Consulate to address Filipinos' concerns via social media
Philippine consul-general Paul Raymund Cortes.- Supplied photo
The head of the Philippine post in Dubai has around 30,000 followers on Facebook.
The Philippine Consulate has assured to make the office more accessible to Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates as it vowed to boost its social media presence and communications, consul-general Paul Raymund Cortes said at a press briefing on Monday.
Philippine envoy to answer questions on passport, conduct certificate
To assist the consulate, the former spokesperson of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte and now Department of Foreign Affair's (DFA) spokesman and undersecretary for strategic communications, Ernesto Abella, will arrive in Dubai on April 2 and stay for five days to supervise the entire process. He will be accompanied by former consul to Abu Dhabi, Maria Roseny Fangco and a DFA social media consultant.
"Most Filipinos rely on social media to get news and that's why we want to boost our social media presence to strengthen our line of communication by reaching out to more of our kababayans (compatriots)," Cortes said.
Cortes, who will be engaging his kababayans via his personal FB page (@phcongendubaipaulcortes), said the move will address the perennial complain by many Filipinos that the consulate is hard to reach.
The head of the Philippine post in Dubai has around 30,000 followers on Facebook. He recently conducted his first Facebook Live and since then he said he has been receiving at least 140 messages, up from the previous 80 queries, every day.
He said he dedicates at least 3-4 hours of his time every day to "personally answer queries" and he is available anytime of the day, seven times a week.
"Filipinos can send me messages and I will personally direct them to the concerned departments and offices. I understand that there should be a personal touch even though all materials are readily available online, people would still prefer personal guidance, especially from officials, to assist them," Cortes underlined.
Cortes added that the consulate will create more instructional videos in the Filipino vernacular to assist his kababayans (compatriots) with their queries, including how to apply and renew passports, avail of notarial services, get assistance, and how to obtain a good conduct certificate.
Meanwhile, Cortes said Abella will conduct a town hall meeting with leaders of the Filipino community in Dubai to engage them in various projects of the Philippines government and to get their views on nation-building.