Arjane Faith Paala

In an attempt to battle the rampant misinformation and disinformation across social media, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. commenced the Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Campaign Project on August 14.

Photo Courtesy to ABS-CBN News/Stock Photo

According to the president, this initiative aims to equip the youth with the faculty to critically assess the different readily available information online and distinguish truths from lies.

“And we all hear about fake news. We all hear that the entire campaign – I’ve heard this in reference to somebody I know – that their entire campaign was based on fake news. Everything that they said on the Internet was fake news,” Marcos insinuated as the said problem starts to invade politics.

Contrasting findings from independent news organization Vera Files and Tsek.PH showed that Marcos benefited the most from election-related disinformation in 2021 and 2022, while former Vice President Leni Robredo was the biggest victim.

Nonetheless, the campaign is said to be primarily focused on educating young individuals who, in this generation, heavily rely on social media.

“We must allow everyone to discern for themselves what is real and what is not, what is propaganda, what is facts, what is data, what is speculation, these are all the things that we want people to learn,” Marcos added.

The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) will principally collaborate with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to formulate the questions and framework for a nationwide survey, recommend participants in focus group discussions, and craft the learners’ MIL manual to be incorporated into the curriculum. 

“Our formidable alliance is committed to ensuring the truth and accuracy prevail in a society where every voice contributes to the chorus of truth,” Communications Secretary Cheloy Gerafil stressed.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will also participate by involving the MIL Project in its social protection programs and training in key communities.

Meanwhile, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) intends to take responsibility for the implementation of on-the-ground activities through coordinating with local government units (LGUs), including the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and the National Youth Commission (NYC).

Social media agents such as Google, Meta (runs Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Threads, and WhatsApp), Tiktok, and X (formerly Twitter) are also expected to partner with the government through offering resources and instructions against misinformation and disinformation, which often proliferate on these networks.