MECO launches app, MECOnnect to help Pinoys, Taiwanese: envoy

2018/08/05 12:44:17 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
MECO launches app, MECOnnect to help Pinoys, Taiwanese: envoy

Taipei, Aug. 5 (CNA) The Philippines de facto embassy in Taiwan has recently launched a new mobile application and a Meconnect service to offer better services to Taiwanese and take care of the Filipinos in the country, the country's top envoy told CNA Wednesday.

Angelito Banayo said the recently launched app, titled "MECO Ph," available in Google Play and Apple Store, is a mini version of the recently overhauled website of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), which represents Philippine interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

Banayo, the MECO chairman, said his office also launched the so-called MECOnnect in May, which is an outreach program that seeks closer ties and instant communication with overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Explaining how the program works, Banayo said his office gives OFWs a hotline number to connect to the office, which also allows MECO staff to visit their residences and workplaces.

"We want to be able to identify all Philippine people in Taiwan and collect their cell phone numbers so that we are connected to them," he said.

MECO came up with the idea after one Filipino was among the 17 people killed in the Feb. 6 magnitude 6.4 earthquake in Hualien. The sole Filipino victim was Melody Albano Castro, a 28-year-old caregiver.

"In the February earthquake, it took us more than 24 hours to find out that a Filipino was one of the victims, so we want to get immediate knowledge through texts or mobile services if there are any problems with Filipinos," he noted.

MECOnnect was proven to work during a factory fire in Taoyuan two months ago, according to the MECO head.

"We were able to get a video of the fire in real time to find out there were Filipinos there, and no Filipinos were injured. These things happen every now and then, and if we are able to connect to them via mobile phones, we can respond faster to their problems," Banayo said.

According to MECO, there are 640,000 foreign contract workers in Taiwan. Of this number, 147,000 are Filipinos, according to the latest count.

(By Elaine Hou and Joseph Yeh)
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