Cebu Citizens-Press Council

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Improve messaging – CCPC to City Council

February 26th, 2021 · No Comments

Press statement

Cebu City, December 2, 2020

CCPC asks Cebu City Council to improve messaging by policy, fund support

Text of CCPC Resolution of December 2, 2020 (sent to Cebu City Council through Councilors Raymond Garcia, chairman of budget and finance committee, and Eduardo Rama Jr., chairman of information and technology committee).

Considering …

[1] The Cebu City Government, through the oath of elected and appointed public officials and the mandate of the Local Government Code and the Constitution, to serve their constituents diligently and well, observing always the policy of accountability and transparency;

[2] The Cebu City Government needs to connect to its public through plain and effective messaging, by a) adopting the right technology and efficient methods and (b) employing people with zeal and diligence of good communicators.

[3] The need for connectivity and messaging has been graphically and sharply demonstrated in the Covid-19 epidemic when, on a number of occasions, orders and directives were garbled, confused or misunderstood by the public because of poor communication equipment or methods and failure of City Hall communicators to respond quickly and effectively.

[4] The Cebu Citizens-Press Council (known for short as CCPC) last April 21, 2020, amid the upsurge of the the coronavirus, called for improved messaging by local governments, including the Cebu City Government, so that quarantine orders and polices would be understood more easily and quickly by the people. (A copy of the CCPC resolution is hereto annexed.)

CCPC, in a position paper submitted to the City Council last Jan. 8, 2020, also asked the Sanggunian committee on information & technology headed by Councilor Eduardo Rama Rama Jr. to require City Hall officials to upload documents the public has the right to know, as a “pro-active gesture of transparency and accountability.” (City Council has a copy of the position paper in its records.)

[5] The Cebu City Government may achieve this in twin-pronged moves of (a) laying down the policy of transparency and effective messaging and (b) providing funds to acquire needed equipment and hire the right people to implement it.

[6] Finally, messaging and connectivity will benefit not only the city government and its officials but also the public, through the news media – currently handicapped in coverage of local governance and hobbled by false reports – in transmitting news and information as substantially and accurately as possible.

Now therefore …

The Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC), in earnestly requesting for better messaging and connectivity by the Cebu City Government with its public, hereby asks the Honorable Sanggunian to:

[1] Provide in the General Appropriation Budget for 2021 funds for the city’s Public Information Office to secure or improve equipment, technology and expertise aimed to boost information and understanding of City Hall’s activities and policies.

[2] Lay down a general policy of pro-active release of information and news and clarification on plans or decisions that affect public interest.

(Ratified by Cebu Citizens-Press Council en banc members, December 2, 2020)

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