DIGITAL DIPLOMACY UNDERWAY
The Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched its Digital Diplomacy Program using the Zoom/Facebook Live platform on 10 August 2020.
The Consulate’s Digital Diplomacy Program is in response to the “new normal” in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program includes economic-related webinars on trade and investment, agribusiness financial literacy and reintegration. Cultural activities such as the celebration of Buwan ng Wika, National Arts Months, Rizal Day and other similar events will also be done online.
Partner agencies such as the Office of the Social Welfare Attaché have prepared interactive online sessions in support of the program. Social Security System (SSS) and Pag-IBIG representatives based in Jeddah have likewise identified projects and activities for their e-sessions.
The Consulate’s Gender and Development Unit shall likewise use the online platform to implement its work plan. Aside from these, the Consulate will be using the digital platform in engaging and strengthening its partnership with the Filipino community under its jurisdiction.
In his welcome remarks, Philippine Consul General to Jeddah Edgar B. Badajos underscored the importance of the Consulate’s Digital Diplomacy Program in ensuring that it can continue carrying out its mandate of promoting Philippine national interest and safeguarding the welfare of overseas Filipinos under its jurisdiction. He added that “the program is an adaptation mechanism in the face of far-reaching disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the global workplace.”
As part of the launching program, the Consulate discussed two very important topics which are most relevant to the Filipino community: “Consular Services Management and Reforms in the Tine of COVID-19” by Vice Consul and Head of Consular Section Sheila Mae A. Briones, and “Assistance to Nationals Management and Reforms” by Vice Consul and Head of the Assistance to Nationals Section Lemuel C. Lopez.
The launching program attracted at least 15,000 viewers as of this writing and garnered more than 800 likes on Facebook.