13 October 2016

CA confirms PCO Secretary Andanar
The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday, October 12, confirmed the appointment of Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, who vowed to streamline the functions of his office and come up with a unified messaging system for the Executive department.

Andanar presented before the CA his plans and programs for the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), which includes the modernization and revitalization of existing agencies and broadcast units, particularly Radyo ng Bayan and the People’s Television Network (PTV 4).

Andanar said he wants to transform PTV 4 into the People’s Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), envisioned to be the state-owned media organization at par with world-class broadcasting networks like the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

The PCOO Secretary also said he intends to modernize and reform the processes of the National Printing Office, APO Production Unit Inc., and the Bureau of Communications Services.

“Our ultimate desire is for PCOO to be more engaging, more responsive to, and interactive to people to mirror President Duterte’s trademark pro-people approach in governance,” Andanar said.

The PCOO Secretary likewise assured the CA of his full dedication, as well as his ethical and responsible approach in public service.

Prior to Andanar appointment, he was a television executive at TV5. His role focused on developing and championing pioneering projects like News5 Everywhere, the first news dedicated online TV and radio in the Philippines, among others. He was also an anchor for TV5 and AksyonTV and a hard hitting commentator of Radyo5. PND

Palace order enhances media protection
Change is coming even in media.President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Administrative Order No. 1 creating the Presidential Task Force that seeks to protect the life, liberty, and security of media practitioners in the country.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar made the announcement during a press briefing in Malacañang on Thursday (October 13).

Andanar pointed out that the President signed the AO to show his “care” for the members of media who constantly face death threats and acts of violence.

The AO, signed on October 11, mandates the Task Force to conduct an inventory of all cases of violence against media workers for the first 30 days from the creation of the Task Force.
After the inventory, the special teams will then start the investigation of unsolved high profile cases such as the Maguindanao Massacre, that happened in recent years, according to Andanar.
A special oversight team composed of investigators and prosecutors will be designated to monitor the developments of the cases.

The Task Force is also designated to receive reports from media practitioners whose lives are in danger. Necessary assistance will be provided to them, including protection, if warranted.
Journalists facing death threats and acts of violence will also be assisted in coordination with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations.
The Task Force shall be headed by the Department of Justice Secretary and shall be co-chaired by the Presidential Communications Office Secretary.

Its members will include the Interior and Local Government Secretary; Defense Secretary; the Solicitor General; the Executive Director of the Presidential Human Rights Committee; the Armed Forces Chief of Staff; the Philippine National Police director-general; and the director of the National Bureau of Investigation.

At the same time, the Presidential Task Force shall also invite the following as observers and resource persons: chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR); the Ombudsman; and the heads of the the National Press Club (NPC); National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP); Kapisanan ng mg Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP); Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI), and the Philippine Press Institute (PPI).

It is hoped that with this latest presidential action, the Philippines would emerge as one of the safest places in the world to be a media practitioner.

Meanwhile, Andanar welcomed the results of the latest Social Weather Stations survey showing a new record low on self-rated poverty.

The survey showed that the families that rate themselves as “poor” fell to 42 percent or an estimated 9.4 million families in September from 45 percent or an estimated at 10.2 million in June this year.

“Change has indeed come and it is being felt by the Filipino people,” Andanar said, as he noted that it is the lowest self-rated poverty rate since March 1987.

The same September survey likewise revealed a new record low of 30 percent food poverty estimated at 6.7 million families from 31 percent or an estimated 6.9 million families in June this year.PND