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PIA chief to state workers – be responsible sharers of information in social media

BANTAY, Ilocos Sur – Director-General Harold Clavite of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) called on state workers to be responsible sharers of information and to use social media to communicate government programs and services that benefit the people.

Clavite emphasized that having social media as a new avenue in providing information to every Filipino means bearing great responsibility to help in the proliferation of timely, accurate, relevant and truthful information.

“Dealing with information is like dealing with a dangerous weapon. When wielded right, it reaps good results but when put in the wrong hands, it becomes a destructive tool,” he told employees of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in the Ilocos in a symposium held yesterday at the Metro Vigan Fiesta Garden Hotel here.

The PIA chief said that responsible sharing of information is one of the advocacies of PIA aimed at combatting the spread of fake information online.

“When confronted with fake information, we must make a stand to make it stop and prevent misleading the people,” he told the participants. He added that it is important to exercise information verification first before sharing anything, noting that responsible sharing of information starts with the sharer.

He reiterated to DAR employees to use social media to build and strengthen connections that will further the goals of nation-building.

Clavite also mentioned that PIA, as the development communication arm of the government, has various initiatives to be implemented this year to strengthen partnership between public and private sector communicators and inspire them to model responsible sharing of information in their media platforms.

First, he said, is the National Information Convention held in Davao City on February 19-21. It was a project of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), through PIA, that brought together over 1,000 information officers from national government agencies (NGAs) and local government units (LGUs) across the Philippines.

The Agency, in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government, will also establish the Information Volunteers Network which will work with community leaders and organizers. The network will communicate government programs, projects, and services that will improve the Filipino’s quality of life.

Next is the forming of the Provincial Communication Officers’ Network (PCO Net) that aims to further ensure a coherent and efficient flow of information particularly from the Office of the President down to the NGAs, LGUs and academe. It also seeks to open the information gates of Malacanang to public information officers through the PCOO to ensure that the policies and plans of the Duterte administration are communicated to every Filipino.

Beginning this year, the agency will rebrand its Provincial Information Centers to Government Information Centers (GICs). Clavite said the GICs will serve as the information hubs for the provincial and national government, manned by professionals able to dispense information on how to access government programs and services.

Lastly is the launching of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Japan media and information literacy wherein PIA will develop multimedia materials and a national-level campaign in all the 10 ASEAN member states to promote cyber wellness among the youth. (ajc/AMB/PIA-1, Ilocos Sur)