House panel approves P1.35-B PCOO budget for 2018

MANILA -- The House of Representatives' appropriations committee on Tuesday approved the proposed budget of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) for 2018.

The PCOO and its attached agencies are seeking a PHP1.351-billion budget for next year, 1.63 percent lower, or a decrease of PHP22.337 million, compared to this year's budget of PHP1.373 billion.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the budget will fund the PCOO's major thrusts in developing and implementing mechanisms pertaining to the delivery of information about the policies, programs, activities, and achievements of the President, the Cabinet, and the executive branch.

Andanar said the PCOO will also synergize the efforts of the government's integrated media arm -- People's Television 4 (PTV 4), Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS-Radyo Pilipinas), Philippine News Agency (PNA), and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) -- for a concerted dissemination of news and information to cultivate an enlightened citizenry.

Andanar noted that his agency will ensure the proper implementation of Executive Order No. 2 on Freedom of Information by coordinating with departments and agencies to provide information requested by citizens."

Meanwhile, Andanar assured that necessary reforms will be implemented in the PNA for better news delivery amid the recent gaffes that marred the state-run news wire agency.

The PCOO chief said an editorial board was created for PNA as the last gatekeeper of the stories being posted on the website, as well as the retraining of editors.

We formed an editorial board which is the last gatekeeper of the stories para hindi na mangyari po ito ulit, he said.

He also touted the revamped look of the PNA with a new website, mobile application, and increased social media presence.

Source: Philippine News Agency