MANILA, Philippines — Senator Bam Aquino on Sunday expressed concern over a recent survey ranking the Philippines as third among countries that are “most ignorant” on the key issues hounding the country.
In a statement, Aquino stressed the need to toughen the fight against fake news and ramp up efforts to provide quality education to keep Filipinos, especially the youth, fully aware of the issues swarming the country.
“Clearly, we need to strengthen quality education and launch a solid attack on disinformation and fake news,” Aquino said.
“There are a lot of Filipinos who get confused with data and who find it hard to discern the truth. This is even more distressing when we consider how Filipinos resort to threats and hate speech online instead of reasonably discussing opposing views,” he added in mix Filipino and English.
In a study conducted by news website Indy100, Filipinos ranked third among those most confident despite giving inaccurate answers. South Africa topped the survey while Brazil came in the second place.
In 2016, the Philippines placed 16th in the survey participated in by 38 countries.
Aquino said that the survey should serve as a lesson for all Filipinos to be humble, urging them to check facts and listen to one another instead of turning hostile.
The senator also conducted an inquiry into the responsible use of social media in schools to fight spread of fake news and false information, calling on the different stakeholders, led by the Department of Education (DepEd) to unite in battling trolling and spread of misinformation on social media.
He also urged the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to discuss the problem of online disinformation and fake news sites during Senate hearing on the proliferation of fake news.
Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe underlined that media and information literacy is the solution to combat the spread of fake news and false information.