3rd Regional Media Officers (RMO) Workshop

The 3rd Regional Media Officers workshop was held last 14-16 June 2011, in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Ten RMO’s from SEATCA’s partner organizations in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam came for the three-day workshop.

The first day focused on facilitating and strengthening local and regional media strategies to implement the WHO FCTC, with a particular focus on the SEATCA Industry Surveillance (SIS) Program.  The RMO’s had a chance to listen to country updates in implementing the SIS by each country focal person.  The RMO’s also had a session on their World No Tobacco Day 2011 experience, and discussed what were achieved by their activities, and how they can improve media advocacy for the next year’s WNTD.

Two resource speakers were invited to outline their local advocacies and share media skills to the RMO’s.  The first  guest was a local Mayor from the town of Amlan, Negros Oriental in the Philippines, who had a very successful and unique strategy doing SFE and advertising bans in his municipality.  The other speaker is a veteran health beat journalist, from one of the Philippines’ leading newspapers, who shared some of her experiences in health reporting, and what the media officers can do to enhance relationships and strategies for more meaningful coverage on tobacco control.

The last two days were devoted to participating in the SEATCA Workshop for the implementation Article 13/TAPS guidelines.  The RMO’s had the opportunity to update their knowledge and widen the scope of their understanding of the Article 13 issues.  ASEAN countries shared their lessons and best practices in relation to industry interference:  CSR, using the packs as advertising tool in POS, and dealing with the emerging social media tools being utilized by the industry.

The RMO’s also had the chance to coordinate and participate in two press briefings on TAPS. Guest panelists were:  Dr. Susan Pineda Mercado, Regional Adviser, WHO-WPRO Tobacco Free Initiative, Dr. Yel Daravuth, National Professional Officer, WHO, Tobacco Free Initiative – Cambodia, Ms. Bungon Ritthiphakdee, Director, SEATCA, Dr. Mary Assunta, Senior Policy Advisor, SEATCA, Dr. Mom Kong, Cambodia Movement for Health, Executive Director, and Dr. Domilyn Villarreiz, SEATCA’s FCTC program manager.

 For more information on this activity, you may email: joy@seatca.org