The Provincial Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-ELCAC) Strategic Communication (Stratcom) cluster officially start the tough work in communicating the Executive Order Number 70 also known as Task Force End-Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) by holding a forum with the municipal information officers (MIOs) and private media practitioners at Camp David Sabido in barangay Poblacion here.
LtCol. Joar Herrera, commanding officer of 53rd Infantry (Matpat) Battalion, Philippine Army said the role of StratCom cluster, as one of the 12 clusters and lines of efforts of EO 70 of President Rodrigo Duterte is very crucial in making a difference in the government’s quest of ending local communist armed conflict.
Herrera challenged the information officers (IOs) and mainstream media to sustain the strong bond of the group by creating some products in social media, produce videos and write books in order to share the narratives that will change the mindset of the people.
Herrera said the 53rd IB have narratives that need to be shared to the people.
“The 53rd IB, Philippine Army has a lot of surrenderees. We need to share the stories of our former rebels to encourage others who are still in the mountains to come down and to go back to the mainstream society, and tell the whole world that the government is working very hard to end local communist armed conflict,” Herrera urged.
Regional Director Noemi Edaga of Philippine Information Agency (PIA) said the goal of StratCom is to dominate the information environment and address communication gap between the government and the people in the far-flung barangays.
Edaga said the PIA as chairman of the StratCom cluster in region 9, empowers information officers and students to actively support national government advocacies.
“PIA enjoins, capacitates and empowers the youth sector to become active information multipliers of government campaigns such as ending local armed conflict, embrace Covid-19 health protocol as new normal and other advocacies that affect communities,” Edaga explained.
Edaga is optimistic that in achieving the government’s ultimate goal of having a peaceful and progressive community is possible through intensified information dissemination from the information multipliers.
Meanwhile, Jesreel Himang, chairperson of PTF-ELCAC StratCom said the ELCAC forum is a great opportunity for the IOs and mainstream media to deliberate on their programs, activities, and plans and delineate the respective roles for the current counter-insurgency thrust of the province.
“As chairman of the Strategic Communications here in the province, with the help of our Governor, I am committed to provide the necessary assistance to our media community through the support of our provincial government in whatever activities that will help us realize our objectives as we formally launch this local communication group for ELCAC,” Himang said.
The StratCom cluster will prepare its communication plan and the output will be consolidated by PIA. (Gideon C. Corgue/PIA Zamboanga del Sur)