regardless if they are on vacation or end of the contract period.


If you’re qualified for the OWWA SUP program, here are the following documentary requirements you should secure for the application:

  • Duly accomplished SUP Application From (available at OWWA RWO)
  • 2×2 colored ID photo (2 copies)
  • Proof of OWWA membership
  • Proof of recent residency
  • Seaman’s Identification Record Book (SIRB) and valid original Philippine passport

How to Apply for SUP Scholarship for Seaman / Seawoman

Follow the steps below to apply for the OWWA SUP program:

  1. Head to the OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO) that covers your permanent address.
  2. Queue for the EDSP scholarship application, or secure a queuing number and wait for your turn.
  3. Show your passport or valid ID at the Education and Training Unit to verify your Membership Record.
  4. Next, submit your requirements and accomplished application form if your OWWA membership is valid.
  5. Get the schedule to claim the Notice of Award (NOA).
  6. Return to OWWA RWO on the scheduled Notice of Award (NOA) issuance.
  7. Get a priority number and wait for your turn.
  8. Proceed to the designated SUP counter to secure the Notice of Award (NOA).

Also, don’t forget to contact OWWA RWO before visiting since some offices may require an appointment or accept walk-ins.

Reminders on OWWA SUP

For seafarers applying for the SUP program, please take note of the following reminders:

  • The program only grants qualified applicants up to P7,500 per training course. So the applicant should shoulder any additional expenses on the intended training.
  • NCR resident applicants should wait within two (2) working days and seven (7) days for those residing outside NCR for their application to be processed, given they have completed the requirements.
  • The Notice of Award (NOA) is only granted to the applicant once the application is approved.
  • For approved applicants, you must present the NOA to the accredited training center during the enrolment for your chosen course.
  • Take note that the NOA only has 45 days of validity. So apply immediately for the free training course after receiving it or wait for another appointment to secure the NOA.
  • The fee for the training is only waived if the applicant complies with and completes the requirements for their chosen course.
  • Filipino seafarers can only request subsequent entitlement every three (3) OWWA membership contributions.
  • When applying at OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO), applicants should contact the said office beforehand to confirm if they require an appointment or accept walk-ins.


To learn more about OWWA SUP, please watch the video below:

As stated in the video, the Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP) from OWWA provide cash grant to Filipino seafarers, a scholarship program for those who wish to enhance their skills and broaden their expertise. SUP help Filipino seafarers to face technical advances and comply with international maritime standards by providing them with free job-related courses.

Moreover, the courses offered under OWWA SUP vary from Advanced Training in Chemical Tanker and HAZMAT to Housekeeping Management and Specialty Cuisine. Thus, first-time or returning Filipino seafarers should apply for the SUP program and ensure their OWWA membership is active to qualify for the cash grant.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is OWWA SUP for seafarers?

The SUP stands for Seafarers Upgrading Program, a scholarship grant from OWWA. It provides financial assistance worth P1,200 to P7,500 to cover training courses for Filipino seafarers, enhancing their skills, expertise, and competitive advantage. In addition, qualified applicants can enroll in varying courses for free at TESDA and MARINA-accredited training centers, given they comply with the requirements and complete their chosen training. However, the SUP program will not cover the entire training fee of qualified applicants. Instead, the applicants are responsible for the additional expenses.

Who is eligible for OWWA SUP?

The Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP) is for Filipino seafarers with active OWWA membership at the time of application. First-time applicants should have a single OWWA membership contribution to avail of the financial assistance. But for subsequent applications, the request is only approved every three (3) OWWA membership contributions. Additionally, the applicant should comply with the requirements and complete their chosen course for the training fee to be waived.

How to apply for the OWWA SUP program?

If you plan to apply for the OWWA SUP program, check first if you’re qualified. If you are, complete the documentary requirements for the application. Next, go to the OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO), which covers your permanent address. Submit your completed requirements for the SUP application. If approved, get the scheduled release of the Notice of Award (NOA). Then, return to OWWA RWO to claim the Notice of Award (NOA), which you should use within 45 days to get a free training course.


Through the Seafarers Upgrading Program (SUP), Filipino seafarers can increase their skills and expertise to build a better career in their field. The varying benefits and courses offered under this program will surely benefit and equip Filipino seafarers as they set sail. It will boost their qualifications and credentials, providing them with better employment opportunities in the future.

Furthermore, there are varying courses offered under SUP that Filipinos can consider for more career options. So if you’re a first-time or returning seafarer, keep your OWWA membership status active to be eligible for the Seafarer Upgrading Program (SUP).

Contact Details

OWWA Central Office (
Address: OWWA Center Building, F.B. Harrison St, Pasay, Metro Manila
Hotline: 1348
NCR Hotline: 09666250016
Reintegration Unit: 8834-0719
Website: https://owwa.gov.ph/
Email: owwacares@owwa.gov.ph

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