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Want to level up your fact-checking skills? Join Rappler’s mentorship program for 2021

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Do you want to develop a deeper understanding about the process of fact-checking? Are you interested in scaling up your skills in spotting disinformation online and debunking suspicious claims? 

Rappler, through its civic engagement arm MovePH, is launching another cycle of its fact-checking mentorship program. This is in partnership with Friedrich Naumann Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on civic education.

The fact-checking mentorship program started in September 2020. Rappler partnered with Meedan, a non-profit tech company that works to strengthen global journalism, digital literacy, and accessibility of information, for the March to October 2021 cycles of the mentorship program

This is the mentorship program’s fifth cycle, and for this new cycle, shortlisted applicants may choose to either be mentored in writing fact checks or organizing a special project to help fight disinformation. 

They will undergo a seven-week exclusive and hands-on training with Rappler’s fact checkers and the MovePH team in the following: 

  • Detecting, investigating, and verifying online disinformation 
  • Leading and organizing special projects like digital campaigns, events, or social media executions

This program is perfect for campus journalists, educators, and community leaders who are committed to taking a more proactive role in the fact-checking community by reporting claims, providing sources to help debunk claims, contributing actual fact-checks, and organizing or leading special projects to fight disinformation in their own local communities.

We are accepting volunteer applications for this program until 11 pm, Friday, October 15.

To qualify for the program, applicants must first have been participants of any previous fact-checking webinars hosted by MovePH. They must also be willing to work within the period of October to December 2021 through a remote setup. 

Academic institutions or groups which are involved in research, journalism, or communication may also apply. 

A deeper dive into fact-checking

MovePH has been conducting a series of fact-checking webinars which focus on the methodology and processes of fact-checking, as well as how fact-checking applies in different thematic areas and issues. Since the program started on April 3, 2020, more than 10,800 participants have joined the sessions. (READ: #FactsMatterPH: The many ways you can help fight disinformation)

The Rappler team will guide them through the fact-checking methodology including the use of various processes and tools in fact-checking and writing about fact-checked stories.

Shortlisted applicants will have access to an exclusive series of discussions on topics including harnessing social media for civic engagement, monitoring suspicious claims online and writing fact checks, the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN) Code of Principles, and the power and peril of social media. 

The Rappler team will guide them through the fact-checking methodology, including the use of various processes and tools in verifying claims and writing about the findings. We will also familiarize the volunteers with the processes of organizing projects to help fight disinformation. 

Those interested to join the mentorship program may fill up this application form. 

Applicants who are shortlisted will be contacted for an interview by a staff member from Rappler. – Rappler.com


Rappler opens applications for #PHVote mover summit training

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Do you want to be a #PHVote mover? Do you want to know how to fact-check disinformation, cover the local elections, and lead a movement in your community? 

MovePH, the civic engagement arm of Rappler is launching the #PHVote mover summit training for citizen journalists ahead of the 2022 polls. 

Given what’s at stake in 2022, Rappler pivoted its campaign to focus on the voters as the main character in the 2022 elections. Beyond voting, we aim to encourage Filipinos to be a part of voter engagement campaigns and deepen their civic participation in the months leading to and on election day.

1. What is the #PHVote mover summit training?

As part of Rappler’s many programs to engage communities and help fight disinformation, the #PHVote mover summit seeks to build a network of lead movers as well as movers who will help journalists cover news, issues, and events in their localities, report suspicious claims and debunk it, and organize projects for their own community.

Led and organized by MovePH in partnership with Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, the summit will facilitate a series of training sessions needed to help movers cover local elections, fact-check dubious claims, and lead movements on the ground.

In the past, Rappler also trained citizen journalists to cover local elections in 2019, 2016 and 2013. Through its coverage, it provided the public with crucial information to visualize not only the election results data, but also of election processes and key issues that emerged before, during, and after the polls in different areas. 

2. What will the #PHVote mover summit entail?

The #PHVote mover summit training involves a two-part online training session to be conducted by Rappler editors and reporters. These will cover a wide range of topics on news writing, covering local politics, social media reporting, fact-checking, and organizing initiatives for their communities, among others.

Participants accepted to the program will be taught important skills that will enable them to highlight issues that matter to their communities during the local elections. They will be working with Rappler staff in the months leading to the 2022 national elections. 

Those who will be accepted into the program will work on writing and monitoring election-related reports and other current local issues, reporting suspicious claims and debunking them, and organizing projects that will help communities take action. 

