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Presidential Communications Group
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).svg
Seal
Agency overview
FormedJuly 30, 2010; 12 years ago (2010-07-30)[1][2]
Headquarters2nd Flr. New Executive Bldg., Malacañang Compound, Manila
Annual budget₱1.69 billion (2020)[3]
Agency executive
  • Cheloy Garafil, Undersecretary and Officer-in-Charge
Websitewww.pcoo.gov.ph

The Presidential Communications Group, or simply the Communications Group, is the collective name for the offices within the Office of the President of the Philippines[a] and refers to the position of the Office of the Press Secretary, formerly known as the Secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). The office of the presidential spokesperson was previously under the Communications Group.

The Communications Group is primarily responsible for planning, programming, and coordinating the activities that will most effectively collect information about what is happening in the Executive branch of the government, and getting this information to the media. The Group's other role is to help Filipinos understand government policies and programs, and to shore up support for them.

Presidential Spokesperson

Main article: Presidential spokesperson of the Philippines

Ph seal office of presidential spokesperson (English).svg

The Presidential Spokesperson spoke on behalf of the President about matters of public interest. Considering the restricted level of access that the media has to the Chief Executive, the Spokesperson was expected to be the primary source of presidential directives in the absence of the President of the Philippines.

The Presidential Spokesperson was not subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, and did not have any specific item or template in government.

The position was last occupied by the Secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office Martin Andanar in an acting capacity due to the resignation of Harry Roque, while the Assistant to the Presidential Spokesperson was Atty. Kris Roman of the Duterte administration. During the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the office was abolished and all its personnel, equipment and functions were transferred to the office of the Press Secretary currently headed by Trixie Cruz-Angeles.[4]

Office of the Press Secretary

Main article: Press Secretary (Philippines)

The Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) is in charge of disseminating the government’s message to private media entities. It exercises supervision and control over state-owned media entities to disseminate the official messages properly and effectively in accordance with the communications plan. It is responsible for the accreditation and authentication of the credentials of foreign media correspondents in line with its primary task to cultivate relations and assist private media entities.[1] During the administrations of Benigno Aquino III and Rodrigo Duterte, the office was named the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

The press secretary holds a cabinet rank. He/she is assisted by an undersecretary for administration, finance and procurement; an undersecretary for operations, plans, and policies; an undersecretary for legal affairs; an undersecretary for media accreditation and relations; one undersecretary each for digital media, print media, and broadcast media services; an undersecretary for special concerns; an assistant secretary; and an electronic data processing division chief.[4][5]

The OPS is composed of the following units and agencies:

Powers and Functions

Pursuant to Section 3 of the Executive Order No. 2, s. 2022, The Office of the Press Secretary shall perform the following functions:

Organization

The Office of the Press Secretary shall be organized as follows pursuant to Section 2 of the Executive Order No. 2, s. 2022:

(a) Office of the Secretary. The Office of the Secretary shall have an Assistant Secretary with support staff not more than twenty (20) personnel to be designated by the Press Secretary and approved by the Executive Secretary in the exigency of the service and in accordance with the civil service law and rules.

(b) Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries. In addition of the foregoing, there shall be Undersecretaries for the following areas. Each of which shall have Assistant Secretaries and Support Staff:

(I) Operations, Plans and Policies

(II) Administration, Finance and Procurement

(III) Legal Affairs

(IV) Media Accreditation and Relations

(V) Digital Media Services

(VI) Print Media Services and related Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC)'s and attached agencies

(VII) Broadcast Media Services and related Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC)'s and attached agencies; and

(VIII) Special Concerns

Key Officials

List of Key Officials as of October 4, 2022:

Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries:

Bureau and Service Directors:

Division Chiefs:

Attached Agency, Bureau and Office Heads

Units under the Office of the Press Secretary

With the reorganization of the PCOO under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., most units previously under the agency were transferred to the Office of the Press Secretary.[4]

Presidential News Desk

The Presidential News Desk (PND) functions as the newsroom of Malacañang Palace. It gathers and disseminates information, such as press and photograph releases, and official statements from the Palace, on a daily basis.

The PND operates from Sundays to Saturdays, 5:00 AM to 7:00 PM. It is headed by a chief editor and is composed of a managing editor, deskmen, and reporters. Other units, which support the PND are Electronic Data Processing, Transcription and Monitoring, and Photographs.

Francisco Tatad conceived the PND. He was the Press Secretary to President Ferdinand Marcos. It was then called the Central Desk and was located in the Mabini Building. During the administration of President Corazon C. Aquino, Press Secretary Benigno Teodoro relegated the Central Desk, which became the News and Reportorial Section, as a section of the Presidential Press Staff. Under the Ramos administration, Press Secretary Rodolfo Reyes strengthened presidential coverage and set up the PND.

Philippine Information Agency

Philippine Information Agency Logo.svg

The Philippine Information Agency (PIA), established by Executive Order No. 100,[7] is the main development communication arm of the government.

The PIA directly serves the Presidency and the executive branch of the national, regional and provincial levels through its 16 regional offices and 71 provincial information centers. Its core services include: information gathering/research, production and dissemination, and institutional development and capacity-building focusing on alliance-building, networking, communication-related training, consultancy and technical assistance. The PIA is also the advertising arm of the government.

