Cong. Mong as Blogger of the Week

Cong. Mong at a Global Voices Online Meeting in India in 2006

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Mong Palatino has recently been hailed Blogger of the Week by Global Voices Online. Read the full feature here and here.

Aside from being the first elected youth party-list representative in Congress, Rep. Palatino is also the first blogger-turned-congressman.

Unlike other government officials who resorted to blogging and other Internet social networking sites upon assuming office, Palatino has been a blogger since 2004. He maintains a regular blog, as well as accounts in Friendster, Twitter, Plurk and Facebook.

He also writes for several online publications. He is the Southeast Asia editor of Global Voices Online, a web columnist for tinig.com, and was former news editor of yehey.com. He is also one of the leading members of Bloggers’ Kapihan, an online network of young bloggers, and was a finalist in the 2008 Philippine Blog Awards for Commentaries. He is also a lead convenor and board member of TxtPower, a consumer rights organization.

Blogging, texting and the Internet proved instrumental in Kabataan Party-list’s electoral campaign last 2007. Working with limited resources and funds, Kabataan brought a significant part of its campaigning to cyber space and, as a result, garnered the support of thousands of bloggers through its Kabataan Cyber Fever campaign.

“The Internet and texting have been and continue to be a powerful tool of the youth, especially students and young opinion makers, to make their voices heard by our lawmakers and the society in general. We vow to continue using this medium to be able to reach out not only to young Filipinos here in the country but also abroad,” Palatino said.

As part of his efforts for transparency in governance and as a way of ‘reporting’ his activities as a lawmaker to the public, Palatino has recently resorted to weekly blogging his activities in the House of Representatives as well as his opinions on the issues being tackled in Congress. Read his first two blog posts on Congressional activities here and here.

One of Palatino’s first projects in Congress will be to arrange a “Blogging 101 forum” for his fellow lawmakers to stress how the Internet, blogging and the use of technology could aid in reaching out to millions of youth and netizens nationwide and abroad. The forum will be in cooperation with Bloggers’ Kapihan. ###

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