3. How long is the program? How many will be accepted to participate?

A total of 100 movers will be selected to participate in the two-part training sessions of the #PHVote mover summit scheduled on the following dates: 

  • 1st part of training: November 2021 – January 2022 
  • 2nd part of training: February 2022 – May 2022 

For the first part of the training, they will be participating in a weekly two-hour online training session for four weeks and will be asked to complete an assigned output per training session until the end of the training period.

Those who will be able to complete the first part of the #PHVote mover summit training will be qualified to join the second part in February 2022, which will involve a more in-depth training on specialized topics. 

Graduates of the program will be part of Rappler’s coverage in the 2022 Philippine elections. 

4. Who can qualify for the training? When is the deadline for applications?

The application of the program is open to movers or citizen journalists who have engaged with MovePH through its various training programs including but not limited to internships, mentorships and fact-checking webinar training. It is also open to campus journalists, student leaders, and youth advocates.

Representatives from civic-oriented youth groups, student-led organizations, or youth organizations may also apply.  

Deadline for applications is at 11pm on Wednesday, November 3, 2021. 

Interested applicants may fill out this form or use the button below:

For questions about the #PHVote mover summit training, send an email to move.ph@rappler.com.

– Rappler.com

IN PHOTOS: Severe Tropical Storm Maring floods northern Luzon

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Residents of Cagayan, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Norte, and surrounding provinces spent a sleepless night as Severe Tropical Storm Maring battered northern Luzon on Monday, October 11.

Maring made landfall at 8:10 pm on Monday, in Fuga Island in Cagayan, but its effects were already felt by the residents hours before. A number of houses and infrastructure, including bridges and roads, in affected provinces were either destroyed or inundated due to heavy rains and strong winds brought by Maring.

Corn farmers in Barangay Quibal in Peñablanca, Cagayan, tried to save their harvest from the rising flood.

As of 4:45 pm, October 11, photos showed flood waters reaching the Malanas Overflow Bridge in San Juan, Abra, due to the intense rains brought by the severe tropical storm.

A portion of Kilometer 19 along Barangay Ambassador in Tublay, Benguet, became impassable on Monday due to landslides.

In Betag, La Trinidad, Benguet, residents experienced chest-deep floods around 11 pm on Monday.

Meanwhile, in Ilocos Sur, the Bayugao Bridge along Manila – North Road has partly collapsed due to the rapid flow of the Bayugao River.

DAMAGED. A part of Bayugao Bridge along the Manila-North Road was damaged due to Severe Tropical Storm Maring.
Photo from Jocelyn Oamar/DPWH Region I
SIDE VIEW. Another view of the damaged Bayugao Bridge on October 12, 2021.
Photo from Jocelyn Oamar/DPWH Region I

The Cagayan provincial government and the Philippine National Police conducted search and rescue operations in the northern part of the province.

By Tuesday morning, water level in the Chico River in Bontoc, Mountain Province, reached yellow warning, according to the provincial disaster risk reduction and management office.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration said in its 8 am bulletin on Tuesday said that while Maring was already moving away from extreme Northern Luzon, it would continue to trigger heavy rain in the Ilocos Region and parts of the Cordillera Administrative Region. – Rappler.com

Join the #FaceShieldChallenge to stand against alleged corruption during pandemic

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That’s (alleged) corruption staring you in the face.

In the midst of rising COVID-19 cases and prolonged lockdowns, the nation learns not only about the mismanagement of billions in pandemic funds and but also the alleged irregularities in the biggest government pandemic contracts.

Pharmally has been the subject of marathon congressional hearings since August, as lawmakers probe the alleged overpriced pandemic procurement from the company and the alleged corruption in the current administration. The government had awarded pandemic contracts to Pharmally despite the company being only several months old and having just P625,000 in paid-up capital

In total, Pharmally won at least P8.7 billion worth of contracts for pandemic items, at least P4 billion of which were for the use of the Department of Health (DOH). The DOH earlier said it has received over 500,000 face shields from Pharmally as of October 1.

Former employee Krizle Mago initially claimed that Pharmally had changed the expiration dates of face shields delivered to the Duterte government. She, however, retracted this statement. The Philippines is the only country in the world that required face shields both indoors and outdoors, though President Rodrigo Duterte recently announced in September that these are no longer required outdoors.

Many, including medical groups and doctors, have called for a swift probe into the alleged corruption. Among them were the Philippine College of Physicians, along with several other medical societies, which said it was “sickening” to hear people “may have exploited” the purchase of personal protective equipment. They also slammed Duterte’s memorandum barring executive officials from appearing in the Senate’s ongoing probe into alleged corruption in his administration’s pandemic response.

How to join this campaign

Because of this, the #CourageON: No Lockdown on Rights coalition and #PHVote coalition have banded together to stage an online campaign condemning alleged corruption during the pandemic.

