PH Consulate in Jeddah Appeals To Stop Sharing Info on Distressed OFWs on Social Media

The Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah has appealed to social media users to refrain from sharing information about distressed overseas Filipino workers online.

In the past several years, many OFWs who have suffered abuse and maltratment abroad have found help from netizens after posting their stories, often accompanied with video and photo evidence. For many of these Filipino workers who have limited mobility, social media might be the only way for them to reach out to the outside world.

For instance, a number of domestic workers in the Middle East are barred from making outside contact as their mobile phones and passports are confiscated, giving them limited options. But to those who have this “privilege”, their Internet-enabled phones link them during life-and-death situations.

In Public Advisory 24-2018, the Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah is ‘gently reminding’ the public not to share photos and names of distressed OFWs in their ‘most desperate conditions’. Doing so, the Philippine Consulate, believes is disrespectful to the victims themselves, as well as hurtful to their family members who are rendered helpless from the distance.

Instead of getting their stories and visual media shared on social media in hopes of getting viral and reach the concerned government agency, the Consulate has advised the public to directly send such forms of media to the following channels:

  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • Hotline: 0555219613
  • Facebook (messenger): philippine.consulate.jeddah

The advisory has earned mixed reactions, with negative comments slamming the Consulate, labeling it as incompetent while reminding the agency that it was the past Facebook posts about the stories of distressed OFWs have saved them from further harm.

While the advisory was well-meaning and the concerns valid, saving someone whose life is in danger should exert all possible efforts — even if sometimes it means his or her personal information is shared and privacy compromised.

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