The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) has earned the approval and support of the House of Representatives on its Media and Information Literacy (MIL) campaign, which will primarily target equipping teachers in state universities and colleges (SUCs) to combat fake news, misinformation and disinformation.

Marikina City’s 2nd district representative, Congresswoman Stella Luz Quimbo, PCO’s budget sponsor, said that the agency is eyeing to expand its target group for the campaign should Congress agree to increase its allocation in the succeeding years. 

“Gusto po natin as broad-based as possible, kaya nga lang ang reyalidad, napakaliit po ng budget na nakalaan sa ngayon. Kaya ang first phase po natin ay state universities and colleges (SUCs). But, of course, with the generosity of Congress in the coming years, baka sakali po ay madagdagan ang ating target groups,” she said. 

ACT TEACHERS Party-list representative, Congresswoman France Castro, assured the PCO that she will support its efforts on the MIL campaign, and also agreed on the planned increased budget for it.

“Kaisa po ako ng PCO dito sa program na ito o project na proposed digital media and information literacy campaign at sumasang-ayon ako sa ating kagalang-galang na sponsor na madagdagan ang budget kaugnay noon. Ako po ay susuporta po sa mga ganoong panukala,” she said.

The government’s lead communications arm is proposing a P16.899 million allocation for its MIL campaign implementation from its P1.7 billion proposed budget for the year 2024.

According to Quimbo, the agency will be initially targeting to equip teachers on MIL in SUCs, who will in turn impart the knowledge they learned to their students.

“Ang approach is tuturuan natin ang ating mga teacher o equip natin ang ating mga teachers so, in short, training the trainors para in turn sila naman po ay matuturuan nila ang mga estudyante sa pagdiscern kung alin ang fake news at hindi fake news.”

The initiative was launched in August 14, 2023 with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as its key partners in the public sector. 

The PCO is also set to collaborate with tech companies such as Google (YouTube), Meta (Facebook, Instagram, and Threads), TikTok, and X (formerly Twitter) in the project implementation. | PND