Palawan News is spearheading an “Information Summit” on Friday, September 27, to improve collaboration among the different sectors in the province in providing accurate information to the public.

Joy Tabuada, the managing director of Palawan News, said the Information Summit seeks to understand better the mandate of the government, of the private sector and the media, in delivering information to the public.

“We hope that through this venue, we can start addressing our concerns to improve how our sectors work together. As channels of information, the media occupy a big role in translating information objectively, with balance and truth,” said Tabuada.

“As the ‘fourth estate’, we cannot make a mockery of our roles when our work can influence and shape the public’s opinion,” Tabuada added.

Empowering citizens with information

To make the Palaweños rightfully informed, Tabuada said the summit is aimed at urging private and government sectors to extend to the media a more transparent hand that will help them accomplish their job with integrity.

Tabuada said increasing people’s awareness about the significant issues and concerns affecting society, is of greater value towards having a progressive and developed Palawan.

“We affirm that public transparency is a keystone in governance as enshrined in our Constitution and mandated by the Local Government Code. We strongly advocate for an empowered citizenry by ensuring them access to information and knowledge, through the media utilizing their various platforms of transmitting such information through news and commentary,” said Tabuada.

Media promoting partnership with the government in serving the people, yet remain unfettered.

Tabuada reiterated the necessity of collaborating with the government in rendering rightful service to the public.

However, she said a conscious effort at maintaining freedom and independence from anything or anyone is required.

While desiring a peaceful relationship with the society as a whole, Tabuada said ensuring that no one restrains, dictates, or even bends information for a specific interest is necessary.

“We commit ourselves to fulfill our respective unique roles in ensuring a robust atmosphere of public discourse by making information readily available to our people, using the press as a conduit for the timely delivering of such knowledge,” said Tabuada.

Guest speakers and program flow

Dubbed as “Strengthening Partnership between Media, Government, Industry, and the Public for Development”, the Palawan Information Summit program proper will be divided into five main parts.

These are the registration, opening ceremony, plenaries, covenant signing, and closing remarks.

The program facilitator will be Alex Marcaida.

Registration will start at 1-1:30 p.m. of Friday, September 27, and shall be followed by the opening ceremony, which will constitute of the doxology, singing of the national anthem, and opening remarks from Palawan News managing director, Joy Tabuada.

Under the third portion of the program are the plenaries; subdivided into four categories, each of the first three will comprise an open forum to give way to questions and sharing of opinions.

Harold “Howie” Clavite, the former director-general of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and a communication specialist, will tackle the “roles of the government in promoting transparency”.

Following his lecture is further open discussion about “media challenges in accessing information”.

On the other hand, Manuel “Manny” Mogato, a Pultizer Prize 2018 awardee for International Reporting will engage deeper the audience on the importance of having a firm grasp and clear understanding of the issues, titled “Why the Media Need to Know”.

During the final discourse, speakers will expound how the right information could serve as a key to good governance and development.

The event will culminate with the signing of a covenant among the stakeholders to pledge their integrity in fulfilling their commitment towards transformative truth through information transparency.