10 civic actions in 2017 that can move PH in 2018

10 civic actions in 2017 that can move PH in 2018
MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm, hopes that the social impact of these efforts it initiated or supported in 2017 will fuel sustained action that will transform courage into action in 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The virtual space in the Philippines seemed intensely polarized in 2017. For many netizens, it was the continuation of the bitter elections in 2016. Even friends and relatives unfollowed each other online because of differences in political persuasions.

But even as social media amplified hatred and misinformation, it continued to be an arena for conversations and actions that sought to build and unite communities online or in the real world.


Here are 10 digitally-fueled social initiatives that inspired civic actors and netizens to explore common ground to make an impact on their respective spheres of influence.

MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm, hopes that the social impact of these efforts that it initiated or supported in 2017 will fuel sustained action that will transform courage into action in 2018. 

1. #ReliefPH

Until New Year’s Eve, volunteers continued to respond to Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) call for help to repack relief goods for displaced persons (IDPs) from Marawi City as well as for families affected by Tropical Depression Urduja (Kai-tak) and Severe Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin). (READ: DSWD thanks #ReliefPH volunteers)

In thanking the volunteers, DSWD Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Emmanuel Leyco said that their “time is the most precious gift” that they have given those in need this holiday season.

During disasters, Rappler’s Agos platform, powered by eBayanihan, helps in crowdsourcing and mobilizing help for disaster vicitms. Below are the latest appeals that were posted on its microsite.

AGOS. Move.PH Executive Director Rupert Ambil II talks about the Agos eBayanihan platform during the Agos Summit on Disaster Preparedness. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

2. #ZeroCasualty

This is the most elusive goal of countries that are vulnerable to disasters. Mindanao is still reeling from Vinta, which hit land just a few days before Christmas as a severe tropical storm. Vinta left at least 240 people dead. It also came on the heels of Urduja, which battered Eastern Visayas and left at least 47 people dead.

But there had been instances when the Philippines already made it through natural disasters with zero, or near-zero, casualty. MovePH has been sharing the lessons from these experiences.

Throughout the year, MovePH strove to help partners in government and civil society in spreading life-saving information through Agos, its disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation platform.

It organized the first Agos Summit on Disaster Preparedness in July, a two-day gathering of disaster management experts, responders, policy makers, and volunteers, to take stock of the lessons stakeholders have learned in dealing with disasters using uses content, technology, and crowdsourcing.

At the World Bosai Forum in Sendai, Japan in November, it shared with the international community how Agos helps in saving lives and building resilient communities. (READ: PH’s lessons from disasters: #ZeroCasualty possible through social action

3. #GiftofHope

During the season of giving, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or the UN Refugee Agency, collaborated with MovePH in rolling out the online donation drive “#GiftofHope” for the benefit of thousands of families displaced by conflict and violence. (WATCH: Atom Araullo shares #GiftofHope to Marawi, Rohingya evacuees)

The fighting in Marawi City in southern Philippines from May to October 2017 displaced nearly 360,000 people. Meanwhile, more than 600,000 stateless Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh to escape escalating violence in Myanmar since late August 2017.

The UN Refugee Agency recently called on the public to continue standing in solidarity with the people of Marawi City, sharing with them the gift of resilience as they recover from Severe Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin), which displaced thousands in Mindanao. 

4. #ClimateActionPH

After the historic COP21, the campaign #ClimateActionPH was launched in partnership with Climate Reality to help Filipinos understand the urgent need to fulfill the terms of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. 

Through a mix of social media posts, in-depth features, and interactive content, the campaign encouraged netizens to do their part in reducing the country’s carbon emissions. (WATCH: PH’s climate commissioner tries carbon footprint calculator)

MovePH has helped Rappler bring the campaign to communities through online conversations and workshops.(WATCH: Rappler Talk: #ClimateActionPH and Bataan’s battle vs coal)

The workshops turned online conversations into empowering community actions. For instance, Bataan communities that were affected by coal-fired power plants took to social media to mobilize support for their plight. (READ: Coal isn’t cool: Bataan students, residents take plight to Facebook)

The campaign nabbed a Gold Award at the 52nd Anvil Awards in March. Meanwhile, MovePH received the 2017 Luntian Aligato Climate Reality Leadership Award for its sustained and innovative coverage of climate science and how to address the effects of climate change.

5. #2030Now

In the spirit of the #2030NOW vision of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2017 Social Good Summit challenged MovePH partners and other participants to examine the purpose of innovation with the theme, “Innovate with Purpose: Leave No One Behind.” 

