A webinar held recently aimed to dispell fear and anxiety brought about by misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 in the municipality of Los Baños in the province of Laguna.
Titled, “Addressing the COVID 19 Infodemic: Straight from the Experts,” the webinar held on March 30, 2021 was organized by the Los Baños Science Community Foundation, Inc. (LBSCFI). It was streamed live via the Foundation’s Facebook page.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), infodemic, a combination of information and epidemic, pertains to overabundance of information and the rapid spread of misleading or fabricated news, images, and videos. Like a virus, it is highly contagious and grows exponentially. It also complicates the efforts on the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore, needs to be managed.
The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), which serves as the LBSCFI Information Committee Secretariat, is one of the co-organizers of the webinar.
The Department of Health’s official spokesperson, Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire, discussed the topic, “Battling the Covid-19 Infodemic: Covid-19 Vaccination Program Updates on the Philippines’ Covid 19 Initiatives.”
Meanwhile, Councilor Mark Lester Dizon represented the Los Baños local government unit (LGU). Dizon, the chairperson of the Los Baños Committee on Health, discussed the COVID-19 status, updates, and plans for the municipality.
Both speakers actively answered the queries of the webinar viewers from Los Banos and other places reached by the social media.
LBSCFI is an organization composed of 23 member-agencies in Los Baños, Laguna. It was established by the DOST through Presidential Executive Order No. 784 in 1984. The science community concept fosters the spirit of sharing of resources and expertise among research agencies located in Los Baños. It hopes to transform Los Baños into a model community using science-based technologies.