CEBU CITY, Sept. 11 (PIA) -- Facebook kicked off its Community Boost (FBC) program in the country in Cebu to help and support people connect with each other and help grow economies by strengthening their digital skills.
The two-day event was supported by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Tourism (DOT), and Bayan Academy.
With a total of 76 million social media users, the Philippines is the second in the world with the most amount of time people spend online on mobile phones.
Facebook analytics show that the average daily time spent using social media in any device is four hours.
John Rubio, Facebook Philippines Country Manager, said they are inspired by what small businesses have been able to achieve using tools on Facebook and its family of apps.
Rubio explained that Facebook is built to build communities, helping people connect to each other, and businesses.
"When we talk about community boost, it is us doing our mission, our purpose to help you as a local community, as Cebu community, whether it's a small or medium size business, a non government agency and/or, a government agency," Rubio said.
FBC aims to provide digital marketing skills to reach customers and expand businesses, enable communities to connect with their supporters, and enhance campaigns through digital platform.
FBC eyes to build national and local government capacity to navigate and optimize social media, and broaden the digital literacy skills of educators.
Rubio discussed the social impact that Facebook has brought to people while using the platform everyday while connecting people, businesses, and brands.
He said the platform has been used by 2.5 billion people everyday.
Facebook aims for communities to leverage and innovate to sell products and services as well as connect and serve the community.
He reported that 90 million businesses are using Facebook's free and paid tools to run and grow their business based on their January 2019 internal data.
In May 2018, there more than 50 million Filipinos who are connected to small and medium businesses that are based in the country and more than 40 million are connected to foreign countries.
Meanwhile, DTI-7 Assistant Regional Director Maria Elena Arbon said the MSMEs through Facebook are now reaching more clients and has now become visible.
Arbon said that because of the platform, MSMEs now find a cheaper and greener way to promote their products and services across the country and even internationally.
She pointed out that pushing digital transformation is difficult as some companies are still at the "sniffing" phase.
"If our people or business become more digital savvy, they understand these tools and then they be more understandable also using startup products," Arbon said.
Since 2017, Facebook has trained over 5,000 entrepreneurs in 21 cities in the Philippines through their programs #BoostYourBusiness and #SheMeansBusiness.
FBC will also be rolled out in other three cities this year, namely, Dumaguete, Manila, and Davao. (fan/pia7)