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PIA Press Release
2008/08/29

NGOs formulate crisis communication plan, other measures to restore Mindanao peace

Zamboanga City (29 August) -- The Action for Conflict Transformation (ACT) for Peace Programme and the Mindanao Communicators Network Inc. in region IX in a coordination meeting held last week in Zamboanga City have come up with a set of crisis communication and other contingency measures amidst the current peace & order situation in Mindanao.

The meeting was attended by MindaComNet member-agencies (information officers of gov't line agencies), media as well as the presidents of the Peace and Development Advocates Alliances (PDAAs) IN Western Mindanao and Lanao del Norte and the technical staff of the Act for Peace WM Area Management Office.

The meeting focused on the following agenda 1)Discussion Analysis of the peace & order conflict situation in Region IX and the AMO-WM area of coverage which includes Lanao del Norte, Security Briefing by AFP and PNP; 2.) Sharing of WMFPDAA Officers on the Peace & order conflict situations on the ground respective areas; 3.) to come up with an effective communication exchange reporting mechanism among network members and the AMO-WM; 4.) To recommend contingency actions and 5) to discuss the programme's proposed parallel action, peace building & advocacy campaigns, peace caravans & other contingencies.

The meeting which was presided by Corazon Panganiban, PIA Provincial Information Center Manager and concurrent MindaComNet President came up with the following salient agreements: To launch a massive information campaign to counter the massive disinformation waving in text messages which heighten the tension and panic among the people in affected areas dubbed as "A4P-MCN-PDAAs text Brigade";

There is a need to update the network directory to include the Peace and Development Advocates as they are the Programme's link & reliable source of information at the grassroots; posting of signages of emergency hotlines will also be pursued in strategic places in the city as well as in other areas of the region up to the barangays for the people to know where & whom to call in times of emergencies; to intensify inter agency referral system in times of massive evacuation. And help advocate for resource augmentation linking needs with supply.

Amidst the waves of unreliable and un-validated text messages there is an urgent need to balance this by getting reports from reliable sources and to report such information to proper authorities for appropriate action, that wy law enforcers would be properly guided in assessing the situations.

Te group also agreed on the following through contingency measures—ensure food security of the various Peace & development Communities (PDCs) & other vulnerable areas by facilitating application of the PDAAs for rice retailership with NFA; a seminar on conflict journalism for the A4P, MCN and PDAs; community/family disaster preparedness training; human rights conflict management & resolution seminar; peace building advocacy-peace caravans/dialogues among others. The group was one in calling for multi sectoral contributions and solutions to peace. (A4p-9/PIA ZC) [top]

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