SAN FERNANDO CITY, Sept. 25 (PIA) - Fake news is as deadly as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
This was the statement of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director-General Ramon L. Cualoping III as he spoke as guest speaker in an online training led by the PIA Region 1 and the Association of Regional Government Information Officers (ARIGIO) of Region 1 on Thursday, Sept. 24.
The training dubbed as Skills Training on Online Communication Strategies at Work in the New Normal: "IN ang ONline Tech" was attended by more than 200 government communicators and information technology officers not only from Region 1 but also from other regions nationwide.
"As we continue to grapple on our fight against COVID-19, we are also dealing with another virus which we call fake news," said Cualoping.
He added that fake news, which is heavily circulated in social media, fosters fear and panic among the people.
"Just like the coronavirus, fake news mutates fast that is why it is imperative that people discern any information that comes to them and cut the sharing of unverified info to stop the mutation," he stressed.
Thus, he urged the public information officers that their role is vital in providing the right information amid the current health crisis.
"In the meantime, as the world wait for the vaccine for COVID-19, our job as government communicators is to assure every Filipino that the government is in control and is on top of the situation," the PIA chief said.
He further stressed that, "It is our duty to disseminate accurate, vital and timely information throughout various platforms with excellence, responsibility and integrity."
Meanwhile, Cualoping asked for the cooperation of all Filipinos as the country, under the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, exerts all efforts to win the fight against COVID-19.
"The government cannot fight the COVID-19 pandemic alone. Each of us must work together exhibiting the true Filipino Bayanihan spirit in this extraordinary situation," he said.
The skills training is an annual undertaking of the PIA and the ARGIO with an aim to capacitate the participants and aid them in the performance of their roles and responsibilities as government communicators. (JCR/JPD, PIA La Union)