The 2020 National Consciousness Week Against Counterfeit Medicines (NCWACM) will be celebrated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 16 to 20 November 2020 with the theme, “Sa Gitna ng Pandemya, Magtulungan Laban sa Pekeng Medisina”. The celebration aims to raise more awareness that counterfeit medicines still thrive especially in this time of COVID-19 and to relay the continuous efforts of our partners in combating these counterfeit medicines. In this regard, the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the 2020 NCWACM has lined-up a program and set of activities to engage our partners, stakeholders, and the general public which includes the Poster-Making Contest to allow the general public to showcase their creativity while participating in our cause amidst the pandemic.
On 01 to 02 October 2020, all FDA Personnel were invited through e-mail to participate in the preliminary judging of the 68 submitted poster entries for the Poster-Making Competition. Thereafter, the shortlisted entries/finalists were uploaded on the Facebook page of the FDA Philippines last 03 October 2020 for online voting of each poster entry/finalist by the general public through “Likes”/thumbs-up and/or “Share” with said voting open until 18 October 2020, 11:59 PM.
When shortlisted entries/finalists were uploaded on Facebook, the TWG received complaints (see attached for example) from other participants that some contestants seem to use online bot to gain more shares of their entries.
The TWG discussed these complaints and the expertise of the Information Communication and Technology Management Division (ICTMD) was requested on how to address these issues, and it was relayed by the ICTMD that it is challenging to detect if an online bot was used. Therefore, the TWG decided to remove the “Shares” in the counting of points to determine the top six (6) winners which shall become official properties of the FDA. It must be noted that the “Share” is equal to three (3) points while the “Like” is only for one (1) point. Attached is the original mechanics of the poster making competition and the following are the revisions for the said contest mechanics:
- Revise No. 6 to “The finalists shall be uploaded to the FDA Facebook for online voting and online voting shall be open on 03 to 18 October 2020 only. A system shall be used for the awarding of points to each entry wherein ONLY a “Like”/thumbs-up shall be counted and every “Like”/thumbs-up shall be equal to 1 point. Other reactions, e.g., heart, care, etc., shall not be given any points and the winners shall be determined from the likes garnered on the entries posted on the FDA Facebook.
Also, an announcement shall be released on the Facebook page of the FDA Philippines and appropriate notice through e-mail shall be sent to all finalists regarding the revision of the mechanics of the poster making competition.
For fair competition, the TWG recommends the following:
- Allow the revision of the mechanics;
- Permit the posting of the announcement on the Facebook page of the FDA Philippines regarding the revised mechanics of the Poster-Making Competition for public dissemination.