Digital program for OFWs boosted

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Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), in collaboration with Facebook, is expanding its digital literacy program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to educate and train them on the use of social media platforms and how to detect cyberfraud.

Hans Cacdac, the OWWA Administrator and Beth Lim, the Facebook community affairs head both made an announcement on May 5 during the celebration of Migrant Workers Day, which also marked the digital literacy program’s second anniversary.

Cacdac stated the partnership agreement between OWWA and Facebook aims to empower OFWs and their families through digital literacy, with the social media giant serving as one of the platforms of communication.

He added that the program would help OFWs detect fake news and fake job opportunities abroad.

Digital literacy seminars will also provide small business training for OFWs with entrepreneurial skill to prepare them for their eventual return to the country.

OWWA’s expanded program will be implemented by the end of 2020 in countries where there is large concentration of Filipino workers, such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Middle East countries.

On its primary year, the program trained over 140,000 OFWs on digital skills for discerning credible content, and respectful digital discourse. Over 600 returning OFWs were also provided online business skills training, to help them find alternative sources of income.

“We are glad to be expanding our digital literacy program with Facebook for OFWs based in Hong Kong, Singapore and the Middle East. Our shared vision is [an] empowered OFW community that would have the critical skills to vet information they find online, and consistently use privacy and safety tools available to them,” Cacdac added.

Lim added that the enhanced digital literacy modules include discourse, privacy, safety and information literacy, among others.

“We recognized that the OFWs depend on our platforms to stay connected to their families and everything important to them back home. Facebook will continue supporting OFWs and their families, to ensure they have a positive, safe and authentic experience on our platforms, wherever they are in the world,” Lim stated.

Philippine Statistics Administration figures displayed there were 2.3 million OFWs deployed between April and September 2018.

The Middle East maintaied the top OFW destination. Majority or 1 of 4 OFWs (24.3%) work in Saudi Arabia, followed by United Arab Emirates (15.7%), Kuwait (5.7%) and Qatar (5.2%).

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