MANILA, Philippines—If there are e-weddings, e-funerals, and e-graduations, why not e-campaigns?
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano did just that on Friday afternoon, when he engaged five overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from across Asia, Europe and North America in a live video conference, all from the comfort of an auditorium at the Mind Museum in Taguig city.
The virtual exchange is part of Cayetano’s reelection campaign as he embarks on his “listening tours” among various sectors to promote his “Presyo, Trabaho, Kita” (prices, employment, wages) labor platform.
He has dedicated this week to OFWs, which in the past few days saw the candidate flying to Hong Kong to meet with Filipino workers based in the former Crown colony, and conducting surprise visits at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
For his e-campaign, Cayetano simply tapped the free video chat service Google+ Hangouts to field questions from Cherry Lyn Zulueta, a factory worker in Japan; Cristina Boston, a house help in Paris; Jennifer Matorosa, a caregiver in Taiwan; Reynabel Bataler, a salon helper in Saudi Arabia; and Steven Raga, a lawyer in New York.
At the auditorium in Bonifacio Global City, the live-streaming of the group video chat was attended by local students, and was moderated by celebrity host Bianca Gonzales. The chat was also streamed live through Cayetano’s YouTube, Twitter and Facebook accounts.
“From what I’ve seen of OFWs, especially in Hong Kong, most of them have laptops and Facebook accounts. Our government should adapt to them. With just simple technological know-how, we can link and reach Filipinos around the world,” Cayetano explained to reporters, after the two-hour-long video conference.
Cayetano promoted the use of social media for government agencies and OFWs to address problems quickly and easily.
“As part of the bid to extend the reach of our agencies, a social media officer must be put in place to coordinate with OFWs all over the world,” Cayetano suggested.