MORE than 1,800 public and private information officers nationwide committed to actively generate and spread good, positive and beneficial content down to the grassroots level to educate and enlighten the citizenry on prevailing issues and concerns in the country.
At the close of the first National Information Convention (NIC) in Davao City on February 21, the information officers pledged to communicate and share only factual and verified information and uphold respect for others in all their communications.
The information officers assured Presidential Communications Officer (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar they will promote transparency in information and develop linkages with information multipliers to further extend the reach of positive and accurate information.
The manifesto of the information officers also supported the development and institutionalization of mechanisms that would contribute to enhancing the two-way flow of information between the government and the citizenry.
The private and public information officers also vowed to inspire action, through communication, towards deeper civic engagement in nation-building and continuously serve for the common good and remain faithful to the ideals expected of public communicators.
The officers recognized the plurality of information access and distribution in the society that is made more convenient by digital media and reaffirmed the basic constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech, freedom of expression and information.
The manifesto acknowledged the crucial role that information plays in empowering and engaging citizens towards self-development and nation-building and expressed serious concern about the negativity and noises that drown the voices of truth, especially in online media conversations.
"Believing that we have the power, through our own platforms, to communicate and disseminate messages that contribute to national development, we are supportive of the institution of change through the spread of factual information for the public to comprehend," the manifesto stressed.
The public and private information officers also supported the proposal of Andanar for the issuance of the appropriate executive order to be issued by President Rodrigo Duterte mandating the creation of the permanent positions for information officers in all local governments in the bureaucracy to help in strengthening the spread and dissemination of true and factual information to the citizenry.
Under the provisions of the Local Government Code, the position of information officer in the municipal, city and provincial governments is optional and that most information officers in the current setup of government, especially in the local governments and other concerned government agencies, are either temporary or designated as such, defeating the purpose of the spread of factual and true information to allow the existence of an educated and enlightened citizenry. (Dexter See)