Where in the world is Norwegia?
A post on the Facebook page of the Presidential Communications Operations Office identifying outgoing Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Erik Forner as “the representative of Norwegia” has gone viral and netizens have called out the mistake.
Norway, the Scandinavian country famous for its spectacular fjord coastline, is never referred to as Norwegia.
The error, which has since been corrected by the PCOO, resulted in the tag “Norwegia” landing on the Top 10 trends on Twitter.
Former elections commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal tweeted: “Where is Norwegia in the world map?”
“You have to admit Norwegia is funny. Except that we’re paying PCOO so much and they’re so stupid,” wrote forensic expert Raquel Fortun.
Some Facebook users said Norwegia might be similar to the fictional country Wakanda, which is home to Marvel’s Black Panther superhero, while others posted a copy of the Haruki Murakami book ‘Norwegian Wood’ with the second ‘n’ omitted. Others tagged Norwegia as their next travel destination.
PCOO Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy, who claimed it was a case of typographical error, took exception to the comments and said her agency could not copy-edit its social media posts despite its huge budget. She said a simple mistake like “Norwegia” does not give bashers the right to call PCOO “stupid.”
“How much do you think is our budget?” Badoy said in a thread within the PCOO Facebook page.
A netizen replied that the PCOO received a budget of P1.38 billion this year, a 4.4-percent increase from its budget in 2017.
Badoy replied: “So you have no idea how much is really for PCOO in that P1.3 billion, right? And you don’t know too that PCOO is the department that has the smallest budget in government, right?”
While some netizens were quick to point out that a simple apology would have sufficed, others were intrigued by Badoy’s remarks.
“So just how big a budget do you need to know that Norwegians are from Norway and not Norwegia without netizens pointing it out to you?” wrote Facebook user Nilo Baranda.
“Even if you have the lowest budget, that is not an excuse to make an error on an official government page. I thought the administration had the ‘best and the brightest’,” wrote another Facebook user, JV Cruz.
Professor Antonio Contreras, while expressing support for the PCOO, said the best response to the mistake was a sincere apology and an assurance that remedies would be undertaken.
“Mistakes are committed, but how we deal with them is more important,” Contreras said.