Here’s how you can participate in this campaign:

  • You’re encouraged to write “That’s corruption staring you in the face” or your own statement on your face shield.
  • You may use a pentel pen, stickers, or any medium that you prefer. Make sure to keep these on the sides of the face shield, away from your line of sight.
  • Encourage your own network to join the campaign by posting a picture on social media with the hashtag #FaceShieldChallenge.

Make your voice heard by joining #CourageON and #PHVote’s #FaceShieldChallenge. – Rappler.com

#ReliefPH: Help communities affected by Severe Tropical Storm Maring

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Thousands of residents in Northern Luzon are seeking help after enduring the impacts of Severe Tropical Storm Maring (Kompasu) and the enhanced southwest monsoon on Tuesday, October 12.

Affected areas include Cagayan Valley, the Ilocos Region, and the Cordillera  Administrative Region (CAR), as well as, select provinces in Visayas and Mindanao.

Seeing the impact of Maring in hard-hit areas, various groups quickly responded to relief appeals from affected communities.

MovePH, the civic engagement arm of Rappler, is collating and verifying relief initiatives for those communities impacted by the severe tropical storm.

Here is a list of those groups and initiatives:

Advocates for Community Transformation–Cagayan Valley

Advocates for Community Transformation – Cagayan Valley, an NGO that aims to serve the youth, marginalized, and vulnerable sectors of the community, accepts cash donations.

  • GCash
    • Account name: Kiel Kerbee Caliguiran
    • Account number: 09357884176
  • Landbank
    • Account name: John Michael Pattugalan
    • Account number: 3706235506
Ambagan PH

Ambagan PH is a network of volunteers and initiatives responding to crisis situations through ambagan (contribution). They are accepting cash and in-kind donations in the form of canned goods, bottled water, hygiene kits, face masks, vitamins, sleeping mats, pillows, and blankets.

You may send your cash donations through the following:

  • GCash
    • Angelica Reyes: 09152137496
    • Jonathan Caina: 09566687586
  • Landbank
    • Account name: Angelica Reyes
    • Account number: 1467 0844 68
  • BPI
    • Account name: Shaphir Lizarondo
    • Account number: 2289357389

For in-kind donations, you may drop them here:

  • Metro Manila
    • Pointperson: John Rufinel Sagun
    • Contact number: 09553414260
    • Address: CSHA Covered Court, CSHA Village, Brgy. Concepcion Uno, Marikina (near Goto Bob 2 and STI College Concepcion)
  • Isabela
    • Pointperson: Lolita Natividad
    • Contact number:09166943032
    • Address: P1-A Upi, Gamu, Isabela
  • Cagayan
    • Pointperson: Carlito Austria
    • Contact number: 09277082079
    • Address: Cabesera 8 San Antonio, Ilagan, Isabela
  • Ilocos Sur
    • Pointperson: Niceta Cabunoc
    • Contact number: 09065105685
    • Address: Poblacion West, Nagbukel, Ilocos Sur
    • Pointperson: Francesca Sales
    • Contact number: 09156545004
    • Address: HA Sales National Highway, Brgy. Puspus, Bantay, Ilocos Sur
  • Pangasinan
    •  Pointperson: John Wilson Manansala
    • Contact number: 09611143684
    • Address: #15 Nicer St., Brgy. Sto.Niño, Binalonan, Pangasinan
  • Zambales
    • Pointperson: Sarah Reyes
    • Contact number: 09273219497
    • Address: Purok 5, Dingin, Iba, Zambales
Ateneo de Manila University

Ateneo de Manila University is seeking cash donations through the following:

  • BPI: 3083 7210 56
  • Metrobank: 3083 7210 56
  • BDO: 3083 7210 56
Cagayan Youth Advocates

Cagayan Youth Advocates, an organization that aims to engage, inform, and empower the youth, is accepting cash donations through GCash.

  • GCash: 09352302648
Oplan Bangon Cagayan

Oplan Bangon Cagayan was established as a relief operations group after Typhoon Ulysses hit Cagayan province in November 2020. They are seeking cash and in-kind donations.

You may send your cash donations through the following:

  • GCash
    • Account name: Zach Xavier Singson
    • Account number: 09569769089
    • Account name: Kela Angela Soriano
    • Account number: 09164982046
  • Metrobank
    • Account name: Zach Xavier Singson
    • Account number: 1033103807752
    • Account name: Kela Angela Soriano
    • Account number:7383866933244
PaSaBay

PaSaBay (Para Sa Bayan) is a 6-month initiative aimed at creating a platform for volunteerism, youth-development, and nation-building to mobilize the Cagayano youth. The group is seeking cash and in-kind donations.

