The Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) joined the National Review and Planning Workshop (NRPW) on January 23-26, 2017. It is a yearly gathering of all Public Relations Officers (PRO) of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA). The Public Affairs and Information Staff (PAIS) spearheads the annual gathering.
This year’s planning and workshop seminar was held at London Beach, Brgy. Tambler, General Santos City. The NRPW assesses programs’ strengths and weaknesses, seizes opportunities, and, outlines strategies and directions for all Public Relations (PR) actions. It also addresses areas for improvement and moves the programs towards new accomplishments.
Aside from handling the media and agency publication, a PRO must act in accordance to the agency’s objectives. Moreover, the agency PRO shall develop communication plan for the region or project, document important events/activities of the agency, and, gather, collect and disseminate agricultural irrigation information materials through bulletin boards, brochures, leaflets and other printed materials. In addition, the PRO shall prepare write-ups for information dissemination to the public, prepare press releases, and serve as Master of Ceremonies during special events of the agency.
Engineer Ali Satul, NIA 12 Regional Manager said during the opening program that the function of the PRO’s is more on external. He added that its mandate is to project the good image of the agency.
As PRO, one must also prepare effective communication programs and information dissemination activities through print, audio-visual and interpersonal communication. This includes assisting in preparation of materials for press conference and briefings, participating in public service activities of the agency, assisting in the preparation of correspondence, speeches and messages, and, handling assigned routine correspondence of the Manager. Maintaining systematic files for easier identification and retrieval of publication, photos, slides and tapes is also one of its functions.
The three-day seminar aimed to steerproactive stance of the PRO in enhancing awareness of plans and programs of the agency to bring it nearer to hearts of the clientele. Pilipina Bermudez, PAIS Department Manager, discussed the program direction and strategies.
She explained the public relations direction for 2017. According to her, all PR efforts should address both the internal and external clients of the agency.
“All PR/Information Offices should utilize the Social Media especially in disseminating information and updates about the agency and its activities because all the activities should be known by the grassroots,” she added.
Bermudez also talked about the functions of Public Relations Officer and protocols for the administrator’s visit. Meanwhile Ed Yu, designate PRO for Region 5, talked about media relations. Being a PRO in his region for the longest time, he shared his experiences in effectively handling the media. He also shared tips on how to properly deal media crisis.
Aside from NIA RO 6 PRO, JRMP II had two participants. As member of the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) team, together with Steve E. Cordero who serves as the IEC team leader and designate PRO for JRMP II for three years prior to his appointment as Watershed Management Chief, I attended the said job enrichment seminar.
Meeting a total of fifty (50) participants for this year and rubbing elbows with other PRO in different regions is a privilege. It was a worthwhile learning experience which is much treasured. /JP (RAMON C. SALVILLA)