Social media vital in raising awareness on ASEAN initiatives

By , on March 21, 2017


Increasing engagement in social media can further strengthen awareness on the initiatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to further improve the welfare of people living in the region. (Photo: ASEAN 2017/Facebook)
Increasing engagement in social media can further strengthen awareness on the initiatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to further improve the welfare of people living in the region. (Photo: ASEAN 2017/Facebook)

BACOLOD CITY—Increasing engagement in social media can further strengthen awareness on the initiatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to further improve the welfare of people living in the region.

Presidential Communication Operations Office Undersecretary and chairperson of the 15th Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials Responsible for Information (SOMRI) Noel George Puyat said the ASEAN is pursuing to increase its online presence in various social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to create awareness within the region.

“We are sharing information on different platforms just to push the awareness,” Puyat said in a press briefing held Tuesday at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City.

He said the initiative is in line with the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Information and Media 2016-2025 that will guide the development and cooperation of information and media sector towards supporting other community pillars and sectors with their communication needs; advocating the policies and initiatives implemented by ASEAN; and communicating with our peoples through different platforms to promulgate the benefits of ASEAN’s development.

Under the said plan, ASEAN aims to utilize information and communication technology (ICT) across different groups as a means to connect with the regional and global community.

Among the measures to be implemented include using new media in disseminating information on ASEAN consolidation, solidarity, diversity and unity; facilitating development of ICT apps to promote the creation and production of digital content and dissemination of ASEAN content to different groups, engaging managers of new media platforms with ASEAN integration content and collaborating with other sectors to facilitate technology development and improve accessibility in the information and media sector.

Furthermore, the PCOO official said the department is conducting ASEAN roadshows to different barangays across the country to deliver talks and answer questions from various audiences in order to share knowledge to the public. It has also been distributing reading materials in different dialects to explain ASEAN and the role of the Philippines in the regional association.

PCOO has also visited schools, interacted with students and engaged with local government units, members of the academe and local media to discuss important issues on ASEAN that can impact their lives.

Usec. Puyat reiterated that the regional group’s various initiatives on education, health care and social welfare is consistent with the principles of consensus building, centrality and diversity for each member states.

“These programs are beneficial for the people in the region. Thus, it is sure to improve the communication among ASEAN member states,” he emphasized.

Puyat also appealed to media for its cooperation in helping spread the awareness of ASEAN. “As ASEAN moves forward from the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015, our people need a clear understanding of what it means to be a part of an integrated region, where there are shared, equitable opportunities for economic, cultural and personal growth.”

The 15th ASEAN SOMRI Meeting from March 22 to 23, 2017 will gather around 50 delegates including senior representatives from the ministries in charge of information in the 10 ASEAN Member States as well as officers from the ASEAN Secretariat.

The SOMRI leaders will discuss the progress of the implementation of its programs and related activities for the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Information and Media 2016-2025.

SOMRI will also lay out activities for the commemoration of the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN this year.

As the Chair of ASEAN 2017, the Philippines will host a grand commemorative celebration of ASEAN@50 on August 8, 2017.