SIQUIJOR – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Wednesday sought the help of youth leaders from the province of Siquijor in disseminating information to allay fears over the COVID-19 vaccine.
During a media literacy discussion with Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation leaders of the province, Secretary Andanar said that it is timely for the government to amplify media literacy to the youth, considering that they are the majority of the country’s population.
“You are very fortunate that you have grown in this time where you can openly express yourself and take part in making a difference in this world,” he said.
He is confident that by investing in the youth today, it would lead the way to providing solutions to pressing societal concerns.
“I see our country in better hands, and in a better situation because 25 years from now, our country’s fate will rest on your shoulders,” he said.
“Dako akong pagsalig nga mas maabot pa nato ang gipangandoy ni President Digong nga comfortable life para sa tanan [I am confident that with you, we will be able to achieve President Digong’s goal of providing a comfortable life for all],” he added.
Siquijor SK President Brylle Deeiah Tumarong on the said event vowed to help the government in sharing the correct information.
“I know this is a difficult time to tell people which information is true and otherwise. But we, the Sangguniang Kabataan, and the rest of the youth leaders in our province, we are ready to help you,” she said.
Meanwhile Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Ramon Cualoping III expressed his support on partnering with the youth to further the spread of accurate and relevant news.
“We need your help to combat fake news. I think fake news and disinformation begin in the platforms that we are always on, the social media,” he said.
He also announced that the PIA is already working on the information, education, and communication (IEC) materials to help the people understand the specification of the COVID-19 vaccines that will be procured by the national government.
“The materials would depend on which brand will arrive first in our country,” he said.
These materials will be translated to different Philippine languages such as Filipino, Cebuano, and Ilocano and distributed through PIA regional offices in the next two weeks.
The media literacy discussion with youth leaders was a simultaneous event with the Pagduaw sa Siquijor: Explain, Explain, Explain town hall meeting.
Sec. Andanar was in Siquijor along with the officials and representatives from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the regional counterpart of the Department of Health (DOH) to impart the recently launched communications campaign for the national COVID-19 vaccination program.
A ceremonial turnover of food packs and BIDA Solution hygiene kits was also conducted during the town hall meeting.