September 25, 2018 – Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers on Tuesday urged the government to tap netizens in disseminating the right information to the public concerning the campaign against illegal drugs.
Barbers, chairman of the House of Representatives’ committee on dangerous drugs, said interactive platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter had become essential sources of information by the public, particularly millennials or those aged 16-30.
He said social media would make powerful tools for authorities to identify prevailing public attitudes towards the campaign against addictive substances.
Barbers further said the use of social media would make the dissemination of the message faster, convenient and more economical as many Filipinos access the Internet on their mobile phones.
The Philippines topped the world regarding social media use in 2017 as the number of Internet users here reached 67 million.
According to a global study, “Digital in 2018 Report,” conducted by London-based consultancy We Are Social, Filipinos spent an average of three hours and 57 minutes a day on social media sites, mainly Facebook. Another 10 million Filipinos were hooked on Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook.
“Social media can fill important gaps in communicating the right message to a targeted audience, and in advancing and improving the scientific understanding of the drug problem to enhance prevention and treatment of addiction,” Barbers said. #