MANILA — Pressing national issues have prompted the government to reactivate its Spokespersons’ Guild to ensure uniform and harmonized dissemination of information from various concerned agencies to the public and the media, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Wednesday.
In an interview on RMN-Zamboanga, Andanar said the PCOO conducted the Spokespersons’ Guild Crisis Communication Refresher Course for the designated spokespersons of national government offices on Tuesday.
He said the communications crisis management on the possible threats of the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the Philippines was tackled during the refresher course led by Assistant Secretary Rachel Queenie Dizon and Director Pebbles Duque.
Although the PCOO is not a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) led by the Department of Health (DOH), Andanar said his office has volunteered as a communications arm of the group.
Andanar earlier urged the public to take news updates and information only from verified sources, including government media.
He had also directed PCOO and its attached agencies to follow protocols on providing hourly public updates as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Ato pong gi-order atong mga kauban diri sa PCOO, after nga naghatag og direktiba si President, nga duna tay hourly news updates sa PTV, Radyo Pilipinas, Philippine News Agency ug disseminated PIA sa Presidential Communications Operations Office (We have already ordered everyone on PCOO after the President has given his directives, to issue hourly news updates on PTV, Radyo Pilipinas, Philippine News Agency and are also disseminated to the PIA),” he said.
He reminded the public to take precautionary measures and trust the government’s information efforts to prevent the spread of the disease.
Andanar urged travelers particularly from China, Hong Kong, and Macau to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days even if they don’t have symptoms like fever and colds.
“Sulod sa inyon balaya dunay kay kaugalingon kwarto, self-quarantine for 14 days lang pero kung makit-an kag sintomas derecho gyud ka sa DOH sa ilang mga quarantine areas (You take self-quarantine inside your room for 14 days and if you see other symptoms similar to the disease, then you go directly to the quarantine area of DOH),” he said.
He also appealed to avoid panic buying and hoarding of surgical face masks as it is not necessary for everyone to wear it.
“Ang atong prayoridad katong duna nay hilanat, sip-on, ubo, dunay sakit para dili sila makatakod, number 2 para dili pud sila mataptan kay ilang immunity ubos kayo (Our priorities are those who are showing signs of fever, colds and others who are sick so that they won’t spread any infection. Number 2, so that they won’t easily get sick since their immunity to these is low),” he said. (PR)