23 February 2017

PCOO to stage first social media policy town hall
The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) is set to hold its first town hall event on social media policy at the Bahay ng Alumni in University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City on Thursday, February 23.

Dubbed as #AllMediaPH, the event aims to recognize social media publishers and adopt a social media policy.”This event hopes to present challenges facing social media. Since social media practitioners work independently, they have different standards,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said.”The Philippines aims to have mature and responsible populace dealing with social media content,” the Communications Chief added.Andanar, who will deliver the keynote address, noted that the event is timely as the government is currently reviewing a plan to set up guidelines on accreditation of bloggers and other social media practitioners.The highlight of the town hall is the presentation of the draft Social Media Policy. Resource speakers from various sectors and interest groups are expected to present their views and opinions.There will also be an open forum where participants may express their views on matters related to social media.

Influential names in local media and communications, legal luminaries, social media practitioners, university professors, and students are expected to attend the social media forum.

The PCOO will release the results of the forum and will announce the next phase it will take.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier granted the request of some bloggers and social media supporters to cover Palace events during their meeting with the Chief Executive in Malacañan.

“Coming up with a social media policy is aligned with the Duterte administration’s thrust to champion freedom of speech and expression,” Andanar said.

The event will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. It will also be broadcasted live on PTV4, DZRB 738 kHz, Facebook @presidentialcom, and YouTube RTVMalacanang. ###

Abella cites BBC report on Pinoy tourism
Malacañan on Thursday, February 23, hailed the report by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) listing the Philippines as the fifth most welcoming country in the world.

“It cited the Philippines’ going-out culture, which give expats plenty of opportunities to make friends,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.

According to Abella, the Department of Tourism (DOT) targets 12 million tourist arrivals by the end of the Duterte administration in 2022.

“Based on our National Tourism Development Plan of 2016-2022, the Duterte administration aims to create up to 6.5 million jobs in the tourism sector in the next 5 years or the equivalent of 14.4 percent share of tourism jobs,” Abella said.

In the same briefing, Abella welcomed the announcement by Japanese multinational company Hitachi to continue its operations in the Philippines.

“Mitsuhiko Shimizu, Hitachi Asia-Philippines branch general manager, stated that the Philippines’ young population is one of the most appealing factors for the investors to do business in the country,” Abella said.

He said the Duterte administration continues to beef up its efforts in attracting more foreign investments and thus create more jobs for Filipinos, particularly by ramping up infrastructure spending and easing the cost of doing business in the Philippines.

BIR eyes sustained improvements in revenue collection

In the same briefing, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Caesar Dulay is convinced that the BIR’s performance will improve further as soon as the agency is granted exemption from the Salary Standardization Law (SSL).

Dulay says dangling a more competitive compensation package once the agency is exempted from SSL will allow the BIR to hire more personnel to fill its vacancies.

“The BIR is highly technical and requires more competent personnel,” he explained.

At present, the BIR “is operating at 50 percent of its approved plantilla,” the Commissioner said, adding that only 9,000 personnel are currently employed with the BIR which has positions for about 21,000 workers.

Dulay further explained that at present, entry level pay for CPAs and lawyers in the BIR are not as competitive as positions in the private sector and other government agencies which has been granted SSL exemptions.

He however said that despite the shortage in personnel, the first six months of the Duterte administration has seen it realized 97 percent or P 1.5 trillion of its revenue target. ###PND

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella on the arrest of Sen. De Lima in relation with the govt’s war on drugs
The issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Senator De Lima is a major step forward in the Administration’s anti-drug war. It is a fulfillment of the campaign promise of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to rid Philippine society of drugs, crime and corruption.

The war on illegal drugs targets all who are involved and the arrest of an incumbent senator demonstrates the President’s strong resolve to fight pushers, peddlers and their protectors and that his government will not yield until the last pusher and trader are out of the streets victimizing the Filipino youth.

This we owe to the Filipino youth and the future generations for whom we build a Nation worthy of Filipinos; and Filipinos worthy of the nation.