By Lyka Manalo
LIPA CITY, Batangas — The Philippine Red Cross (PRC)-Batangas has launched a web platform which can be useful to migrants and their families to seek help in times of need for information and emergency wherever they are.
The virtualvolunteer.org is a web application that can be downloaded using the internet browser on mobile phone which was developed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and International Business Machines (IBM).
The first provincial launching that was held at Robinson’s Place Lipa on Thursday (March 22) was attended by PRC Secretary General Oscar Palabyab, PRC Batangas Chapter Head Ronald Generoso, other PRC-Batangas officials, Operations and Programmes Manager of IFRC-Philippines Patrick Elliot, and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Lipa Head Nancy Garcia.
Palabyab said the web application was first launched in the Philippines in November last year in Metro Manila and has already helped many overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and their families.
The online platform has helped provide timely, reliable and trustworthy information to OFWs and their families about their rights, practical advice to avoid human traffickers and illegal recruiters, help users find support in their countries of destination and provide immediate assistance.
Palabyab said the platform was first rolled out in Greece, Italy and Sweden in 2016 to address the needs of the effective access of migrants to essential basic services.
The Philippines, with an estimated 12 million OFWs working abroad, is the first country in Asia-Pacific to roll out the digital platform.
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