ILIGAN CITY, Dec. 15 (PIA-ICCC) -- Aimed at enlisting information volunteers who can help share government information, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) held its first Information Volunteers Network (IVN) Conference in Iligan City on Dec. 14.
Some 100 individuals attended the event to represent their agencies and organizations, including government officials and employees, barangay officials, school writers, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officers, teachers, journalists, and bloggers.
The conference tackled three topics: Sulit sa SSS Campaign, HIV 101, and The Information Highway.
Jude Obut, Acting Assistant Branch Head of Social Security System (SSS) Cagayan de Oro City, discussed the role of SSS in the lives of the Filipinos.
Obut cited the importance of membership and paying monthly contributions regularly.
Ian Jose Baang, a registered nurse working for the Infectious Diseases Cluster of the Department of Health (DOH), discussed basic information about the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and other topics such as the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), and ways to prevent or manage HIV.
PIA Director-General Harold Clavite talked about "The Information Highway", explaining plans of establishing an easy communication flow between the government and the grassroots with the use of information centers and digital media.
Clavite emphasized the importance of IVN to this undertaking and being a responsible user of the internet and social media.
Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia attended the event and delivered an inspirational talk.
In an interview after the event, Clavite expressed his satisfaction with the event's success and emphasized the IVN's main goal.
"We are happy that we had a very good turnout. We had close to 100 information volunteers coming from different sectors in the city of Iligan. This is the mark of a beginning of a wider reach when it comes to access to government information. We created the IVN primarily for the purpose of expanding our network of communicators on behalf of the government," he said.
He also invited more people to participate in this endeavor to increase the Filipinos' access to information.
"We want to keep this going. We want to have more IVNs organized in every city and every province in the country because this is our only way to expand our network. We call on our kababayans to be part of this for us to become a more responsible population when it comes to sharing of information and informing Filipinos," he added.
PIA also plans to launch an IVN mobile application that will be free and accessible to the public.
It will provide information on government programs and services.
Clavite said PIA will do more IVN launches in various locations in 2019.
The next launch, he added, will be in Lanao del Norte on Jan. 22, 2019.
The IVN conference aims to gather volunteers from various sectors in society to form an information network that will strengthen the communication between the government and the citizens.
The network will also serve as an auxiliary group in promoting advocacies ranging from good governance, responsible use of social media, health, nutrition, climate change, energy conservation, education, people empowerment, and other advocacies that promote empowerment and nation-building. (CTPenaco/PIA-ICCC)