Speaker Velasco hails media’s role in fight against COVID-19

BOAC, Marinduque — Marinduque Representative and Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Tuesday hailed the crucial role played by the mainstream media in the ongoing fight against COVID-19 during a virtual event that brought together the captains of the country’s broadcast industry.

Velasco told members of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) during their general meeting and oathtaking of newly elected officers and trustees that the press played a vital role in spreading reliable news and information amid the pandemic.

“Timely, accurate, and verified information received thru the mainstream media has justly empowered our people, enabling greater and more equitable access to health care, preventing discrimination, and avoiding social stigmatization,” Velasco said in his message after administering the oath of office to KBP officers and trustees.

According to Velasco, access to reliable information and to free and independent media is essential to promote transparency and accountability, as well as combat misinformation and contribute to public confidence and support for government efforts to beat COVID-19.

“For every ayuda not properly distributed, let us give hope by highlighting LGUs (local government units) that have efficiently rolled out the process,” the Speaker said.
He added: “For every claim of adverse effects after inoculation, help us encourage and push for stronger vaccine confidence. We ask you to help us, your people in government, because we need to fight this monumental battle together.”

Aside from keeping the public credibly informed, Velasco said the mainstream media also “help protect the health and safety of communities by neutralizing or preventing the spread, not just of the virus, but of false or misleading information.”

“We express concern at the damage which can and has been done by the spreading of false or manipulated information about the disease and government’s pandemic response,” the House chief pointed out. “We need to push back on disinformation and propaganda, and the support of mainstream media is crucial in this fight.”

Velasco also commended and thanked media organizations and their workers for their “unwavering commitment to provide the general public up-to-date, verified, and timely information, despite the health and safety hazards posed by the pandemic.”

He said media workers are also frontliners in the fight against COVID-19. “Hindi po matatawaran ang kontribusyon ng mga kasama natin sa media bilang tunay na frontliners sa laban natin kontra sa umiiral na pandemya. Maraming, maraming salamat po sa lahat ng tulong, sakripisyo, at kadakilaan ninyo.”

Established in 1973, KBP is the premier broadcast media organization in the country, comprising of 122 broadcasting companies operating 691 radio and 51 television stations nationwide. — Marinduquenews.com

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