You may send your cash donations through the following:

  • BPI
    • Account name: Jaslein Duenas
    • Account number: 8549359486
  • GCash
  • Account name: Jaslein Duenas
  • Account number: 09261972887
  • BDO
    • Account name: Pamela Kate M. Manongas
    • Account number: 13100018995
  • Landbank
    • Account name: Fraji Winnah Pascua
    • Account number: 3707129670
  • PayPal
    • Pere Marie Lucia Baricaua
    • paypal.me/baricauap

For in-kind donations, you may drop them here:

  • Tuguegarao City
    • Pointperson: Reich Balubal
    • Address: Alexandria Building, Cuntapay St., Ugac Sur
    • Contact number: 09982642851
  • Tuguegarao City
    • Pointperson: Precious Dulay
    • Address: 364 Cagelco Village, Phase 2, Pallua Sur, Tuguegarao City
    • Contact number: 09367300920
  • Amulung, Cagayan
    • Pointperson: Yani Uanang
    • Address: 2 San Jacinto St., Centro, Amulung, Cagayan (in front Amulung East Central School)
    • Contact number: 09453227456
  • Piat, Cagayan
    • Pointperson: Luchi Aquino
    • Address: In front of Piat Elementary School
    • Contact number: 09456137022
  • Baggao, Cagayan
    • Pointperson: Patricia Salvador
    • Address: Zone 02, Tungel, Baggao, Cagayan
    • Contact number: 09058814551
Pinas Forward PH

Pinas Forward PH is a nationwide movement for youth leadership and nation-building. The group is encouraging the public to donate through the following:

  • GCash
    • Account name: Mardilyn Garcia
    • Account number: 09361930496
  • Landbank
    • Account name: Abigail F. Reynon
    • Account number: 3706 1554 99
  • BPI
    • Account name: Charmaine Masuli
    • Account number: 1249207531
Saint Louis University–Supreme Student Council

Saint Louis University – Supreme Student Council is the official student government of the Saint Louis University in Baguio City. Cash donations may be sent at the following:

  • GCash and Paymaya
    • Account name: Mystica Rose Angelica L. Bucad
    • Account number: 09156595717
  • Landbank
    • Account name: Vincent Sean Ochave
    • Account number: 0226 5048 69
  • BPI
    • Account name: Rannie Lei Magno
    • Account number: 058 9156 027
  • BDO
    • Account name: Althea Joyce Ong
    • 010 3700 76 370
Zero Hunger PH

Zero Hunger PH, a national youth-led movement that has helped more than 20,000 families across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, is accepting cash donations through the following:

  • BDO
    • Account name: Jana Divinagrcia
    • Account number: 008188005164
  • Eastwest Bank
    • Account name: John Albert Silva
    • Account number: 2000-2430-5917
  • GCash
    • Account name: John Albert Silva
    • Account number: 09562204988
  • Paypal
    • paypal.me/ChescaPersia

Do you know other relief drives helping communities hit by severe tropical storm? Share them with us at move.ph@rappler.com or tag @MovePH on Twitter. – with reports from Phillippe Hiñosa/Rappler.com

UP ADS takes a closer look at communication through Flash Forward

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This is a press release from the UP Alliance of Development Communication Students.

The UP Alliance of Development Communication Students (UP ADS) will conduct an online career orientation entitled “Flash Forward: Stable Bridges” on Saturday, October 16, at 7 pm via Zoom and Facebook live.

Flash Forward is a career orientation program that aims to guide BS Development Communication students on the various careers and opportunities available to them as DevCom professionals in the future by introducing them to development communication as a field of study and a profession.

With the theme “Stable Bridges: Connecting Passion and Purpose,” this year’s Flash Forward will be taking a closer look at the fields of gender communication, family communication, mental health communication, and government communication.

Four DevCom alumni and professionals will be invited as guest speakers to talk about their respective fields:

  • Edgar Daniel Bagasol Jr, an HIV advocate and a counselor at Love Yourself, Inc., for gender communication;
  • Jeanne Nicole Grageda, a licensed professional teacher at MovEd.Org, for family communication;
  • Veronica Quintana-Arioder, founder of Instant Reader and The Learning Place, for mental health communication;
  • Evelie Serrano, an associate professor and director of the Institute for Governance and Rural Development at the University of the Philippines Los Baños’ (UPLB) College of Public Affairs and Development, for government communication.

Now conducted online, Flash Forward also caters to BSDC freshman students from across the country as well as senior high school students who may be interested in the field of development communication.

UP ADS is the first duly recognized academic-civic organization in the UPLB that aims to build and train fellow DevCom students to become mobilizers of change while maintaining academic excellence. 

