Feb. 14--DUBAI -- Kabayans, do you have queries directed at the Philippine Consulate regarding the renewal of your passport, notarial services and how to obtain a good conduct ceritificate?

If the phone lines are always busy or you have no time to go to the consulate, then you can also use the social media to get in touch with the head of the Philippine mission in Dubai.

Philippine consul-general Paul Raymund Cortes announced on Tuesday that he will conduct a monthly Facebook (FB) Live meeting with Filipino expats in Dubai starting at the end of the month to inform his kababayans (compatritors) of the consular affairs and to hear their complaints.

Cortes said: "With an estimated 550,000 Filipino expats, the Philippine consulate in Dubai is the biggest diplomatic post in terms of consular activities. We want to calibrate our limited resources and maximise them accordingly, keeping in mind our priorities."

"FB is a powerful social tool that to hear the voice of the people. That's why we are utilising it to engage them more effectively, more frequently and to make them understand that our government is there to help them," emphasised Cortes, whose FB account is @phcongendubaipaulcortes (www.facebook.com/phcongendubaipaulcortes/).

"We owe it to the overseas Filipinos (OFs), who are some of the strongest supporters of (Philippine) president Rodrigo Duterte. The government should always be of service to the people and not the people running after the government to get services," he dded.

Cortes said that through the hourly monthly FB Live he will be able to ascertain what his kababayans need. "The social media have served as the voice of the people -- we want to know what they think and take heed of what they need. We want them to get more involved so there will be no second-guessing," he added.

Cortes, with more than 23,000 followers on FB, noted his latest video on how to get a good conduct certificate has so far reached 782,000 FB users. "I receive around 60-80 private messages every day and we do important announcements on FB like the when we announced that the Consulate is open on two Fridays (Febraury 23 and March 9) for consular services," he said.

The first FB Live with the Philippine consul general is yet to be announced. Follow Cortes @phcongendubaipaulcortes (www.facebook.com/phcongendubaipaulcortes/).

angel@khaleejtimes.com

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