NIC 2018: “Empowering communities through Information”

NIC 2018: “Empowering communities through Information”


In the message of President Rodrigo Duterte, he stressed the re-creation of communication. “As we raise the bar of democratic governance, we share only the truth with our people through the most powerful force of electronic media.”  He calls on all Information Officers to speak deeply, and write bravely with courageous honesty. Secretary Martin Andanar, who read the message of the President, reciprocated the same by calling on everyone to wage war against disinformation, misinformation and fake news and for everyone to advocate for a well-informed citizenry.

The message wen across the 1,800 communicators and information officers from all over the 16 regions of the country who were gathered during the National Information Convention (NIC) held at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Davao City on February 19-21, 2018. These three-day convention was spearheaded by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), through the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), which brought together public and private sector communicators for one good cause and that is to learn how to effectively empower communities through information and bring about social mobilization. Various presenters and credible speakers discussed dynamic communication strategies.

The first day focused on “understanding government programs and policies and raising the bar of governance”.  Ms. Anna Marie Lamentillo, Chairperson of the Build, Build, Build Committee of DPWH shared the ongoing infrastructure projects of the current Administration paving way to what she calls the “Golden Age of Infrastructure” with all the numerous projects to advance the means of transportation and communication processes.   She also emphasized the importance of communicating projects visually to the public and to harness the power of new media, which is through the Internet. Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella of the Department of Energy talked about energy saving tips as he presented the E-power Mo concept (e-safety mo; e-secure mo; e-diskarte mo) as one of the banner programs of DOE.  He stressed that, “an informed energy consumer, is an empowered one”.

Further, Dangerous Drugs Board Chairperson Catalino Cuy presented the Rehabinasyon (Rehabilitate the Nation) program of the Government.  He appealed to the participants to assist them in their advocacy of fighting the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country. He stressed that the success of the “Rehabinasyon” lies in the support and participation of the public.

Asec. Jonathan E. Malaya of DILG gave a brief overview on Federalism and its objective to activate the region’s participation in the national decision making. “As communicators of change”, he encouraged “all information officers and government communicators to influence public opinion with a “yes” vote on federalism”.  

Communications Assistant Secretary, Atty. Ablan, introduced the importance of Freedom of Information (FOI) in building trust between the people and the government, as embodied in the Executive Order No. 2, 2016. The FOI is an access tool to gain information from our government. It is also a listening tool to listen to the needs of the people”.   The Du30 App was launched and this gave us a direct link to the Office of the President. This application can be downloaded from Google Store, which provides a venue to access latest news, to report real time stories/ news and enables everyone to send a complaint via the 8888 portal.

The second day of the convention evolved around talks on promoting responsible communication and developing a dynamic communication strategy while day three was filled with discussions engaging the citizenry in nation-building. There were fire side chats involving participants to experience facets of media life through the different booths from notable media and communication industries.

As a participant to the convention, various appreciations were received from other attendees that this first ever convention was an excellent move and very timely for the government to communicate the programs of the Duterte Administration to all the government information officers and communicators from national agencies down to the grassroots or barangay levels. The convention, with the gathering of media practitioners, private and government communicators made the event successful in advocating the government thrusts and engaging its citizens. In this era of vast technological advancement, responsible journalism, fighting fake news; misinformation; and disinformation as discussed by various credible and knowledgeable speakers paved way to deeper understanding and appreciation of the duties and responsibilities of communicators/ information officers in empowering communities and building a nation.

With all the extensive presentations and discussions, it is an inspiration for the participants of the untiring efforts and innovations of government to fight corruption, combat drugs and other crimes, to alleviate and improve the quality of life of Filipinos.

Indeed, information is critical to development.  It is the responsibility of government information officers to effectively communicate timely, relevant, accurate and truthful information to their customers, the public. The NIC experience endowed the appreciation and realization of the communicators’ role to ensure that they hear, read, and understand the information or message presented, so they can benefit from it and improve their quality of life. And when information is used to benefit others, it becomes wisdom.|P. Abra,IAPBello


Capacitating the youth towards environmental management


Bangued, Abra – The DENR is the primary agency tasked to enforce environmental protection, conservation and management. In DENR-Abra, the top officials called on the youth of Abra to be the eco-ambassadors who will work with the office to attain its vision to have a sustainable and clean environment.

A total of fifty (50) students from the different schools in Abra attended recently the Lecture on Environment and Natural Resources Programs at the CENRO Bangued conference Hall.

Forester Shirley T. Leaño, the CENR Officer – CENRO Bangued welcomed the students and inspired them to become more sensitive on environmental matters. She said that they can make their homes and schools more environmental friendly by adopting eco-friendly practices such as recycling of different materials, tree planting and clean-up drives

Ianne April P. Bello, the Human Resource Management Officer discussed the vision, mission, mandate and the sustainable development goals of the DENR. Likewise, Rex B. Ballacillo, Ecosystems Management Specialist II, discussed the topic protected area and biodiversity, its importance and how to protect and manage them.

When the students were asked about Casamata Hill being a protected area, most of them were unaware of its proclamation. Mr. Ballacillo showed photos of endangered floras and faunas in the Philippines and cited mitigating measures.

Meanwhile, Kevin Haji F. Aguinaldo, the Youth Desk Officer of CENRO Bangued concluded the activity by discussing climate change and presented a video clip on its causes and effects. He encouraged the students to put into heart and mind all the lessons they have learned from lecture and to apply and enforce them at home and in school.

The youth are essential in the management of the environment. They represent almost half of the world’s population. Educating and engaging them in environmental protection not only creates direct impact on changing youth behaviors and attitudes, but possibly influences their parents, relatives and other community residents.|C. Bangued, KHFAguinaldo

Photo Releases

Mga Minero parin Kayo. DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu enters into dialogue with the mining community of Itogon, Benguet on the stoppage order on all illegal mining activities in the Cordilleras. Cimatu assures the legalization of the small scale mining industry upon the declaration of a Minahang Bayan by the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB)|AJTuraray