Amid the challenges, the Alliance remains steadfast in forwarding development through impactful projects resulting in positive change not only in the university but also in the marginalized communities we are meant to serve. – Rappler.com

Mobility advocates say public transpo needed to solve traffic, not PAREX

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The solution to Metro Manila’s perennial traffic problem doesn’t necessarily mean having to build another expressway.

In the sixth episode of MovePH’s “CourageON: Tumindig, makialam, kumilos” community show, mobility, heritage, environment, and urban planning advocates pointed out that there are other sustainable alternatives that can help curb traffic instead of San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) Pasig River Expressway (PAREX).

San Miguel Corporation claimed that the proposed 19.4-kilometer expressway could help decongest Metro Manila traffic and clean up the Pasig River.

However, groups, including multi-sectoral coalition #IlogPasiglahin #NoToPAREX Movement, have raised issues on how the project will likely have a negative impact on public mobility, heritage, environment, and public health. The pushback from groups has resulted in a more than 10,000-strong petition calling on concerned agencies and Filipinos to help stop the proposed expressway.

During the #CourageON community show, advocates highlighted how building new roads would not address traffic and offered suggestions on traffic solutions that San Miguel Corporation could fund instead with its P95-billion budget for PAREX. 

Urban designer Paulo Alcazaren said that among the root causes of traffic is the lack of a comprehensive mass-based transport system, which also covers public transportation. 

If you go to any other large metropolis over the world, you will assume correctly that they have subways–they have MRTS (Metro Manila Rail Transit System), LRTS (Light Rail Transit System) and they have a network of mass transport systems. We have a few but it’s not enough, and it’s not running in full capacity. So it’s not traffic that needs to be solved, it’s transport–moving people and not cars,” Alcazaren said.

Move as One Coalition member Reycel Bendaña said that building roads would only encourage people to buy more cars, contributing to the looming climate crisis in the country. Although PAREX aimed to cut travel time, this might only serve private car owners as possible toll fees would be expensive for public vehicles.

Alcazaren suggested prioritizing rail-based transit to connect the different cities of Metro Manila. This can be followed by improving shared vehicles such as trains, buses, jeeps, and other non-motorized vehicles. He stressed that private vehicles should be the last priority. 

“I lived [for] 12 years in Singapore and I did not own a car. I never needed it. I could get anywhere within 20 minutes by taking the MRT, the bus, or [simply by] walking. Theoretically, we can do the same if we only use land-use plans [for the] entire Metro Manila,” he said.

Move as One Coalition member and former finance undersecretary Sunny Sevilla, meanwhile, suggested improving existing roads by providing bus lanes and extending railway systems. This can cover the same length and area of the proposed PAREX without spending billions and posing threats to the environment and Pasig River, among others. 

Green Party of the Philippines spokesperson Reach Penaflor added that San Miguel Corporation could also help in improving the operations of ferry boats along the Pasig River by buying additional boats and building more ferry ports along commercial areas, especially those near MRT and LRT stations. This way, connectivity between public transportation will be more efficient.

With all the recommendations raised, Alcazaren urged government to bring urban planners in when building public infrastructure, so they’d be able to teach stakeholders how to design and build for people.

“We have lost the ability to design for people, everything is for cars. They [government] do not consult the people who can design for them–which are the landscape architects or mostly urban designers. That’s a lot of us who are willing to give their expertise to the design of interconnectivity which is very lacking,“ Alcazaren said in a mix of Filipino and English.

Why alternatives matter

Mobility, environment, and heritage advocates emphasized the need to explore alternative solutions given the possible threats that PAREX would pose, not only to the Pasig River but also to surrounding communities. 

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If PAREX will ever be constructed, communities residing along Pasig river are at risk of relocation due to the possibility of being sandwiched between PAREX, heritage sites, and other existing buildings, according to Pasig resident Miguel Lopez. Peñaflor added that the overcrowding, and sudden change of water current can cause flooding especially in the areas of Mandaluyong, Makati, Pasig, and Rizal provinces where the river is connected. 

As Pasig river is considered to be the biggest cooler in Metro Manila, Youth Strike for Climate Philippines lead convenor Jeff Estela addressed his concern that building concrete on top of it would worsen the extreme heat in the city. This could cause irreversible damage in our climate as it would affect, not only the existing ecosystem in the river, but to the entire ventilation of the city as well. 

The #IlogPasiglahin #NoToPAREX Movement had also said in its petition that cars travelling above the Pasig River would increase non-exhaust emissions like microplastics from car tires, road dust, and particulate matter that would populate our waterways.

