Zonta Club of Cebu II conducts COVID-19 community engagement communication strategy

With COVID-19 cases rising in many communities and neighborhoods in Cebu City, the Zonta Club of Cebu II partnered with UP Medical Alumni Society - Cebu Chapter and the Cebu City government to help in the COVID-19 information drive. During a crisis like the pandemic, strengthening communication, transparency and trust is key to proper containment measures. Communication can help in understanding and tackling fears, misconceptions; strengthening community participation in addressing faced challenges.

RECORIDA, a time-tested, effective means of reaching out to hundreds of people in a short period of time, was used to provide the public with balanced and objective information to help them understand the problem, alternatives, opportunities and solutions. RECORIDA is a Spanish/Cebuano term meaning to disseminate important information using a truck equipped with a loudspeaker that drives around the city with recurring messages created to dispel harmful myths, curb the spread of misinformation and reduce stigma associated with COVID-19 and domestic violence.

Concerned about the high incidence of COVID-19 cases with the reported rise in the occurrence of domestic violence incidents during lockdown periods in Cebu City, the truck, with a doctor, nurse and social worker on board, went around the city’s Covid-19 hotspot neighborhoods for a week. The truck repeatedly played an eight-minute message, written by 8 members of the Club’s PR Committee, on COVID-19 safety protocols in the Cebuano dialect and information on domestic violence with contact data of women’s desk police officers, social workers and women shelters. Leaflets with relevant directives on hand washing, masking and social distancing together with proactive information on domestic violence awareness, including support contact resources, were distributed to over 10,000 residents in six hotspot neighborhoods. To enhance community engagement and attention, a popular song composed by Cebu-band Wonggoys, “Way Blema (ECQ Version)”, and soundbites from media and show business influencers, Ms. Ellen Adarna and Mr John Lloyd Cruz, on the same topics were also played.