PCOO Andanar: Media Literacy Reforms To Promote ‘Transparent’ Gov’t

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) is pushing for media literacy initiatives to make the Duterte government’s policies and programs more transparent to the public.

In an interview with Hope Channel, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar said his office has been implementing programs and reforms among state-owned media platforms and other attached agencies to ensure the “efficient and effective dissemination of government messages.”

Andanar made the remarks as he guaranteed that the current administration’s continuing resolve is to provide “unadulterated and transparent” information concerning its activities.

“We give unadulterated [information] in the most transparent way,” the Communications chief said during the episode of Hope Channel’s Dynamic Living program.

“We release the information from the President, from the government, and it’s up to the private media to appreciate the information,” he added.

He said the government’s commitment to become more open to the public is in line with the signing of the executive order (EO) on Freedom of Information (FOI) and the creation of Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMs).

On July 24, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the EO No 2 on FOI to make documents and records in the executive branch available for public scrutiny.

In October 2016, the President formed the PTFoMS through Administrative Order No. 1 to address violence against media workers.

The PCOO is tasked as the lead agency to oversee the implementation of EO on FOI, as well as to supervise the operations of the PTFoMS.

Andanar noted that the President’s messages conveyed through his official mouthpiece, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, are shared to the public through government-run radio and television stations, as well as news wire office, particularly the Philippine News Agency.

“The government communication has two aspects: One is the spokesperson. He is the person who speaks on behalf of the President… The PCOO is the medium where the spokesperson speaks through,” he said.

‘Steady’ Shift to digital platforms necessary

Andanar stressed the need to maintain the “steady” shift to digital platforms to enable the government to reach a wider audience.

He said the Duterte administration’s messages can be delivered through the PCOO’s “websites and social media presence.”

“You see, you’re strong in the technology. You’re strong in the policy. And when you marry it together, then you’d have a transparent government,” Andanar said, noting that Duterte’s popularity was also driven by his office’s digital campaigns that have been transmitted worldwide.

He said the President’s popularity had prompted his to create the Office of Global Media Affairs (OGMA) which carries out the promotion of government priority policies to the international audience.

He added that the OGMA also serves as a channel to clarify the negative portrayal of the current administration by some private news outfits.

“We have built that division from scratch in order for us to manage and be able to identify media organizations and personalities that are neither left nor right,” the Communications chief said.

“There’s no point in talking your argument to a media personality or organization that is already dead set on not agreeing with you. So might as well take it somebody who will at least give you the chance to argue your case,” Andanar added.

Duterte has repeatedly castigated several media outlets, including ABS-CBN, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Rappler, for their supposed biased reporting against his administration.

In a speech delivered at Malacañan on Tuesday, the President said he would block ABS-CBN’s renewal of 25-year congressional franchise despite its efforts to come to him “begging.” (PNA)