Butuan City – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar believes that the media can help boost confidence of the Filipino public in the vaccination program for COVID-19.
In a brief media engagement here on Tuesday, Secretary Andanar encouraged members of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) Butuan Chapter to use their influence to encourage others to be vaccinated.
He noted that members of some media groups in Northern Mindanao, where he sits as Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS X), have expressed their willingness to be inoculated as well.
“Let us face the fact na ang mga broadcasters, mga writer, mga reporter, you have more influence than the ordinary worker. Because nagbo-broadcast kayo eh, automatically you talk to [thousands of] people. The audience listens to you because they like you [Let us face the fact. Broadcasters, writers, and reporters, you have more influence than the ordinary worker. Because you are broadcasting, you automatically talk to [thousands of] people. The audience listens to you because they like you],” he said.
“So kung magpa-vaccinate ka, you could one way or another influence others to do so [If you get vaccinated, you could one way or another influence others to do so],” he added.
Secretary Andanar stressed that private media workers should be inoculated alongside government media personnel since they are essential workers working in high-risk areas.
“Coming from the context that 47% of our people are hesitant about the vaccine, we have to walk our talk,” he said, as he noted that he is willing to be immunized once approved vaccines are available.
Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Ramon Cualoping III also joined the engagement backing the PCOO chief’s call for support from the group to cascade the accurate information to the grassroots level.
“We are asking for your help to Explain, Explain, Explain the good narrative of the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.
“Because the problem is that before, people were often asking when the vaccine would be available. But now that it is underway, people are scared. That is why we are here in CARAGA, to correct misinformation, to dismiss disinformation, and to spread the good news of the greatest Duterte legacy and the COVID-19 vaccine,” he added.
Cualoping assured that the Duterte administration is on top of the situation to ensure that only safe and effective vaccines will be distributed in the country.