Marcos ‘archaic’ tag of DevCom wrong and insulting, says professor

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 15 2020 04:39 PM | Updated as of Oct 15 2020 04:53 PM

Sen. Imee Marcos, chairperson of the Committee on Economic Affairs, asks resource persons from the airline industry to assess the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines during a public hearing Monday, March 9, 2020. Albert Calvelo, Senate PRIB

MANILA – A professor on Thursday took to task Sen. Imee Marcos for calling development communication (DevCom) “archaic” and “cute,” saying this field of study is more relevant than ever at a time of pandemic.

Speaking to ANC’s “Matters of Fact,” De La Salle University political science professor Antonio Contreras said DevCom remained relevant because it facilitates meaningful participation and promotes social change.

“To label a course cute may not be harmful but sometimes cute can be demeaning as well. [It] means ‘Cute ka lang, you're not pretty.’ But to say it’s archaic is even more insulting because it means something that's no longer useful,” he said.

At a time of COVID-19 crisis where the public needs correct information, DevCom makes science understandable, said Contreras who has previously taught the course.

“I love the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) for having a program like this because at a time that we need correct information, look, in the pandemic, there are many noise, many disinformation going around,” he said.

The Philippines is also recognized in the world for playing an important role in the advancement of DevCom, which focuses on positive transformation, Contreras said.

“And now we are the ones calling it archaic? That’s funny,” he said.

At a a Senate hearing on the Presidential Communications Operations Office's proposed 2021 budget, Marcos questioned the budget allotted to PIA's Development Communication Program, saying DevCom has been "largely debunked."

"Bakit tayo papasok sa DevCom unless you have a revolutionary idea na bagong-bago na involves all kinds of feedback mechanisms transparency efforts and interactive play. 'Pag walang ganoon ano iyong DevCom? Makaluma na tinaggal na sa ating mga Pamantasan. Wala na iyon eh," Marcos had said.

When told DevCom remains a vital field of study, the senator responded, “I would really like to understand the nitty gritty of this Development Communication program because it's so old-fashioned. It's sort of cute and archaic.”

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