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AUGUST 30, 2012–President Aquino had recently asked the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and PAG-ASA to formulate simpler ways of communicating weather reports. The President had been concerned about weather reports not being understood by the general public.
In response to this call, the Philippine Information Agency XII and the Office of the Civil Defense conducted a two-day seminar and workshop on laymanizing environment climate and weather reports on August 28-29, 2012 in Sarangani Highlands, General Santos City.
The activity, which is the first of its kind in Mindanao, was participated in by at least 20 media practitioners and information officers of national line agencies and local government units. During the opening program, PIA XII Regional Director Olivia Sudaria emphasized the participants’ role in people’s disaster preparedness. “As communicators, we can only be effective, when we are understood,” said Sudaria.
Speakers during the activity were PAG-ASA Senior Weather Specialist Anianita Fortich, Liza Socorro Manzano of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Luisito Salugsugan and Milo Cabiguin of PHIVOLCS. The activity also briefed participants on disaster risk reduction management.
“In terms of disasters, the Philippines got it all. Yet we have learned to adapt with hazards given our past experience and knowledge generated by scientific studies. Everything will go to waste if we are not able to laymanize these for the benefit of the vulnerable population,” Manzano said.
Workshop sessions allowed media practitioners and information officers to localize and contextualize technical information on typhoons, tsunami warning signals, earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. Speakers also shared online sources and hotlines by which participants can access reliable information on disasters and even geohazard and flood maps.
“We acknowledge the importance of this activity especially in our line of work. Right now, we can be more confident in giving understandable reports,” an ABS-CBN correspondent said on behalf of the media sector. (JLCBillano-LGU)