Rappler has been organizing the Philippine leg of the global event since 2012. The event held in September 2017 showcased #HackSociety, an ideathon that harnessed the digital space to crowdsource “hacks” that address society’s greatest challenges focusing on the following themes: 

  • Media and democracy
  • Peace, governance, and local initiative
  • Environment and climate change
  • Public health and well-being

Out of the 4 teams that made it to the finals, LawKo, a Facebook chatbot that bridges the knowledge gap between the country’s complicated legal system and the public, emerged winner. (READ: Standout solutions: The winning ideas from #HackSociety 2017)

6. #SaferRoadsPH

Rappler, together with the Global Road Safety Partnership, launched the campaign #SaferRoadsPH in May 2015 to promote the enactment and enforcement of better policies that will protect road users.

About 10,000 people died due to road crashes in 2015. Globally, about 1.3 million people die yearly due to traffic-related injuries which could have been prevented. (READ: IN NUMBERS: Road crash incidents in the Philippines)

MovePH brought the campaign to areas with a high number of road crash fatalities.

Following the #SaferRoadsPH forum held in Tuguegarao City in June 2017, the Cagayan Highway Patrol Group (HPG) kicked off an experiment on creating pedestrian lanes using chalk in front of a school. On-ground demonstrations like this seek to instill among students the good practice of crossing the pedestrian lane to avoid road mishaps and to highlight gaps in road safety measures that the government needs to address. 

7. #SharePH

In May 2017, MovePH launched the #SharePH Summer 2017 contest to support community tourism by encouraging Filipinos to share their travel experiences in communities via blogs, photos, and videos. 

All entries were posted on X, Rappler’s self-publishing platform, showcasing the following themes:

  • Nature and other destinations
  • Adventure and other activities
  • Food and local products
  • History and culture

From the hundreds of entries that MovePH received, the best 3 for each category were chosen. And they were recognized as #SharePH travel ambassadors.

8. #NSPC2017

Some participants of the National Schools Press Conference (NSPC) 2017 experienced what it’s like to be working in a social news network as they competed in the Online Publishing demonstration contest held in January in Pagadian City.

Teams were asked to create an online news blog using X, Rappler’s free self-publishing platform. With 18 regions represented and two language categories (English and Filipino), a total of 36 teams or 252 students got to experience first-hand how they could share their stories using online platforms like X.

The next challenge is to inspire more school papers to embrace online publication as a free, fast, and efficient way to create content and to reach a broader community of readers beyond the 4 walls of their classrooms. (WATCH: Countdown to NSPC 2018)

9. #PalarongPambansa 

For the first time in the history of Palarong Pambansa, the Department of Education (DepEd), in partnership with MovePH, tapped NSPC winners to cover the multi-sports event. More than 12,000 elementary and secondary student-athletes representing the regions competed for 376 gold medals, 376 silver medals, and 487 bronze medals in 21 regular sporting events. (READ: Palarong Pambansa 2017: The future of PH sports is here)

MovePH conducted a multimedia workshop to arm the best campus journalists from 15 regions with the necessary skills and tools to chronicle the action at the 60th Palarong Pambansa.

The visual and text stories that the campus journalists produced showcased not only the talent of the Filipino youth but also their capacity to take part in building a “sustainable future” for the country, which was the theme of the games. 

May the next batch of young journalists who will cover Palarong Pambansa 2018 carry the torch of excellent campus journalism with a purpose in Ilocos Sur come April. (WATCH AND READ: Rappler’s Palarong Pambansa coverage through the years)

10. #FactsMatterPH

The efforts of MovePH to train campus and citizen journalists come at a crucial time when social media and other digital platforms are being used to undermine and weaken the profession of truth-telling and verification, and ultimately, democracy. (READ: Craving for the truth’: #FactsMatterPH tops local Twitter trends

In November 2017, MovePH helped Rappler, Journalism for Nation Building Foundation (JNBF), and other stakeholder groups in organizing a forum that sought to promote a better understanding of how social media and other digital platforms work. (READ: Agenda: Truth, trust, and democracy in the age of selfies, trolls, and bots)

Rappler has been at the forefront of “exposing disinformation and propaganda” in the country to manipulate public opinion. (READ: Democracy under threat: We will shine the light, we will hold the line)

Online, the forum’s trending hashtag #FactsMatterPH sparked a conversation that opened minds of many netizens. “What do I feel when journalists are being attacked online? I feel the loss of freedom of speech,” a Twitter user said.

How ordinary citizens can be empowered to actually take part in defending freedom of speech and democracy is the biggest civic action challenge that MovePH and other social movements in the country should take up in 2018. – Rappler.com

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