By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay
NAGA CITY --- Pursuant to Executive Order No. 2018-013, a Joint Information Center (JIC) was integrated into the existing Naga City Peñafrancia Joint Operations Center (JOC) to ensure a peaceful and orderly conduct of the feast of Bicolandia’s Patroness – Our Lady of Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia.
With the declaration of Naga City as Pilgrimage Capital of the country in consonance with Presidential Executive Order No. 33 series of 2010, Naga City Mayor John Bongat believes that it is of prime importance to have a “unified and coordinated festivity and critical emergency information, crisis communication and public affairs functions” during and after the festivity- a task now delegated to the JIC as a component of JOC.
“This year, we have added another innovation, that is the creation of the Joint Information Center (JIC) to ensure the smooth and uniform information dissemination basically to avoid misinformation related to the celebration of the Peñafrancia festivity,” Bongat added.
The JIC is headed by the City Events, Protocol and Public Information Office (CEPPIO) thru CEPPIO Chief Allen Reondanga and is co-chaired by Philippine Information Agency (PIA) - Camarines Sur thru its Provincial head, Ana-Liza S. Macatangay.
Member agencies and organizations include the Caceres Commission on Communications (CCCom), Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas-Camarines Sur Chapter, Naga City Hall Press Corps, 9th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO), Naga City Police Office Spokesperson, Philippine National Police Region V Spokesperson, KABALIKAT Region V, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and other communications group.
The creation of JIC is also meant to address the need for coordinated and timely delivery of factual information during and after the staging of the Peñafrancia festival.
Reondanga stated that the JIC will see to it that while there is a need to “coordinate” the release of specific information, they assured the public that the information’s timeliness will not be compromised.
JIC will also coordinate with other existing clusters, namely; security, medical/health, traffic, water, utilities and emergency to make sure that concerns related to their functions will also reach their desired audience in real time.
The JOC and JIC will be closely watching the two major religious events of the Peñafrancia festival, namely, the Traslacion and Fluvial procession as main areas of security concerns as thousands and even close to a million devotees and visitors are expected to flock to the city for one of the country’s biggest, if not the biggest, Marian devotions.