PAGASA goes on TikTok to reach out to young Filipinos

Published June 14, 2021, 3:49 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz


The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has officially joined TikTok to improve its science engagement and communication, specifically among the young generation.

The @dost_pagasa TikTok account was launched on Monday, June 14, during the observance of the Typhoon and Flood Awareness Week 2021.

“Ang TikTok ay isang avenue para maipalaganap ang ating information bukod sa (TikTok is an avenue to disseminate our information apart from our) Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube accounts. [It is] more on infographics, parang (like) videographics,” PAGASA Administrator Vicente Malano said in a virtual press conference.

Michael Bala, chief of the PAGASA’s Research and Development and Training Division-Training and Public Information Section, said that PAGASA recognizes TikTok as an emerging social media platform that can help improve its science engagement and communication.

“Meron na tayong (We have) Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, and this time we want to reach a specific demographics specifically yung (the) younger generation who are, a lot of them are on Tiktok,” he said.

“PAGASA has 6 million followers on Twitter and over 4 million followers on Facebook but we also realized that it’s just a small percentage of the population,” he added.

Bala said PAGASA needed to widen its reach and improve its engagements

“In PAGASA, we really need to ramp up our science communication efforts and this is us understanding the needs of our stakeholders and the general public, and understanding how they consume information. Traditionally, we deliver or disseminate the information through TV, print, and radio. Pero (But) over the last few years naging malaking platform ang social media (social media has become a huge platform),” he added.

During the launch of its TikTok account, PAGASA has uploaded short videos about PAGASA’s work and information on the Typhoon and Flood Awareness Week.

“The plan is to compartmentalize PAGASA’s science and communication efforts. Operational functions (i.e., forecasts, advisories, warnings and other products and services) will be disseminated via Facebook, Youtube and Twitter [while] TikTok will feature bits and pieces of weather and climate-related information, as well as hydrology and astronomy information,” Bala explained.

“TikTok also has a live feed feature and we will definitely explore that especially during high-impact events to help in disaster risk reduction efforts. Though this presents an overlap in functions, it is better to have redundancy in our platforms to have better reach and consequently invite appropriate response from the public. Pero (But) in the meantime, we will focus on using TikTok exclusively for our IEC (information, education, and communication) activities,” he added.