Social Media Adoption and Labor Migrants Protection: The Case of the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs
Keywords:Digitalization, OFW protection, Philippine foreign policy, social media adoption, social media platforms
The Philippines is internationally recognized as a best practice in advancing migration governance despite its complex, yet comprehensive landscape of migration policies, norms and structures, and institutions. More recently, the rise of social media has created ripples across sectors and actors due to its transformational power. The country’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) acknowledged this development and commenced its social media adoption process in 2011 and has rapidly evolved to keep up with the changing environment. Key informant interviews with officials and staff from the DFA reveal, that the agency has opened accounts in key social media platforms and that, this undertaking was positively received by its employees. According to the Mergel and Bretschneider model, it can be characterized as belonging to Level 3: Institutionalization and Consolidation upon the release of DO No. 16-2014, which prescribes “Guidelines on the Use of Social Media Use by All Units and Personnel of the DFA”. The cited document laid out specific rules and regulations on key facets of social media practices, such as access, content management, personal use of SM by DFA personnel, compliance mechanism, and administrative liability. Nevertheless, the DFA's social media adoption process is still challenged by inadequate resources and lack of a central sub-office, absence of success metrics, and spurious reports.
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