More and more Philippine government agencies today are using ‘Twitter’ as their social media tool for their IEC (information, education, communication) campaign. Social media’s most important use in the case of government agencies is in issuing advisories and notices important to constituents, like in the case of Department of Science and Technology (DOST), which provides updates and advisories on weather condition and potential flooding risks, and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), which issues traffic condition updates and other relevant news on traffic management.
When a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit Easter Samar and Mindanao last weekend, netizens immediately tried to find information online and many were frustrated not to find PhiVolcs on Twitter especially after the agency’s website, phivolcs.dost.gov.ph, became inaccessible due to network congestion.
During a television interview this morning, PhiVolcs director, Dr. Renato Solidum, explained that the agency does not have a social media team and is considering more the possibility of establishing a “secured channel” for mobile phones instead of delivering advisories thru Twitter. Dr. Solidum explained that through an agreement with telecommunication companies, PhiVolcs would be able to send ‘push’ messages (or advisories) to mobile phones users during the time of disasters.
He also explained that earthquake is a “rapid onset” type of disaster which cannot be predicted unlike typhoons.
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