200 info officers gather in Butuan
by JMD Abangan
BUTUAN CITY (1 December) -- Some 200 information officers from national agencies and local government units (LGUs) all over over Mindanao have gathered at the Balanghai Hotel in Butuan City for the 7th Mindanao Communicators Network (MINDACOMNET) Congress and Workshop from November 29 to December 1.
Tackling "BEAT THE ODDs in Mindanao" during its 6th Congress, this year's MINDACOMNET Congress deals on the theme, "Communicating Peace and Development."
BEAT THE ODDs puts together the priority agenda of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It stands for balanced budget, education for all, automated election, transportation and communications, termination of hostilities, healing the wounds of Edsa, opportunities for employment, decongest Metro Manila, developing Clark and Subic.
While the President puts top priority on these concerns, her administration's focus in Mindanao is centered on peace and development.
MINDACOMNET, which brings together government communicators in Mindanao, continues to initiate activities to further advocate development imperatives in Mindanao.
In his opening remarks regional director and Assistant Director General for Mindanao Efren F. Elbanbuena of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) said this year's MINDACOMNET focuses on giving updates on the projects and accomplishments of various official development assistance (ODA) agencies, which have poured resources for peace-building and development efforts in Mindanao.
Among the ODAs in Mindanao are the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), United States Agency for International Development (USAid) and the European Union.
Progress of some projects under ODA is featured in a photo exhibit displayed during the three-day duration of this year's MINDACOMNET Congress and Workshop.
Meanwhile, Director General Conrado Limcaoco Jr. of the Philippine Information Agency in his keynote speech, lauded MINDACOMNET officers for sustaining the bonding among government information officers in Mindanao.
"Your attendance to a gathering like this today clearly manifests the unity of Mindanao communicators in pursuing the national agenda for peace and development in Mindanao," he said in a speech whose copy of which was read by Director Nilo Mamaclay, PIA head of regional operations division.
Gracing the occasion, Butuan City Councilor Dino Claudio Sanchez cited as crucial the role of information officers "where there is a need for transparency."
He also challenged information officers to work together to improve skills necessary to "upgrade the standard of your profession," he said. (PIA XI) [top]