SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go expressed his support for the proposed 2021 budget of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) during a budget hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Finance on Tuesday, October 13.
Go highlighted the important role of the PCOO, as the lead communications arm of the government, in delivering information and combatting fear-mongering and public anxiety during these times of pandemic and uncertainty.
Go emphasized that PCOO and its attached agencies can empower the Filipino citizenry to deepen their civic engagement by informing, educating and enlightening them about matters of national importance.
“Dahil po sa PCOO, naihahatid din natin nang maayos at organisado ang impormasyong kailangan ng tao tungkol sa mga proyekto, programa at polisiya ng gobyerno, lalo na ngayong kasagsagan ng pandemya,” the Senator said in his manifestation.
“At napatunayan po ito noong nakaraang Marso, kung saan po nagkaroon ng lockdown. Talagang nag-double time po ang ating [People’s Television Network] at, in fact, kahit madami pong naging positive sa kanila sa COVID-19, ay talagang tuloy-tuloy po ang kanilang trabaho para makapagbigay po ng tamang impormasyon,” he continued.
“Sa panahon ngayon na talamak rin ang pagkalat ng fake news at misinformation, hindi lamang tungkol sa COVID-19 kundi sa marami pang isyu, nariyan po ang PCOO upang magbigay ng kalinawan at tamang impormasyon para sa mga Pilipino,” he added.
Go praised the various accomplishments of the agency, under the leadership of Secretary Martin Andanar, to enhance the communication efforts of the national government.
First, the People’s Television Network which greatly improved in terms of viewership and content. Go congratulated Chair Maria Fe Aliño and new General Manager Katherine S. de Castro. Second, Radyo Pilipinas, the flagship government radio station of the Philippine Broadcasting Service which evolved from Radyo ng Bayan. Third, the Philippine News Agency which now competes with other newswire services in providing timely, accurate and relevant information to the public.
The PCOO also established its first satellite operations office in Davao City, thus making its presence more visible outside of the nation’s capital. The Mindanao Media Hub, as it shall be called, is nearing its completion.
Go also lauded PCOO as it continues to play a significant role in strengthening democracy as the overseer of the implementation of Executive Order No. 2, series of 2016 or the Freedom of Information (FOI) Program across the Executive branch and all other FOI initiatives.
“All these are affirmations of how the PCOO has utilized its funding to the fullest […] Ang tanging hiling ko lang po sa PCOO ay siguruhin na mabigyan ng tamang impormasyon ang ating mga kababayan ngayong may hinaharap tayong pandemya,” said Go.
“The information you disseminate does not only ensure a well-informed and enlightened citizenry, it can also save lives in these times of crisis. Sa lahat po ng PCOO, kahit na po marami kayong Undersecretary at Assistant Secretary, alam ko naman pong nagtatrabaho kayo para sa ating kapwa Pilipino. Unahin ninyo lang po magserbisyo para sa ating kapwa Pilipino,” he reminded them. ####