OWWA Holiday ‘Salubong’ Program: Welcome Back OFWs to Philippines

The OWWA Holiday “Salubong” Program is a heartwarming initiative designed to give Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) a festive and warm welcome back to the Philippines during the holiday season, especially around Christmas. This unique program encompasses a variety of activities such as welcome ceremonies at airports and seaports, the distribution of gift bags, cultural performances, and information booths providing guidance on OFW rights and available government services. Aimed at celebrating the return of our modern-day heroes, the program not only offers joy and celebration but also practical assistance and valuable information to ease their reintegration into society.

Targeted at the more than 10 million migrant Filipino workers whose remittances significantly contribute to the Philippines’ GDP, the program acknowledges their sacrifices and the economic impact they have on the nation. With a wide reach, having welcomed over 35 OFWs at NAIA alone in 2023, the Salubong Program serves as a powerful symbol of national appreciation and commitment to the welfare of migrant workers. It operates under the auspices of OWWA and aligns with the agency’s mission to support OFWs and their families. Open to all returning kababayans, the program offers personalized welcome, assistance, cultural reconnection, and access to essential information on their rights and benefits, ensuring that every Filipino worker coming home feels the nation’s warmth and appreciation.

holiday salubong
Credits: OWWA / Facebook

What is the OWWA Holiday Salubong Program?

The Holiday “Salubong” is designed to offer a warm and festive welcome to migrant Filipino workers during the holiday season, particularly around Christmas, a time deeply cherished among Filipinos. The program includes welcome ceremonies at airports and seaports, gift-giving, cultural performances, and information booths to guide our kababayans on their rights and available government services. This initiative not only celebrates the return of our modern-day heroes but also provides them with practical assistance and valuable information.

Significance of the Initiative

While offering a joyous welcome and festive cheer, the Holiday Salubong carries profound significance. Beyond mere symbolism, it acknowledges the immense economic impact of over 10 million Filipino overseas workers, who contribute nearly 9% of the Philippines’ GDP through $36.5 billion in annual remittances. The program indirectly boosts local economies through gift production, logistics, performances, and transportation during its execution.

More importantly, the program publicly recognizes the sacrifices and challenges faced by migrant Filipino workers, separated from families and working in demanding conditions. It fosters a sense of belonging and appreciation within the Filipino community, while information booths ease reintegration by guiding returning workers through available government programs and services. With over 35 OFWs welcomed at NAIA alone in 2023, the program’s reach is growing. Moreover, the positive impact of remittances on household welfare, reducing poverty and improving access to education and healthcare, highlights the program’s indirect contribution to broader societal well-being. Aligned with the Migrant Workers Act’s emphasis on migrant workers’ welfare, the Salubong Program further earned international recognition from the UN in 2020. So, while the program offers a warm homecoming, it stands as a powerful symbol of national appreciation, economic impact, and commitment to OFW well-being.

Legal Basis

The program operates under the auspices of OWWA, an agency dedicated to promoting the welfare of migrant Filipino workers and their families. While specific legal documents governing the Salubong program are not explicitly mentioned, the agency’s mandate, as part of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), is to provide assistance and support to our kababayans. The Salubong program aligns with its broader mission to protect and promote the well-being of Filipino migrant workers.


Participants of the Salubong program can expect a variety of benefits, including but not limited to:

  • Personalized welcome and assistance at points of entry.
  • Gift bags with essential items for immediate needs.
  • Cultural performances to reignite the sense of Filipino identity and pride.
  • Access to information on OFW rights, benefits, and government programs aimed at their welfare.

Eligibility / Qualifications

The program is open to all migrant workers returning to the Philippines for the holidays, irrespective of their country of work or occupation. This inclusive approach ensures that every Filipino worker coming home feels the warmth and appreciation of the nation.


While specific requirements may vary, generally, migrant Filipino workers should prepare to present valid identification and proof of overseas employment (such as their OEC – Overseas Employment Certificate) to participate in the program. Checking with the nearest OWWA office for detailed requirements is advised.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for the Holiday Salubong Program

  1. Check the Schedule: Before your return, verify the dates and locations of the Salubong program through OWWA’s official channels or by contacting their nearest office.
  2. Prepare Necessary Documents: Ensure you have your valid ID, OEC, and any other required documents ready for presentation.
  3. Attend the Welcome Ceremony: Upon arrival, head to the designated Salubong area where OWWA officials and volunteers will greet you.
  4. Receive Your Gift Bag: Collect your gift bag, a token of appreciation from the Filipino community.
  5. Enjoy Cultural Performances: Take a moment to enjoy the cultural performances prepared to welcome you back home.
  6. Visit Information Booths: For valuable insights on OFW benefits and services, make sure to visit the OWWA information booths.

Recent Updates

OWWA RWO 3 Celebrates 2023 Pamaskong Salubong

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office 3 (OWWA RWO 3) celebrated the 2023 Pamaskong Salubong at the Clark International Airport on December 29, 2023. The event, with the theme “Nagkakaisang Pamilyang OFWs Patungo sa Bagong Pilipinas,” welcomed 205 migrant Filipino workers and their families who arrived via Qatar and Emirates flights. The celebration included the distribution of Pamasko Packs to the OFWs and their families, as well as additional financial assistance and tokens from Banco de Oro. ASec Venecio Legaspi, DA Mary Melanie Quino, Director Benny Reyes, and Sir Afi Africa of OWWA graced the event, which was made even more special with a performance by the Young Pinoy Musicians, adding joy and festivity to the celebration.

49 OFWs and 2 Minors Safely Repatriated from Israel, Given Warm Welcome by OWWA

In a successful repatriation effort, 49 Overseas Filipino Workers and 2 minors arrived at NAIA Terminal 1 on Flight PR655 from Israel. The OWWA, led by Deputy Administrator for Operations Mary Melanie H. Quiño, warmly greeted them with food assistance, transportation assistance, cash assistance for their homecoming, hotel accommodation, counseling services, and a special Christmas welcome gift from the said agency.

OWWA Distributes Christmas Gift Packs to Returning OFWs at Davao International Airport

In a heartwarming gesture, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration presented Christmas gift packs to fortunate returning migrant workers at the Davao International Airport on December 23, 2023. This initiative, known as “Pamaskong Salubong kay Kabayan,” aims to extend a warm welcome to migrant Filipino workers during the holiday season. To date, the agency has distributed gift packs to a total of 108 OFWs.


Video: OWWA launches ‘holiday salubong’ to welcome returning OFWs

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) have collaborated to organize a special event called ‘holiday salubong’ to warmly receive overseas Filipino workers who have come back to the country. This initiative aims to show appreciation for their contributions and provide support during their transition back home.



The Holiday “Salubong” Program is more than just a welcome back initiative; it is a celebration of the Filipino diaspora’s contributions and sacrifices. It reinforces the nation’s commitment to its overseas workers, offering not just a warm embrace but also practical support and guidance. As we continue to uphold and expand such programs, we reaffirm our collective gratitude and support for our kababayans, truly the modern-day heroes of the Philippines. If you are an OFW planning to return home for the holidays, this program is a beautiful way to start your vacation, surrounded by the warmth and appreciation of your homeland.

error: Content is protected !!