What can Filipinos do

PAREX, however, isn’t set in stone. Advocates believe there is still a chance to stop the construction of PAREX, even though it already broke ground.

Bendaña encouraged people to talk to their barangay officials and other Filipinos about the issue so they may also make noise and help urge government offices and local governments to address communities’ concerns with PAREX.

Ako naniniwala na kahit madaming tahimik ngayon sa issue, maraming barangay officials ang tutol din sa PAREX pero nahihirapan mag-make ng stance kasi wala silang citizen support mula sa mismong mga residente ng Pasig. So para maudyok natin ang ating mga government officials sa ating mga barangay na magsalita laban sa proyekto, kailangan samahan natin sila,” Bendaña added.

(Talk to your barangay officials. I believe that even though many are silent today on the issue, many barangay officials are opposed to PAREX, but remain hesitant to make a stance because they do not have citizen support from the residents of Pasig. In order for us to motivate our government officials in our barangays to speak out against the project, we need to join them.) 

Pasig resident Miguel Lopez urged people to fight back and demand an extended period of public consultations to allow transparency, accountability in affected communities. Sevilla also supported this by encouraging people to write a letter addressing Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to request for a proper public hearing, especially as the PAREX has yet to get an environmental compliance certificate signed by the department. 

While the conglomerate had already held a public consultation where concerns on pollution post-construction were raised by stakeholders, it had only responded to these concerns with “noted” or the insistence that Filipinos would benefit from the project economically.

As PAREX is expected to be constructed in early 2022, advocates emphasized how immediate action should be taken to prevent harmful impacts of the expressway, which can affect communities beyond Pasig City. 

“PAREX will affect all Filipinos in the near future because this project is really dangerous and it will put the future of the next generations at risk. So let’s make sure that the framing of the PAREX issue is not just because they are from Pasig or from NCR, but an issue that will massacre the Pasig river as an environmental living thing, and at the same time the cradle of the Filipino civilization,” Estela said in a mix of Filipino and English. 

The sixth episode of the #CourageON community show was organized by Rappler’s civic engagement arm MovePH in partnership with Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. It was also co-organized by AltMobility PH and #IlogPasiglahin #NoToPAREX Movement; and co-presented by Living Laudato Si Philippines and Oecono Media – Rappler.com

Waya Lao is a Rappler intern from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is a senior taking up a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philippine Studies major in Creative Writing and Anthropology.

Do you want an anti-red tagging policy in your campus? Check out DLSU USG’s toolkit

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As red-tagging remains rampant, is there a way for students to be better protected, especially in our institutions and schools?

This question spurred the De La Salle University Student Government (DLSU USG) to push for an anti-red tagging policy in their university, and later, a toolkit that would allow others to set up a similar effort in their school.

Since 2020, the DLSU USG had been working on an anti-red tagging policy which will set in place avenues for the DLSU community to file complaints, and protocols for investigation when people linked to the university are found red-tagging the university’s students, faculty and staff.

“Two terms ago, we envisioned having a policy that would safeguard our rights as students and the rights of the La Salle community. This was the time when attacks against the university were worsening…We still witness microaggressions of red-tagging and even discriminiation based on political preferences. So as much as possible, we would want to address that in the most concrete way which is through the policy and the tool kit,” DLSU USG president Maegan Ragudo said in a mix of Filipino and English.

For over six months, the DLSU USG worked on writing the policy and held consultations with professors, employees and other relevant offices for the creation of the anti-red tagging policy. The policy was then endorsed by the president of the university’s faculty association to DLSU’s higher administrative councils for approval. Ragudo said the policy is now pending deliberations in the university’s academics council, which is comprised of the university’s deans, vice chancellor, and other administrators.

DLSU USG had decided to make a toolkit detailing how they crafted their proposed anti-red tagging policy after a DLSU student journalist, along with youth organizations such as League of Filipino Students and Kabataan party list, were red-tagged as members of a “communist terrorist group.” The student journalist and the groups’ names and photos were plastered on a tarpaulin by Alyansa dagiti Agkaykaysa nga Mannalon-Cagayan Valley at Canyon Park, Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, according to Student Christian Movement of the Philippines-Cagayan.

The incident became “one of the many reasons why we started the toolkit” as it was a reminder that students in other schools also face red-tagging and are in need of similar measures for protection, Ragudo said.

“We acknowledge that this tool kit needs to be contextualized according to the needs and the different circumstances in your own universities and organizations, which is why we hope that this can serve as a tool for you to put forward the rights of constituents and at the same time protect [them] from all forms of political persecution,” Ragudo said.

