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Updated: July 7, 2010 16:18 IST

Philippines to tap Facebook, Twitter in govt. campaigns

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Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. File photo: AP.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. File photo: AP.

The Philippines plans to tap into Facebook and Twitter to boost public cooperation in government campaigns, such as crackdowns against tax evaders and smugglers, President Benigno Aquino III said on Wednesday.

Mr. Aquino said the social networking sites would be one method to encourage Filipinos to give feedback, tips and other information to the government.

?The ability to use the internet will help in the communication process so that we can get timely and useful information,? he told a press briefing one week after he assumed the presidency on June 30.

?We?ll undoubtedly look for more and more ways to effectively channel the people?s sense of civic duty and volunteerism in helping us govern,? he said.

The Department of Finance is one government agency resorting to Facebook and Twitter, to get information from the public to go after tax evaders as part of efforts to boost state revenues.

But Mr. Aquino stressed that any information or material received from the public must be validated.

?Using the internet is not a guarantee that what will be transmitted will be the truth or will help in governance,? he said.

There are more than 14 million Facebook users in the Philippines, according to a website that tracks advertising on the site. Twitter is also fast becoming popular among many Filipinos.

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