OFWs to receive digital literacy, business training from Facebook

MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) can now take advantage of digital literacy and online business trainings from social media giant Facebook starting July.

On Thursday, June 7, Facebook and the Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration (OWWA) formalized a partnership during the agency's World Migrants' Day event in Pasay City.

Clair Deevy, Facebook Asia-Pacific director for community affairs, said the one-hour digital literacy training will teach OFWs the importance of privacy on social media, critical thinking in the digital word, as well as how to spot fake news.

Meanwhile, those interested in availing of how to promote their businesses on Facebook can take advantage of workshops that would focus on using Facebook insights to engage their customers and creative trainings on how to take photos or use Instagram for businesses.

"People come to Facebook to share with friends and families. It's amazing to see. Filipinos are one of the most engaged in social media and share with so much information," Deevy said in a media briefing.

With so much information shared, Deevy added that more people "need to understand how to navigate the digital world."

Facebook piloted the workshops in May. 

OFWs who are interested may undergo trainings before completing their exit process from OWWA, or when they return to the Philippines. (INFOGRAPHIC: Getting to know the OFWs)

OWWA Administrator Hans Cacdac said the agency is looking to get an initial 1,500 OFWs to undergo the business workshops this year. Around 40,000 OFWs are slated to undergo the digital literacy training, meanwhile.

Cacdac said OWWA's communication lines via landline, social media, and SMS are open for Filipino workers who want to signify interest in the program.

"We know the role of Facebook is not just a communication line but also as a hope line. Facebook had helped in leveling the field for small businesses," Cacdac said on Thursday.

Cacdac added that this would also provide OFWs knowledge on they can protect themselves online. (READ: What you need to know about overseas Filipino workers)

"This can be used to avoid scams – knowing what types of information can be sourced from legitimate source. That's why the entry point of safety," he said. (INFOGRAPHIC: A history of migration)

There are around 2.34 million OFWs spread around the world, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Of the figure, more than a third work under elementary occupations or jobs that involve performance of simple and routine tasks.

It is followed by service and sales workers abroad, making up 18%, or 421,000 Filipinos.– Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.