Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar vowed to use the proposed 2020 budget of his office in implementing more programs and projects aimed at improving its services.
Andanar made this promise following the Senate’s swift approval of the PCOO’s proposed PHP1.698-billion budget for 2020, which is 12 percent higher than this year’s PHP1.4 billion.
He thanked the senators for the immediate approval of the PCOO’s proposed budget spending next year.
“Ito po ay gagamitin para mapaigting at lalo pa nating mapaganda ang serbisyo ng Presidential Communications Operations Office (The proposed budget will be used to further improve the services of the Presidential Communications Operations Office),” the PCOO chief said in an interview.
“Tuloy-tuloy lang ang ating ginagawang innovations sa PCOO so that mas lalong gumanda ang information dissemination ng (The PCOO will continue pursuing innovations to further improve the dissemination information of the) executive branch of government to the public, not only in Metro Manila but also to the province and to the rest of the world,” he added.
The Senate on Wednesday immediately approved the proposed PHP1.698-billion budget of the PCOO and its attached agencies.
Around PHP764 million of the PHP1.698-billion budget of the Communications office will be used for personnel services, while the PHP719 million will be allocated for maintenance and other operating expenses and the remaining PHP213 million will be tapped for capital outlay.
‘Groundbreaking’ projects in 2020
Andanar said the PCOO and its attached agencies will be launching “groundbreaking” projects next year.
He said among the projects that will begin in 2020 is the construction of the “first-ever” Government Strategic Communications Academy in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.
The facility is targeted to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.
Andanar said national and local information officers would benefit from the establishment of the communications academy.
“For the first time in the history of Philippine governance ay mayroon pong sariling academy ang ating mga communicators sa buong Pilipinas (our communicators in the Philippines will have their own academy),” he said.
Andanar noted that streamlining of government messages is also underway, as part of the PCOO”s effort to provide a “strategic communications template.”
He said he is now coordinating with PCOO Undersecretary Raquel Tobias for the crafting of the communications template.
The PCOO chief said the creation of the office of the Global Media Affairs is one of the institutional initiatives made by his office to reach out to the international community.
Media hub in Visayas eyed
Andanar also renewed the PCOO’s plan to establish another media hub in Visayas, once the same facility in Davao City is completed.
The PCOO chief shared that the Mindanao Media Hub in Davao City is expected to be launched by first or second quarter of 2020.
The Mindanao Media Hub will house regional counterparts of the state-run People’s Television; Radyo Pilipinas’ News and Information Bureau; Philippine News Agency; the Philippine Information Agency; National Printing Office; APO Production Unit; and other attached agencies in Davao City.
Andanar also ensured that the PCOO, through its attached agency Philippine Broadcasting Service, would continue improving the services of state-owned radio stations nationwide.
IBC privatization fast-tracked
Meanwhile, Andanar received assurance that the process of privatizing the Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC)-13 is being rushed.
IBC-13 president and CEO Katherine de Castro said her office is still awaiting the opinion of the Procurement Board but assured Andanar that they are exhausting all efforts to facilitate the privatization of the station, in favor of the welfare of its employees.
“We cannot announce the Terms of Reference yet because kailangan pa naming yung nag-iisang opinion from the procurement board (we need to first get the opinion from the procurement board),” de Castro said.
“Rest assured that the PCOO, under Secretary Martin Andanar, we are doing everything we can para ma fast-track ang privatization ng IBC (to fast-track the privatization of IBC),” she added. (PNA)