TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, August 3 (PIA) – About 100 government information officers and local media practitioners from Samar and Leyte provinces are expected to join in a two-day workshop on Disaster Preparedness and the Right to Information on August 6-7 at the Ritz Tower here.

The workshop is intended to enhance the capacity of selected government information officers, communications focal points and media practitioners on the Right to Information related to RA 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM) Act which includes response to preparedness, to recovery/rehabilitation, to prevention/mitigation.

Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Deputy Director General Virgilio Galvez who now acts as the Interim Head of the Regional Office, opted to include in the workshop municipal information officers of disaster-prone areas in the region, so they could actively share inputs and experiences, he said.

According to him, focal persons from “Yolanda” hard-hit areas can best tell some success stories, on how they were able to save lives, responded to the disaster, recovered and moved forward.

Sponsored by two humanitarian organizations, UN-OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and International Organization on Migration (IOM), it is expected that after the training, the information officers on the ground are expected to get a deeper understanding on the Right to Information under the PDRRM Act.

Eastern Samar Mayor, Allan Contado of Balangkayan town agreed to send his Information Officer, Jubeth Globio to the workshop. Contado has been acknowledged by the Civil Service Commission to have had zero casualty in his entire municipality, despite the severe damage “Yolanda” rendered to their houses, government structures and properties. Balangkayan can share disaster mitigation strategies in the workshop.

It was learned that some experiences from the Bohol earthquake will be shared in the workshop as speakers from PIA Bohol will come over to share their response strategies.

Other speakers include representatives from PAGASA, OCD, OCHA, IOM, PIA and a lot more.

The participants will be taught likewise on how to design information and campaign materials. (PIA-8)