Escudero to government: Tap DICT in fighting fake


Cecille Suerte Felipe – The Philippine Star

August 14, 2023 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Instead of partnering with the education sector, President Marcos’ fight against fake news through the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) should partner with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Sen. Francis Escudero said over the weekend.

Escudero said he is backing the digital campaign of the government to combat fake news on the internet as the PCO announced its plan to hold a media literacy campaign in an effort to fight the spread and proliferation of fake news.

“For me, this is a good suggestion, but they should not immediately add additional subjects to the curriculum. It’s not that easy, and not everyone needs and is interested in that,” he added.

The senator, however, cautioned against introducing additional modules or subjects on the matter in the existing curricula of students at all levels, saying the plan needs thorough study and consultation before it can be incorporated in education.

The PCO has said it is ready to launch the Marcos administration’s campaign on disinformation through a memorandum of understanding to formalize the partnership with government agencies and social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and X (formerly Twitter).

It was reported that the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) would be among the partner agencies that the PCO intends to tap to introduce media literacy subjects.

“Let’s not be hasty in adding or reducing or removing anything in the curriculum because a long process went through before it was included or deleted. Especially in higher institutions, that is also based on the needs of the workforce when they graduate and that is also based on the board exams that need to be taken to become a full professional,” Escudero said.

Instead of the DepEd and CHED, Escudero suggested that the PCO include the DICT as a key partner.

“If I may suggest, what they should include is the DICT because misinformation and disinformation are spreading on various social media platforms and not on the traditional media that we are used to – print, radio and TV,” he said.

“Fake news is often on different social media platforms. Because of the internet, each of us can be a source of information, regardless of who he is or regardless of his age,” he added.

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