Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Jose Mari Oquiñena challenged 76 information officers of local government units and national line agencies in Region XII to take full advantage of social media for nation-building.

DG Oquiñena was the keynote speaker during the opening program of PIA XII’s 3-day Seminar-Workshop on e-newsletter Production in General Santos City, 6 November 2013.

DG Oquiñena said that it is important to reach out to the online community and mobilize people for social good. According to him, the increasing trend of Internet and social media users in the country is a good reason for government offices to strengthen their online presence. This will allow government offices through its information officers to share timely information that will be helpful in empowering people and communities. He also emphasized the importance of stepping up the quality of content uploaded to government websites and social media accounts.

Moreover, DG Oquiñena encouraged information officers to share good stories that would build the hopes of the ‘successor generation’. “We write to inspire people..and to let the young generation see that there is hope for our country,” said DG Oquiñena.

PIA XII organized the seminar-workshop to refresh/orient information officers on the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools that will be beneficial in strengthening each agency’s online presence through e-newsletters, social media networks, etc. Among the topics were  eNewsletter design and layout; eNewsletter using online templates; maximizing use of new media for government information and development communication; disseminating e-newsletter via hosting sites and maximizing Twitter, FB, blogs, etc.

Resource speakers were PIA Central Visayas Regional Director Minerva Neuman and PIA Cebu Information Center Manager Rachelle Nessia. (Jezereel Louise C. Billano-LGU Information)