By Lalaine S. Junio

Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil (PNA photo by Joey Razon)

MANILA – The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) on Tuesday vowed to fight fake news through the holding of campus caravans nationwide.

Citing a survey, PCO Secretary Cheloy Garafil said the youth are among the number one consumers of social media, where fake news proliferates, making them vulnerable to disinformation.

Garafil visited the booths of PCO’s attached agencies, including the Philippine News Agency, at the second leg of the Community Campus Caravan at Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

“Continuing effort ito para at least magkaroon tayo ng isang (so that we will have a) general information dissemination campaign on fake news,” she said.

Bringing the media and information literacy campaign to the universities is crucial in curbing misinformation and disinformation, she added.

In the next few months, the PCO will bring the campus caravan to other schools and universities nationwide, expanding its reach and advocacy to combat misinformation.

The caravan, which held its inaugural on Dec. 5 at Lyceum University of the Philippines in Intramuros, Manila aims to empower students in navigating the modern media landscape.

PUP students joined information literacy training, creative contests and games, panel discussions, “Konsyerto sa Palasyo” (Concert at the Palace) and broadcasting auditions, and internship information booths.

Steven Limbawe, a senior high school student, said he enjoyed the activities, specifically those that held broadcasting auditions.

“For me, ang liberating ng experience. Through this opportunity mas nabibigyan ‘yung mga kagaya ko na gustong mag-pursue ng field na ito na ma-practice ‘yung ganitong media, and ma-open sa opportunity (these events open an opportunity for us who want to pursue a career in media),” he said.

Senior Journalism student Julian Bartolome said she gained additional knowledge relevant to her career path.

“Visiting the booths filled with media men was both insightful and entertaining at the same time. Importante po ito sa amin as communication students na soon to venture na sa corporate world (This is important for us communication students who will soon venture in the real world)” she said. (With reports from Lalaine S. Junio, Angelique Victoria A. Costales/PNA)