OWWA, Facebook eye to train 1,500 OFWs

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The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and social media giant Facebook will start giving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) training programs on staying safe online and expanding their businesses next month.

This, after OWWA chief Hans Cacdac and Facebook Asia-Pacific director for community affairs Clair Deevy signed a memorandum of agreement last Thursday during the national celebration of the Migrant Workers Day.

From July until the end of the year, an initial of 1,500 OFs will be trained before their departure.

Under the program, departing OFWs will be provided with a one-hour digital literacy module while informational videos will be played at OWWA offices and posted on their online platforms.

The training will provide information on basic online safety, identifying scams and fake news, and improve their online empathy.

“It’s valuable to us in terms of making our OFWs and families better equipped to combat bullying, to identify fake news, and make their own value judgement or otherwise in terms of empathizing or working on any kind of information they receive through Facebook,” Cacdac said.

OFWs will be oriented on online safety basics, including distinguishing between followers and friends; keeping information such as bank account numbers; setting privacy option on posts to control the audience ho can see them; and distinguishing between scams and regular posts.

Filipino migrant workers will also learn how to spot false news by learning how to identify misleading headlines, fake URLs, and fact check through easy-to-understand infographics and lessons.

Growing business online

Filipinos workers will also be involved in digital marketing workshops to teach them the use of social media in starting or expanding their small businesses.

Trained OWWA personnel will coach participants on how to utilize Facebook, and even Instagram, in promoting their businesses online.

Also, OFWs will also learn how to set up and manage Facebook pages for businesses, the pages’ demographics, and photography.

Cacdac said interested OFWs can sign up for the offline training course before, during, and after their deployment overseas.

“We will open up all these lines for anyone who would be interested and we will try to put the participation listings all together and tap the specific OFW circles as the seminars come out,” he said.

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