By Hannah Torregoza
Reelectionist Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay on Tuesday called on the public to remain calm but vigilant as search and rescue operations continue in Pampanga following a magnitude 6.1 earthquake.
Binay pointed out that the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has already announced that the quake on Monday was not a major earthquake.
At the same time, she also appealed to netizens to help stop the spread of alarming social media posts about the quake coming from dubious sources.
“May mga kumakalat na text messages at social media posts na kung babasahin mo ay talagang nakakatakot nga (There are text messages and social media posts that if you read would really make one fearful),” Binay said.
“Huwag po natin paniniwalaan agad ang mga ito—gamitin natin ang mga reliable sources para sa mga balita at impormasyon, (Let’s not believe these things immediately—let’s tap reliable sources for news and information),” she said.
The senator said she is now seeking help from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to help crackdown on those who are using the quake to sow fear and panic through social media and text messages.
“Hinihimok po natin ang DICT at NTC na magsagawa ng crackdown laban sa mga nagkakalat ng mapanakot na mensahe at fake news tungkol sa mga sakuna, (We urge the DICT and NTC to conduct a crackdown against those propagating these messages and fake news about the disaster),” Binay said.
“Nagpahayag na ang PHIVOLCS na hindi major earthquake ang nangyari kahapon, kaya hinihimok ko ang mga kababayan natin na maging mahinahon at huwag magpadala sa panic, (PHIVOLCS itself has announced that yesterday’s earthquake is not a major one, that is why I am calling on our people to stay calm and don’t give in to panic),” she added.
Instead of sharing these posts, Binay said netizens should help spread disaster awareness information and post what to do during earthquakes and other natural disasters.
“Maging handa po tayo at alerto. Mas maganda po na ang i-share natin sa social media ay kung ano ang dapat gawin pag may lindol at iba pang sakuna, (Let us be ready and alert. It’s much better to share on social media tips on what we should do when there is an earthquake and other kind of disaster,” the senator said.
READ MORE: Strong 6.1 quake jolts Metro, Luzon, 491 aftershocks recorded after 6.1-magnitude quake that shook Metro, Luzon, Phivolcs: Refrain from circulating false info about impending quake in MM online