BONGAO, Tawi Tawi, August 4 (PIA) - - Close to 200 participants attended the ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Forum here organized by the Philippine Information Agency which was held recently at The Initiative for Tawi Tawi Area Development Foundation Auditorium.
Mayor Jimuel S. Que of Bongao welcomed the guests led by PIA Director General Harold G. Clavite as well as participants from the local government units, national government agencies, academe, youth, business sector, religious groups and other sectors of the community.
“Hopefully, Tawi Tawi will benefit from the ASEAN and we will learn much from this forum. This will give us more knowledge and more information because many of us still do not know what ASEAN is all about,” said the good mayor.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN is composed of 10 member countries, namely: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
“Thank you for this wonderful experience in this beautiful island of Tawi Tawi. This is my second time to be here and it’s good to be back,” said DG Harold Clavite.
He recalled that he stayed in the island for one and a half month, 16 years ago when he was with Gawad Kalinga. DG Clavite appreciated the development of the island especially Bud Bongao, the eco-tourism park, and the peace and serenity of the place.
“Memorable ang paghost ng Pilipinas sa ASEAN because this year marks its 50th anniversary and PIA is tasked to spread information on ASEAN,” DG Clavite stated.
He cited that the Philippines is the gateway to the ASEAN and offers a lot of opportunities on business and economy, tourism, education, among others.
The ASEAN multi-sectoral forum intends to share information and to bring along other agencies of government to address the concerns of the community.
“PIA has been serving the public for 30 years under the umbrella of the Presidential Communications Operations Office. We are the public information arm of the government. Nakikipagtulungan at nakikipag ugnayan po kami sa mga communities to make sure na umaabot sa inyo ang mga programa ng gobyerno,” he explained.
The Philippine Information Agency has 16 regional offices and 72 information centers (ICs) to better serve the public. There is no infocenter however in Tawi Tawi. “But we are exploring potential partnership with LGUs, with Gov. Matba and Mayor Que so we could open an IC here. We are planning to establish 15 additional ICs from 2017- 2018 so next year, we could say that we have PIA offices from Batanes to Tawi Tawi,” said Clavite.
He showed a short video which depicted the Philippines as the texting capital of the world in the 1990s. In 2011, we became the social networking capital and now, we are the most social nation in the planet. We love to create, consume and share information.
Among PIA’s mandate is to ensure that every Filipino is a well-informed citizen. “We distribute information that will improve your quality of life because we believe that a well-informed Filipino is an empowered Filipino,” the PIA official quoted.
He cautioned however that one should be responsible in what he posts and shares on social media because sometimes we spread fake news.
PIA uses four platforms to ensure that its target audience will be reached: on print, online, on air, and on the ground, similar to the conduct of the ASEAN multi-sectoral forum.
Other guests who graced the multi-sectoral forum were PIA regional directors Noemi B. Edaga (Region 9), Efren F. Elbanbuena (Region 11) and Abner M. Caga (CARAGA); Abdul Jalil Umangan of MinDA; Josefina Reyes of DSWD; Ameer Hassa Doro of POEA; Jalpa Jumdain - DOLE; Nazrulla G. Masahud - DTI; and Dr. Aldrin Ibbo - PCCI ARMM governor. (ALT-PIA9/Zamboanga Sibugay)