24 February 2017

From the Presidential Communications Operations Office PCOO Town Hall on Social Media a Success
The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Thursday, February 23, held a successful town hall event on social media at the Bahay ng Alumni of  the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City.

The affair, called #AllMediaPH, was a significant gathering of the country’s influential personalities from the institutional media, public relations and communications, and social media.

“Social media has been successful in developing a new generation of readers and reactors. As a media practitioner myself and one who likes to tinker with the vast possibilities of technology and the internet, I have seen the evolution of blogging,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in his keynote speech.

“Bloggers are very passionate about making their positions known on certain issues; as a result they are able to inspire a following that can go up as high as 400,000 to four million. Things can be so heated up in the blogosphere or Twitter or FB (Facebook),” the Presidential Communications chief added, pointing out that social media has changed the political discourse.

The highlight of the town hall was the presentation of PCOO’s draft Social Media Policy. The PCOO recognizes social media, alongside traditional media, in developing its communications strategy.

The draft Social Media Policy is consistent with Section 24, Article II of the 1987 Constitution, which states that “the State recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-building”, and pursuant to the provisions of Executive Order No. 4 (s. 2010), which pertains to the pertinent functions of the PCOO in developing necessary guidelines and mechanism for information dissemination and in formulating new media strategies.

Included in the policy are the creation of a Social Media Office, guidelines on the official and personal use of social media by PCOO employees, set rules on content management, and establishment of a framework for social media accreditation.

Resource speakers from various sectors and interest groups presented their views and opinions. They were Arpee Lazaro of Change.org, Al Alegre of Foundation for Media Alternatives, Noemi Lardizabal-Dado of Blog Watch, Rose Beatrix Angeles of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Carlos Munda of MindaNation, Stella Estremeras of Sun Star Davao, Antonio Contreras from De La Salle University, Juned Sunido from UP College of Science, and Atty. Jose Jesus Disini of Disini & Disini Law Office.

The event was broadcast live on PTV4, DZRB 738 kHz, Facebook @presidentialcom, and YouTube RTVMalacanang.

The PCOO will anounce the results of the forum and the next step it will take.

Meanwhile, an online poll conducted the same day on PCOO’s Facebook platform showed overwhelming support for the government to implement a policy that would accredit social media publishers to cover events in Malacañan, with a score of 14,669 “yes” as against 241 “no”. ###

Duterte receives highest Knights of Rizal award
The Knights of Rizal conferred the highest honor it gives to an individual on President Rodrigo Duterte in a simple ceremony on Thursday night at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City.

The Knight Grand Cross of Rizal Rank was bestowed on Duterte by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, the supreme commander of the Knights of Rizal, during the 21st international convention of the knighthood.

The Chief Executive was honored for his “unprecedented victory as President and restoring people’s faith in government.”

In his acceptance speech, Duterte described the recognition as “humbling.”

“Your conferment upon me today of the Knight Grand Cross of Rizal, the highest degree the Knights of Rizal could give any person with, is truly humbling,” he said.

“I must confess, however, that I suffer a sense of inadequacy knowing that I stand before an assemblage of men who are so fused with patriotic fervor, deeply imbued with Dr. Jose Rizal’s ideals and visions, and dedicated to the diffusion of his writings and teachings,” he added.

Duterte said he hoped to give justice the honor given to him by carrying out reforms in government and effecting real change in the country.

He noted that it would be good to revisit the writings and undertakings of the country’s national hero Dr. Jose Rizal saying that his life was “a heroic struggle to dignify the Filipino people.”

Duterte reiterated his plan to shift to a federal type of government saying that it was Rizal who first saw the merits and the advantages of such system of government.

“To say that Dr. Jose Rizal was ahead of his time is no empty statement. For instance, my administration has proposed to shift from a governmental structure to a federal system. But it is really nothing new for in this the Filipinas Dentro de Cien Años, ‘The Philippines a Century Hence,’ published at La Solidaridad circa 1889 and 1890,” he said adding that he wishes to see the Knights of Rizal to support his campaign.

The President then urged the people to “reexamine” the thoughts, aspirations and visions of Jose Rizal for the country saying that his wisdom continues to be relevant to the nation in present time.

“You can be a Rizal, I can be Rizal in our own modest ways and within the limits of our competence and capacities. We can all be Rizals,” he ended.###PND

EDSA spirit continues to inspire heroism

“EDSA lives on and its spirit should continue to inspire heroism in all of us for the greater glory of God and country.”

This was the message of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who was represented by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, on Friday, the last day of the four-day celebration of the EDSA People Power Anniversary.

The simple rite was held inside the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Camp Aguinaldo, where the historical event began.

“My administration has always believed in the power of the people to chart their own destiny, and establish a government that will put the people’s interests, especially the welfare of the poor and underprivileged sectors, as its topmost priority,” Medialdea said.

The EDSA People Power Commission, chaired by Executive Secretary Medialdea, chose the theme, “A Day of Reflection: Celebrating People Power for Nation Building,” for this year’s celebration.

