MANILA—Newly-appointed Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Assistant Secretary Margaux ‘Mocha’ Uson vowed to utilize social media to bring government programs closer to Filipinos.
In an interview on PNA Exclusive in Moscow, Russia at about 2 p.m. Tuesday (7 p.m., Manila time), Uson underscored the role of social media in facilitating communication between the government and various stakeholders.
“Importante sa mga ahensiya ng gobyerno ay yung feedback, malaman nila yung mga feedback sa tao. Through social media, malalaman agad natin ang hinaing ng bawat ordinaryong mamamayang Pilipino at through social media din ay agaran na masosolusyunan yung kanilang mga problema. (Feedback from the people is important to government agencies. Through social media, we get to know the concerns of our fellow Filipinos and also through social media, we would be able to help solve their problems,)” Uson said.
“Maraming magagandang programa si Presidente (Duterte). Ang kailangan nating gawin ay ipaliwanag ito ng simple sa ating mga kababayan. Tulad nung Build. Build. Build., Dutertenomics para malaman nila kung ano ang pakinabang nila dito. (President Duterte has a lot of good programs that we must introduce to our fellow Filipinos in a simple manner. These include Build. Build. Build., Dutertenomics, among others. This is for them to understand the benefits of these programs.)”
Uson, who has been appointed PCO Assistant Secretary for Social Media, urged Filipinos to get news on the services and programs of government agencies directly from state media outfits to curb fake news.
“Nandyan naman ang Philippine News Agency (PNA), Radyo ng Bayan at iba pa. Diretso natin makukuha yung balita sa bawat ahensiya ng gobyerno, sa bawat Cabinet Secretary, through live interviews, so hindi nila masasabing fake news yun, dahil diretsong galing sa gobyerno natin. (We have the Philippine News Agency, Radyo ng Bayan, [and other government media outfits]. We can get news on government agencies straight from these sources. Each Cabinet Secretary gives updates through live interviews. It’s not fake news because the information comes directly from our government,)” Uson said, adding that all forms of media must work together “for the betterment of the nation”.
When asked about her thoughts on being a part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s official delegation during his foreign trips, Uson described it as a “humbling experience” as she has been able to listen to the concerns of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“Dahil sa pagkakataon na ito ay naabot po natin yung mga OFWs natin sa iba’t ibang bahagi, iba’t ibang sulok ng mundo na matagal nang napabayaan at dahil nakakasama tayo sa state visit ni PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) ay nalalaman po natin ang kanilang mga hinaing at naipapaabot po natin yan sa Duterte administration. (This has given us the chance to reach OFWs in various parts of the world. They have been neglected for so long. But now, we are able to convey their concerns to the Duterte administration,)” she said.
Uson, a former celebrity and OFW, said the President himself makes sure that he is able to meet the Filipino community on the sidelines of his foreign trips.
This gesture of the President, according to her, is well-received by the OFWs.
The 35-year-old presidential appointee added that among the major concerns brought up by OFWs are issues on labor and assistance from the Philippine embassies and consulates in their respective countries.
“Pagdating naman sa mga hinaing, ‘yung mga katanungan tungkol sa DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) at through social media ay naico-connect natin sila sa DOLE kay Secretary Silvestre Bello III. Nandyan din ang mga katanungan patungkol sa OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration), yung mga benefits nila through Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac naman. (As for the concerns of our OFWs regarding services of the DOLE, we connect them to Secretary Silvestre Bello III through social media. We also connect them to OWWA Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac for their queries on their benefits,)” Uson said.
”Isa pang mga hinaing nila ay yung sa mga embahada natin na hindi sila masyadong naaasikaso at dahil nga si (newly appointed) DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano ay nandiyan na sa kaniyang posisyon, meron din po tayong inaayos na programa para sa mga OFWs natin through social media para maipaabot yung concern nila sa DFA. (With the appointment of DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, we want to make sure that our embassies would be able to provide better service for our OFWs. We are also looking into other ways where we can help our OFWs in airing their concerns to the DFA,)” she added.