(Vice President Leni Robredo answers questions during the VP Leni goes to UPLB: An Academic Forum on Tsinleas Leadership held at the DL Umali Hall in UPLB Los Baños, Friday. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Vice President)
MANILA - Vice President Robredo on Friday urged the youth to be "ambassadors of information" to counter hateful and negative stories flooding social media platforms.
Robredo herself has had her share of social media attacks. A group of online bloggers in January accused her of conniving with US-based groups to oust President Duterte while a Facebook user in March threatened her 3 daughters with rape.
"Negativity sells more, says a social media study. Perhaps it is already time that the youth get more involved in changing that, not just by being more responsible for the information that you post, but also by being more mindful of sharing more hopeful stories that evoke inspiration instead of hate," Robredo said in a forum with students of the University of the Philippines (UP).
The Vice President urged the youth to look for positive stories from their fellow Filipinos, like the communities reached by the "Angat Buhay" anti-poverty program of her office.
Among those recently helped by Angat Buhay, she said, were residents in Agutya, Palawan where many children suffer stunted growth, and Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte which has a 97 percent poverty rate.
"I would rather focus on hopeful stories like this instead of the negativity that we can find on national broadsheets and social media. Of course, we still look at the difficult realities around us and analyze the problems we face so that we can solve them," Robredo said.
"But it is this part of our national narrative that we are missing. You can change that, you can change the conversation. You can be our ambassadors of hope."
Robredo added listening to the stories of fellow Filipinos with compassion allows one to "later take action with conviction and with integrity.
"Let us not forget the last, the least, and the lost of our countrymen," the Vice President said.