THE NEW technology has been put recently to a lot of good innovations.
Since July 5, the Supreme Court (SC) of the Philippines has made the leap for greater transparency, accountability and information access by opening accounts with the social network sites Facebook and Twitter. The SC aims to immediately post its decisions and other updates, as well as answer reactions from the public.
Promoting financial and investment literacy among young Filipinos, the Philippine Stock Exchange is using an online game to simulate stock trading (Sun.Star Cebu’s July 10 Business article).
There are also proposals calling for the use of websites to fight corruption. Whether it is for posting citizens’ exposes or of public transactions, trips and other expenditures, the Internet is a portal whose potential for good is waiting to be tapped.
IT literacy for all
In this light, the introduction of grassroots IT education should be pursued.
For instance, the Mobile Information Technology Classroom (MITC) that will cater to children studying in remote towns and barangays in Cebu Province is the right step in improving people’s access to the New Technology.
According to the July 11 article by Sun.Star Cebu’s Rizel S. Adlawan, Rep. Pablo Garcia (Cebu, 2nd district) arranged with the Department of Science and Technology to bring the program to Cebu Province.
Interested local government units should coordinate with the Office of the Governor to avail themselves of the MITC program, which carries education technology facilities and interactive instructional materials in science and mathematics.
On the other hand, IT literacy should not only target minors. Jobseekers trawl the Internet in their search for employment or better opportunities and benefits.
This is a trend that may not yet wane, with joblessness soaring in Central Visayas. According to Rebelander S. Basilan’s July 13 article in Sun.Star Cebu, the region’s unemployment rate surged to 8.6 percent this April, compared to 7.3 percent in April last year and the country’s overall unemployment rate, which currently stands at eight percent.
Unfortunately, illegal recruiters and other employment-related scams also thrive on the Internet. It is not only the young who are naïve enough to fall for these scams.
Thus, while schools should incorporate warnings and tips for detecting recruitment scams in guidance activities planning their students’ career paths, a more innovative and extensive public education campaign should target jobseekers in general.
Detecting employment scams
Alerting the public to these scams is an innovation carried out by Mynimo.com, a Cebu-based Internet job portal.
On its homepage, which posts local jobs, overseas jobs and resumes, the site includes a prominent red-lettered warning: “Beware of illegal recruiters and Internet scams.”
The next line is still highlighted: “Never send payments or your bank account information to strangers.”
Since Mynimo.com’s traffic is said to reach hundreds of thousands of unique page views per month, the caveat for jobseekers manifests the site’s social responsibility.
Aside from the warning, hypertext links viewers to the website of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), specifically its campaign on illegal recruitment and Internet scams.
According to the POEA link, employment scams count as one of the “Top 10 Internet Scams.”
Aside from discussing the modus operandi, the POEA site informs viewers how to identify an illegal recruiter, avoid illegal recruitment, and use the Internet for job searches, as well as other relevant concerns.
Identity theft, the gradual siphoning of funds from one’s bank account, and other personal losses are a few of the hazards resulting from employment scams.
Aside from reworking the childhood adage of “stranger danger,” such online innovations reinforce a key strategy to surviving the Internet: online education.