WARY over the proliferation of fake news and inaccurate information online, the first ever National Information Convention (NIC) organized by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) will highlight how to counter fake news and communicate good news to empower local communities.

With a theme “Spurring National Development and Empowering Communities through Information,” the NIC expects to gather 1,500 public and private communicators nationwide on Feb. 19 to 21 in Davao City.

One objective of the event is to encourage communicators to practice effective and responsible sharing of information and use their platforms to help improve the public’s quality of life.

“Fake news are circulating through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Messenger, Youtube, and other social media platforms, which is becoming a serious problem in our society today,” said Undersecretary Harold Clavite, director general of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) during a gathering with Western Visayas government information officers in Iloilo City last December.

PIA is one of the attached agencies of the PCOO.

Clavite then urged the public to be responsible sharers of information.

“We must be cautious in clicking what to like or what to share,” he said.

PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar, in a previous interview, said that the convention seeks to get the cooperation and support of the participants to help fight fake news and improve media literacy among Filipinos.

The convention also aims to strengthen partnership between private and public sector communicators and help nurture a well-informed and enlightened citizenry.

The NIC also hopes to organize a movement of communicators that will empower communities by engaging them in nation building.

The NIC will also present the administration’s 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan and its socio-economic agenda, which seeks to lift six million people out of poverty by 2022.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been invited to grace the event, which will kick off on Feb. 19. (Fayette Canieso Riñen, PIA 7)