DAVAO CITY: Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday enjoined public information officers and communicators to join his office in waging war against disinformation and misinformation, as well as fake news.
Andanar issued the challenge during the 1st National Information Convention (NIC), where he urged the delegates to go down to the grassroots level to counter fake news.
“Let’s work together to fight fake news,” Andanar told more than 1,600 participants, most of them public information and communicators from 16 regions, attending the first ever information convention.
“We are the hope of the government. Let’s go down to the grassroots and talk to the people when there are disinformation against your local governments and agencies,” he added.
Andanar assured that the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) was behind public communicators in their efforts to bring truthful and factual information about the government’s programs and projects down even to ordinary people.
“We will fight this (disinformation). The PCOO is behind you. We will help you and will not leave you,” he said.
Before his call for a united stand against disinformation, Andanar showed to the audience a portion of Monday’s Senate inquiry into the Navy’s frigate acquisition project where Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher “Bong” Go called on online news site Rappler and the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) to write factual and not fake news.
Rappler and Inquirer reported that Go had intervened in the acquisition of the P15.7 billion frigate project, an accusation that Go has repeatedly denied.
Andanar said the NIC, the first to be held in the country, was a venue where both government and private media could fight disinformation and misinformation through media literacy.
“Maybe there are (private) media watching us. Let us fight fake news through media literacy. Let’s have discuss together, what is the best way to fight disinformation,” he said.
During the event, Andanar led the official launching of a DU30 application, which will boost the PCOO’s campaign against disinformation.
Andanar said DU30 App was a media platform where everyone may have access to information about the government’s programs and activities.
“This is our gift to our countrymen who are looking for a platform where we all can download, share information and news and this application will help us,” Andanar said.
The country has 62 million active mobile users, he noted.