By Fayette Riñen, PIA-7
The Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Region 7 has canceled its regular on-ground activities amid the COVID-19 threat and will resort to other modes of information dissemination to perform its mandate to communicate government information, especially in these abnormal times.
Starting this week, the weekly Kapihan sa PIA and the AGIO-PIA7 forum in Cebu, as well as the bi-monthly multi-sectoral engagement in Negros Oriental, have been suspended until the public health emergency has been lifted.
The weekly Kapihan in Bohol, however, will continue as the set up only requires the guest and the PIA host with the discussion carried live over a local radio station.
Also suspended are the monthly meetings with the different information association networks in all the four provinces of Cebu, Negros Oriental, Bohol, and Siquijor as well as the conduct of the quarterly “Kukabildo sa Barangay,” a grassroots engagement with the people in the barangay level.
PIA personnel, based on the directive from PIA Central Office, are also advised to limit their attendance to meetings except on concerns related to COVID-19, disaster, peace and order, and other emergency meetings.
Canceling the activities that require more than 10 people in attendance is necessary to protect and limit the possible exposure of PIA-7 staff and the attendees, as well, amid the rising cases daily with Metro Manila, which has been the hardest hit.
With the limited platforms, the PIA-7 will go high in the use of social media to massively communicate timely, relevant, and accurate information and the usual distribution of news stories to the tri-media.
In Central Visayas, there are already three reported confirmed COVID-19 cases, with two coming from Negros Oriental and one in Cebu.
Out of the three cases, only one succumbed to the disease.