SENATE President Pro Tempore Lorna Regina "Loren" Legarda has stressed responsible public relations (PR) practice in maintaining a healthy democracy.
Legarda, a respected broadcast journalist before her political stint, told participants of the 30th National Public Relations Congress in Makati their crucial role in keeping the populace well-informed.
"In a democratic country like the Philippines, the government is held accountable by the public for its actions and policies," Legarda said.
"This is where public relations play a crucial role, making sure that government actions and policies are communicated clearly and accurately to the public," the lawmaker added.
Legarda noted that in a time of rapidly evolving communication, fake news and propaganda often proliferate the internet, which distorts the integrity of public discourse.
With the development of communications technology, the critical aspect of public relations is given the formidable task of keeping the public trust.
According to Legarda, responsible and correct practice through social media is now a significant factor in policy implementation, as many of the government's pronouncements are easily influenced by public discourse online.
"As public relations professionals, you are at the forefront of conveying critical information, maintaining social cohesion in times of crisis, and can be active partners of the government in promoting efforts to advance policies on social welfare, economic development, and even environmental sustainability," she asserted.
The senator also commended the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) for its steadfast commitment to paving the way for the promotion of informed decision-making among the Filipino people.
"My years in public service have taught me the principles of transparency, accountability, and effective communication as fundamentals in fostering trust, promoting good governance, and driving positive change in our communities," the four-term senator said.