Completed communal irrigation systems or concreted footpaths in remote barangays are stories that seldom reach the headlines. These stories that often go unnoticed can be powerful tools to promote the government’s thrust for peace and development especially in the countryside.
Highlighting Stories from the Ground
Information has the power to shape public opinion and action. The narratives that we see on the television, we hear from the radio, and we consume through social media influence the way we perceive things.
With social media, access and control of information is just a click away. Stories, some genuine and some manipulated and use as propaganda, easily make their way to our news feeds anytime of the day. Yet with the same accessible media platform, success stories from the communities which often go unnoticed can be highlighted to inspire development and spark change.
“I really believe that it is a mandate to report to the people the accomplishments of the government. I share the vision of the Philippine Information Agency that an informed citizenry is an empowered, enlightened citizenry. Informing the public should not be done by agencies on their own,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar emphasized in his statement on the increasing capacity of government media to deliver information.
Helping a farmer lessen transportation cost through better roads are among the simple stories from the ground that reflects the government’s continuous efforts to reach the grassroots.
These small stories of success contribute to the bigger purpose of fighting the anti-government propaganda that fuels the recruitment of our youth to join communist terrorist groups.
“We have learned about strategic communication and the issues on peace and order and we are very willing in the barangay to promote peace and development so that the idealism of our youth members will not be used again for them to participate in insurgency,” said Barangay Captain Augusto Dangiwan of Ba-ay, Pinukpuk during the Strategic Communication Training and Workshop for Barangay Information Officers and Youth Organization in Kalinga last August 11, 2021.
Stronger Information Networks
As government agencies through the Whole of Nation Approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) bring development projects in far-flung areas, the Strategic Communication Cluster of the Regional Task Force-ELCAC in the Cordillera continues to strengthen communication efforts by expanding information networks especially in the grassroots.
Thirty two barangay-based information officers and youth members from the ELCAC barangays in Kalinga were recently trained on basic news writing and social media content creation during a one-day Strategic Communication Training and Workshop in San Juan, Tabuk City.
“I hope we have learned something so we can improve what we have started especially in communicating our activities, communicating what government is doing, and communicating with our kakailyan who have not yet returned to the folds of law,” PIA Kalinga Information Center Manager Peter Balocnit said to barangay captains, information officers, and youth participants.
The training-workshop conducted by the Philippine Information Agency-Cordillera in partnership with local government units and the Kabataan Kontra Droga at Terorismo aims to encourage and improve development news reporting at the frontline.
The activity included an orientation on EO 70 particularly for the youth, discussion on the peace and order situation in the province, information dissemination basics and platforms, and responsible sharing of information.
Kalinga Police Provincial Director PCol. Davy Vicente M. Limmong also presented the Common Lines and Terms when Referring to Terrorist Groups.
Similar communication trainings for government and barangay information officers and youth members were also held in the province of Abra and the municipality of Asipulo in Ifugao. (JDP/JJPM/LL-PIA CAR)