“More than a mere commemoration, now is the perfect time for all of us to reflect and objectively assess what we have lost and what we have gained as a nation since that historic event,” Medialdea added.

The celebration was highlighted by an awarding ceremony by the Spirit of EDSA Foundation Inc. (SOEF). The SOEF awardees represent various groups—the military, the religious, and the citizens at large—that played a crucial role at EDSA in 1986.

“Indeed, the spirit of EDSA does not belong to one sector or one group of people, but to all the Filipinos who believe in freedom and a democratic way of life,” Medialdea underscored.

This year’s SOEF awardees were the Army represented by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the Navy represented by Rear Admiral Bayani Gaerlan and the Air Force represented by Gen. Antonio Sotelo. Rear Admiral Bayani Gaerlan came in place of Lt. Col. Balbas while Gen. Antonio Sotelo came in place of Gen. Hotchkiss. The other awardees were the religious represented by Sister Sarah Manapol, Aleem Said Akmar Bashir, and Bishop Jonel Milan; and the Filipino people represented by Bobby Aquino (son of Butz Aquino), Ching Montinola, and Uriel Borja.

On the other hand, this year’s SOEF Good Citizenship Movement awardees were Valiente Namion, a wheelchair attendant at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport who found and returned P100,000 to its owner, and Sabrina Artadi, a former beauty queen who devoted much of her life feeding street children.

“Our sectoral awardees today epitomize the transformative power of EDSA in creating a new breed of Filipinos dedicated to building a better and brighter future for our country,” Medialdea said, referring to Namion and Artadi.

Presenting the SOEF awards were former President Fidel Ramos, Executive Secretary Salvador Medieldea, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Presidential Consultant for Entrepreneurship and Vice Chairperson of EDSA People Power Commission Joey Concepcion III, and SOEF Founder Christopher Carrion.

“True heroes, after all, are found in every one of us who do, with each passing day, our quiet work of nation-building—dutifully, joyfully, passionately—in spite of our occasional differences,” the Executive Secretary concluded. ###PCO-Content

Duterte leads turnover of drug rehabilitation facility in Samal Island
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, February 24, led the turnover of the rehabilitation facility for drug reformists in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS), Davao del Norte.

The community-based drug rehabilitation facility was donated by the Bangayan Family and Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., represented by its President, Mr. Angel Ngu.

In his speech, Duterte thanked the Filipino-Chinese community for responding to his administration’s fight against illegal drugs.

“Let us rejoice that there are still people who look our way in the light of what we have done and for helping us out, trying to rehabilitate our countrymen,” the President said.

Duterte noted that it was also a Chinese philanthropist, Mr. Huang Rulun, who donated a drug rehabilitation facility that would house 10,000 drug addicts. The said facility was built inside Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.

The President, meanwhile, lamented the involvement of government officials and policemen in illegal drugs. He noted that 40 percent of the barangay captains in the country are into drugs.

He added that there are 6,000 policemen and 32 municipal mayors involved in illegal drugs.

Duterte likewise noted that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) face difficulties abroad to make money for their children but the children just waste it on illegal drugs.

The President called on the drug pushers not to use human rights and due process as an excuse.

“I protect the Filipino people, not pushers,” he said.

In the same speech, President Duterte assured China that his administration is committed to pursue strong bilateral relations with China.

“We will talk as friends, we cannot go to war because we cannot afford it and that as much as possible, the bilateral relations between the two countries would be enhanced and improved and trade and commerce between the two countries greatly improved,” Duterte said.

“I will not deviate from my word of honor. Importante ‘yan sa akin eh. Na sa panahon ko, there will be a time, sa aking pagka-presidente that I will raise the issue of the arbitral judgment with China, but not now,” he added. ###PND

Government taps ACC for ASEAN 2017 vehicles
The Philippine government has appointed the Asian Carmakers Corporation (ACC) as the official premium mobility provider for the 2017 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and ACC President Maricar Parco on Friday, February 24 signed the agreement to formalize the deal at the Kalayaan Hall of Malacañan Palace.

ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council (NOC) Director General for Operations Marciano Paynor, Jr. and ACC Chairman Emeritus Gov. Jose Ch. Alvarez were also present during the ceremony.

ACC, the official importer and distributor of BMW in the Philippines, will provide the specially commissioned BMW 7 series, BMW X5, and BMW 5 series vehicles for ASEAN member-nation ministers and leaders and dialogue partners during this year’s summit.

In a statement, Alvarez said the company is “truly honored to play an integral role in the ASEAN 2017.”

“As the preferred premium vehicle provider for ASEAN Summit 2017, we strengthen our commitment to support government projects that drive economic growth and social progress for the benefit of the local automotive industry, the Filipino people, and the Asia-Pacific Region,” Alvarez said.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte last month led the launching of the country’s chairmanship of ASEAN.

During the ceremony in Davao, the Chief Executive called on all Filipinos to take an active and constructive part during the Philippines’ Chairmanship of ASEAN.

The Philippines’ hosting coincides with ASEAN’s 50th anniversary celebration with the theme, “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.”###PND