OFWs clamor for an aginaldo or a Christmas present was realized because of their active presence on the social media particularly on facebook with regards to the issue on Philhealth’s mandatory increase of its members’ contribution. Although it was not the first of the few victories that OFWs has achieved with their online campaign, but for the Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards or PEBA it is an affirmation that they are being heard and listened to by the government. It is also a fitting tribute as PEBA celebrates its 5th Annual International Blog and Photo Award.
Earlier this year, PEBA was in the forefront of social media advocacy when it criticized a proposed bill to increase their current Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) fee to US$ 50.00 to help government cover for OFWs repatriation in cases of conflicts or wars. The bill was botched. Then, the yearlong struggle to defer the increase of PHILHEALTH payment was achieved. PEBA is also a signatory to the petition to stop the implementation of RA 10175 known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and to this day the law remains unimplemented.
PEBA’s used of social media is not limited to actively taking part in governance, that of engaging other netizens to raise issues and awareness and constructive dialogue with the government and other stakeholders. Also, PEBA continue to make use of social media in raising funds for its philanthropic work of helping distressed OFWs, raising blood money for the OFWs in death row, as well as providing educational scholarship for deserving kids in particular from the indigenous cultural communities. And will definitely make use of social media for the upcoming May 2013 elections.
Last year’s theme was blogging as a social remittance, for 2012 , social media is the new blogging, given the importance of social media to most OFWs not only to connect to their families and friends, to post, like and share pictures, videos and inspirational quotes. But for OFWs who take on leadership roles, social media serves as a platform for their advocacy.
“It is with pride and honor that I thank the men and women behind the Global OFW Voices for taking part in our successful advocacies especially volunteers from Malaysia, Taiwan, Hongkong, Israel, and largely from the Middle East or Gulf countries and other parts of the world as well as our partners in Manila like Sir Jun Aguilar, Sir Lito Soriano, Ms. Susan Ople, Ms. Ellen Tordessilas, Mr. Tonyo Cruz, Ms. Marissa del Mar and many more who amplifies our voices in fora, dialogues and the media” said grateful PEBA President Kenji Solis.
PEBA, through its partnership with the Social Security System (SSS), held its 2012 International Blog and Photo Awards dubbed as Sama-samang Saya at Parangal sa mga OFW at kanilang Pamilya Pamaskong Handog ng SSS at PEBA, last Saturday, 15 December 2012 at 1:30PM at the RM Hall, SSS Main Building, East Avenue, Quezon City.
The following are the winners of the 2012 Blog Awards:
1. THE PINOY SITE, Japan
2. Blog and Me, USA
3. Michael Shades of Blue, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
http://michaelsshadesofblue.blogspot.com/2012/09/si-angelo-ang-kanyang-itay-at-ang.html (also awarded as most popular blog.)
Home-based/OFW Supporter Blogs
1. Nite Writer
http://rojan88.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/habibi-m (also awarded as most popular blog.)
2. Blog, Poetry and Notion
3. Semidoppel's Reports
The event was also sponsored by the Villar Foundation and SMART. Also, its partner organization like the Blas Ople Center and Patnubay Riyadh supported the event. LBS Recruitment Solutions Corp., Mega Manpower Corporation, Loadmena and VIPinoy extended their help as well.
More of PEBA photos are available here -https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151277989172974.492390.134794097973&type=3
©2012 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards