MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Oct. 14 (PIA) -- Director-General Jose Mari Oquinena of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) urged members of a radio communications group here to continue what they have been doing, especially in providing a voice during disasters when all power lines bug down.

"Let your actions speak louder than your words, stay passionate as you continue with your passion . . . in times of disaster when all communications are off, yours is the voice that says kalma lang, help will come," Oquinena said before an audience of more than 200 ham radio enthusiasts and members of Modulator Action Group of Maasin (MAGMA) at the city gym.

Also in the audience were City Mayor Maloney Samaco and Danilo Atienza, head of Provincial Disaster Management Office (PDMO), who spoke in behalf of Gov. Roger Mercado.

It was MAGMA's ninth anniversary celebration October 3, and Oquinena was invited as the guest speaker.

A highlight of the occasion was the launching of Ham Emergency Action Response Team (HEART), the direction MAGMA intends to take in the near or far future in coordination with various local government units, private individuals, and other radio groups for quick response in any emergencies not just calamities, said Dr. Jerome Paler, one of the organizers.

Oquinena praised MAGMA for having reached nine years of volunteer service, adding that he hoped the group will flourish even more in the years ahead with their brand of volunteerism that puts others first before their own welfare.

"What is important is you have conviction, you believe what you are here for . . . you guys give it a good fight, you have a different level of commitment," he added.

In a video presentation of the past nine years, Dr. Paler showed images of MAGMA in the thick of action in every man-made and natural calamities, starting in the Panaon landslides of 2003, the displacement of peoples in Mindanao, the earthquake in Bohol, and Yolanda in Tacloban, where MAGMA did not just relay communication inputs but distributed relief goods and helped in rescue operations as well.

Because of these efforts, President Benigno Aquino recognized the group in one of the awarding occasions in Malacanang last year.

Oquinena said such inspiring story should not remain in Southern Leyte but should be shared so others can be equally inspired. (ajc/PIA8-Southern Leyte)