The tool kit features a policy guide, brief and template, among other necessary files that student councils, youth groups, and other organizations can use as a guide in crafting their own policies to protect their communities from red-tagging and other forms of attacks such as threats, arrests, among others.

Endorsed by the #CourageON: No Lockdown on Rights coalition, DLSU USG’s anti-red tagging policy toolkit was launched during the fifth episode of MovePH’s community show titled “#CourageON: Tumindig, makialam, kumilos.”

Do you also want to create an anti-red tagging policy in your school? Here’s what you need to know about DLSU USG’s tool kit:

Who can use this tool kit?

Academic institutions including all students, teachers, administrators, non-teaching faculty and staff that are exclusively enrolled or employed under the covered institution may use the tool kit as reference, should they want to set up a similar policy in their school. This applies to both college and high school institutions. Students who are currently under Leave of Absence (LOA) and Absence Without Leave (AWOL) may also use this for reference when pushing for a similar policy as long as the student’s official records are still with the school. 

Other non-academic groups such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), concessionaires outside an institution can still utilize the tool kit as a premise for their own policy proposals, though this will require further assessment from legal offices.

Where can I access the tool kit?

The tool kit can be accessed and downloaded here for free. 

What are the contents of the tool kit?

The tool kit includes several files which can assist organizations in the whole policy-making process:

  • Policy guide – This is a four-page briefer summarizing all procedures that should be done in the whole process.
  • Policy brief – This should serve as a proposal which summarizes all necessary information such as the overview, objectives, coverage, and goals of the policy.
  • Policy template – This document features DLSU USG’s recommended structure for an internal anti-red tagging policy. This also includes suggestions on specific provisions that should be written and how they can be crafted. The template can be tweaked according to the school’s needs and circumstances
  • De La Salle University’s sample anti-red tagging policy – This is a copy of the anti-red tagging policy that was passed in DLSU’s administration, which people can use as a guide. 
  • Paralegal bust cards – Available in English and Filipino, these cards show a quick list of an individual’s paralegal rights in case of harassment, intimidation, and warrant of arrests linked to red-tagging. Content comes from human rights organization Karapatan.
Advice to students, organizations

The DLSU USG knows that the process to institutionalize an anti-red tagging policy in campus is long, and will require a lot of work. But Executive for National Affairs Policy Committee of De La Salle University Student Government Wayne Akiboshi emphasized how this is important work, as the policy can be one way to help defend our rights at least on campus. 

Even though there are limitations to the policy and tool kit we’ve proposed, the tool kit itself can serve as the backbone of policy proposals that would include concessionaires and contractual employees of an institution, and even NGOs (non-governmental organizations). So it would definitely help other institutions, other than our educational institutions,” Ragudo said in a mix of Filipino and English.

Until there is a national policy addressing this matter, Ragudo urged students to also step forward in initiating the youth to fight back against any forms of red tagging.

Sana’y mawakasan na ang pagre-red-tag against students and universities. And at the same time, magpatuloy ang ating pagtindig laban sa state propaganda at laban sa pang-aapi sa ating mga karapatang pantao,” she added.

(Hopefully the red-tagging against students and universities would end. And at the same time, let us continue our stand against state propaganda and human rights abuses.) – Rappler.com

Waya Lao is a Rappler intern from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is a senior taking up a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philippine Studies major in Creative Writing and Anthropology.


‘Overheard Comics’ addresses proliferation of fake news on social media

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Jesie Castro, a Filipino illustrator and designer based in Manila, takes part in the conversation for media information literacy by making a series of comics strips tackling the prevalence of fake news online. 

Jesie Castro is the brains behind Overheard Comics, a digital comic on social media platforms that tackle stories of the mundane.

This time, in the comics he made for the Foundation of Media Alternatives (FMA), he portrays relatable scenarios about people correcting friends who share misinformation and disinformation in social media. 

The comic strip was commissioned by the FMA under the Initiative for Media Freedom (IMF), a five-year program implemented by Internews and funded by the USAID with the support of the American people.

In the first installment, Jesie introduces how fake news can be very believable since they play by the credulous nature of those people with the same beliefs as the propaganda. As critics and journalists have pointed out in the past years, online algorithms largely influence what people see on their feeds.

Photo from Jesie Castro/Foundation for Media Alternatives

Following these, Jesie also takes on websites that are pretending to be genuine news outlets. For example, Rappler has fact-checked several online claims that came from impostor websites.

Through the comics, Jesie advised the public to rely and trust in organizations that conducts fact-checking like Vera Files, Tsek.ph, and Factrakers (CMC). Rappler is also a third-party fact-checking partner of Facebook in the Philippines.

