Philippine delegation to visit Dubai

Dubai: A Philippine delegation from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila will be in Dubai next week to help the consulate general bring the government closer to the people through its social media channels and promote more community engagement.

Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes on Monday said DFA Undersecretary for Strategic Communications Ernesto Abella will be visiting Dubai from April 2 to 7, along with Consul Rose Fangco from DFA’s Migrant Workers Affairs and a social media consultant.

The visit aims to beef up the social media engagement of Cortes’ official Facebook page which he uses as a means to communicate directly with the Filipino community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

The visit was also in response to Cortes’ successful first Facebook live Q&A session with the community on March 2.

“We’re trying to bring the government closer to the people and to build a relationship based on trust and not an adversarial one,” Cortes said.

“The delegation will assist and train consulate officials to improve our social media engagement since many of the Filipinos here rely and utilise social media for their information needs and concerns.”

The Philippine government since 2016 has made it a practice to connect with Filipinos through social media by live streaming most of the events attended by President Rodrigo Duterte and other officials.

Cortes said the team will help improve the page by posting more videos and guides to make it a go-to information resource on all aspects concerning Filipinos, especially consulate procedures and other UAE-related concerns.

Cortes’ Facebook page “Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes” currently has almost 30,000 followers.

There are an estimated 450,000 Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

Cortes currently receives 140 direct messages from the community, including requests for assistance, up from 80 messages a day last month.

“I personally answer their questions and devote two to three hours a day for this. This way, we’re able to address our compatriots’ needs.”

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