Despite his hectic schedule which includes provincial trips and business meetings, San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito Estrada says he never fails to check and regularly update his social media accounts through his Blackberry, iPhone, and iPad Mini.
Ejercito Estrada is considered as one of the most active netizen-politicans in the Philippines today. He loves to connect with his 18,723 followers on Twitter. He also uses the micro-blogging service to see updates on breaking news, thoughts and opinions of media outfits, political leaders, family, and colleagues.
The young lawmaker does the same with his Facebook account, where he posts his daily activities to update 5,159 friends on his personal account, and 61,257 friends on his Fan Page.
“It is through social networking sites that I get the pulse of the people on certain issues. Twitter and Facebook are currently the fastest and most convenient ways to get in touch with the youth and Filipinos all in other parts of the world. Best of all, they are free,” he said.
Ejercito Estrada admits that he is hooked on social networking sites. “It’s been my habit to check replies and posts as soon as I wake up, during my free time, when I’m traveling, and just before I go to sleep.”
Since most social networking accounts of public figures are manned by their staff, several of his Facebook friends find it hard to believe that he personally manages his own pages.
“Many people doubt if I really do the posting on Facebook and Twitter. I do it myself because I like being hands-on. Also, after a day’s hard work, it’s therapeutic to share what you’ve done to the online community,” said Ejercito Estrada.
As a youth advocate, he said being an active netizen enables him to be up to date with the latest trends and other developments concerning young people.
“Youth development is one of my advocacies as a public servant. So being able to interact with students on a daily basis through Twitter and Facebook allows me to identify their needs and help them,” the solon said.
On the role of social media in his campaign for the 2013 elections, Ejercito Estrada said he intends to share his legislative agenda to 30 million active Facebook users and 9.5 million active Twitter users in the Philippines.
While some netizens use social networking sites as a venue to rant against politicians, he believes that the government must not be given the power to regulate the online activity of Filipinos. The young lawmaker noted that the Cybercrime Law contains provisions which practically permits the state to suppress freedom of speech and persecute its political foes.
January 18, 2013