Photo from Jesie Castro/Foundation for Media Alternatives
Photo from Jesie Castro/Foundation for Media Alternatives

By portraying a very common scenario for many Filipinos who have friends or family members who share false information online, Jesie aims to use relatability to convey his take on media information literacy. – with reports from Jeff Winxin Collado/Rappler.com

Join Rappler’s webinar series on digital media, technology and society

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In an online landscape saturated with disinformation and with the upcoming Philippine elections this 2022, how can we cultivate a voting population that is media- and information-literate?

With the coronavirus pandemic scaling up digital media use, and with the continuous spread of online disinformation, dealing with misinformation requires more than just being able to spot suspicious claims. 

Not too long ago, we witnessed how social media can be used for social good. The power of digital media-fueled participatory journalism strengthened civic engagement and public discourse. This is true in times of emergencies and disasters where we see people joining hands to build communities of action that are responsive to the needs of others. 

While this is still evident today, the same social media tools have been weaponized to mislead the public, sow an online culture that thrives on hate, create echo chambers, and polarize a nation. 

Moreover, the upcoming elections have made the role of social media much more evident in the prevalence of disinformation – with propaganda and campaign strategies popping up even before the campaign period officially starts. 

Educating the public to think critically about the media they navigate and the information they consume will create massive impacts in the 2022 elections. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the definition of media literacy is to allow individuals to become engaged citizens and responsible decision-makers. 

Cultivating an active, informed, and involved voter population would require digital citizens who can think critically about media and information. Soon, the Filipinos will make one of the most influential decisions in keeping our democracy through electing public officials who will run the country for the next few years.

MovePH, the civic engagement arm of Rappler, is leading this webinar series, which aims to promote media and information literacy in the Philippines and promotes being media-savvy amidst all the disinformation under the Philippine Elections this 2022. 

This is the second time that MovePH will be conducting a series of webinars on digital media, technology, and society. Last year, a four-part webinar series was also conducted to promote media and information literacy among Filipinos.  

This year, MovePH partnered up with the following to bring you this four-part media and information literacy webinar series:

  • Amateur Media Association of Philippine Scouts
  • College of Communication, Polytechnic University of the Philippines
  • College of Development Communication, University of the Philippines Los Baños
  • Division of Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Visayas
  • De La Salle Philippines
  • Holy Angel University
  • University of the Philippines Mindanao
  • University of Saint Louis – Tuguegarao
  • Visayas State University

The sessions aim to also help participants have a more critical understanding of the evolution of journalism and the online environment in the Philippines including the potentials and problems it poses, the different kinds of risks online, and the emerging trends on how digital media is being used for manipulation. 

Through these sessions, more Filipinos would also be able to become responsible voters by 2022 by becoming critical thinkers with the media they consume and elect leaders that would benefit the country in the long run. 

Register to all or any of these sessions of the webinar series:

Digital media landscape: Power, potential, and harm

Saturday, November 6, at 1 pm

The session will tackle the online landscape in the country, the reality that social media users are faced with, and the importance of journalism in the digital age.

Rappler CEO and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa will be the speaker of the first session.

This webinar session is free but slots are limited. Sign up here.

Digital hygiene: How to manage online risks in the age of disinformation

Saturday, November 13, 2021, at 1 pm

For this webinar session, a discussion on digital security and data privacy will be tackled. Participants will also learn about basic digital hygiene on how to manage and deal with online risks.

This webinar session is free but slots are limited. Sign up here.

Media and democracy in crisis: How to be a responsible digital citizen

Saturday, November 20, at 1 pm

This webinar session will focus on media and democracy in crisis, specifically on how Filipinos can be responsible digital citizens.

There will be a panel discussion with Jonathan de Santos, chairperson of the National Union of Journalists; Yvonne Chua, associate professor of journalism at the University of the Philippines Diliman; and John Nery, convener of the Consortium of Disinformation and Democracy. This will be moderated by Rappler researcher and writer Vernise Tantuco.

Participants will learn more about the role of media and digital media in democracy, citizen rights and responsibilities on social media, and the digital media’s impact on democratic discourse in relation to the 2022 elections.

This webinar session is free but slots are limited. Register here to join.

Fighting infodemic: Disinformation, fact-checking, and the 2022 elections

Saturday, November 27, at 6 pm

This webinar session will focus on training participants to spot election-related disinformation online and combat it. 

Gilberto Scofield Jr, marketing and relationships director for Brazil’s premier fact-checking agency Lupa, will tackle disinformation, fact-checking, and the 2022 elections.

Rappler researcher and writer Vernise Tantuco will discuss the fact-checking methodology.

This webinar session is free but slots are limited. Secure your slots here.

 – Rappler.com





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