It is headed by a director general with a rank of undersecretary and four deputy director generals, four assistant director generals, staff directors in the central office, regional directors in the regional offices, and more than 500 permanent and contractual employees. It works closely with other government agencies, in particular the National Printing Office in the production of information materials.

Its tagline is "Empowering Communities". The PIA works with community stakeholders, including local government units, line agencies, private entities, schools, colleges and universities, civil society organizations, and other groups in ensuring proper dissemination of information at the grassroots level. The agency advocates responsible sharing of information and responsible use of social media. Its current management and personnel work with the mantra and belief that "a well-informed Filipino is an empowered Filipino".

Currently, the PIA is under the direct supervision of the Office of the President and absorbed offices previously under the PCOO, namely the Bureau of Communications Services, the Freedom of Information – Project Management Office, and the Good Governance Office.[4]

Bureau of Communications Services

The Bureau of Communications Services was an attached agency of the PCOO that is tasked to provide materials and services related to various functions of the Presidency, PCOO and the general public. It also owns Balita Central, a tabloid newspaper which is published bi-monthly through its official website and at selected LRT Line 2 stations. It also produces information materials for state events such as the anniversary of the People Power Revolution, Araw ng Kalayaan celebrations, and others.

It is currently absorbed by the Philippine Information Agency as ordered by Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s Executive Order No. 2 s. 2022.[4]

Presidential Broadcast Staff - Radio Television Malacañang

RTVM Philippines seal.svg

Created by President Corazon C. Aquino under Executive Order No. 297 on July 25, 1987,[8] the Presidential Broadcast Staff - Radio Television Malacañang is tasked to provide the necessary media services, video and audio, to the incumbent President, to document all official engagements, and to make available to the public accurate and relevant information on the activities, programs and pronouncements of the national leadership.

The agency is involved in television coverage and documentation, news and public affairs syndication of all the activities of the President, either live or delayed telecast through government or private collaborating networks.

Since 2022, the agency is under the control and supervision of the Presidential Management Staff in accordance with Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s Executive Order No. 2 s. 2022.[4]

Media networks

There are two government-run television networks, namely the People's Television Network (PTV-4), and the Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC-13). The Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS) constitutes the government radio network. OPS still holds 20% minority stake in the Radio Philippines Network (RPN-9).

IBC-13 and RPN-9 were sequestered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government after the fall of the Marcos dictatorship. However, plans are being made to privatize IBC-13 and RPN-9 within two years to raise money. According to the 2009 report of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), IBC-13 is valued at PHP 3.074 billion while RPN-9 is valued at PHP 1.3 billion.[9][10]

National Printing Office

National Printing Office (NPO).svg

The National Printing Office (NPO) was established by Executive Order No. 285 on July 25, 1987.[11] Executive Order No. 285 abolished the General Services Administration and transferred its functions to other agencies. Its Government Printing Offices were merged with the printing units of the PIA. The NPO is mandated by Executive Order No. 285 to print forms, official ballots, public documents, and public information materials.[12]

News and Information Bureau

The News and Information Bureau's main aim is to provide services relating to the development and formulation of a domestic and foreign information program for the Government in general, and the Presidency in particular, including the development of strategies for the dissemination of information on specific government programs. It is composed of the following divisions:

OP Web Development Office

The OP Web Development Office, commonly referred to as the President's New Media Team, is responsible for the establishment and management of the President's Official Website and Official Presence on social networking channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. It is also partly responsible for the feedback mechanism of the President wherein it receives the comments, concerns and suggestions through the Contact Us section of the President's website. It is also responsible for the President's Social Media engagement and in maximizing the use of new technologies to further the President's agenda, policies and programs.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office

PCDSPO seal.svg

The Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) ensures that all aspects of communications are covered, to ensure that the administration’s message has been delivered successfully. This includes market research and polling. It devises the communications strategy to promote the President’s agenda throughout all media, and among the many people with whom the administration interacts. This can include, but is not limited to, the State of the Nation address, televised press conferences, statements to the press, and radio addresses. This office also works closely with cabinet-level departments and other executive agencies, in order to create a coherent strategy through which the president’s message can be disseminated.[1]

During the administration of former president Benigno Aquino III, the PCDSPO head held a cabinet rank. The head was supported by a deputy of undersecretary rank, a chief of staff, an assistant secretary for messaging, and an electronic data processing division chief.[5] After Rodrigo Duterte became the President in 2016, the PCDSPO was merged with the PCOO, thus effectively abolishing the PCDSPO. The PCOO was renamed as the Presidential Communications Office before it was reverted to Presidential Communications Operations Office.[13]

Prior to June 30, 2016, the PCDSPO was composed of the following units and agencies, all of which were under the PCOO:

Controversies

During the Duterte administration, the PCOO has been criticized for various errors and lapses committed by the office,[15] including what one lawmaker called a "revisionist attempt to whitewash the dark years of martial law".[16] The Secretary of the PCOO assured Congress that it will not repeat the office's mistakes.[16]

In March 2018, the News and Information Bureau released a transcript to reporters of an interview erroneously attributed to the President of the Philippines which was in fact an interview with an impersonator.[17]

In their 2020 annual report, the Commission on Audit flagged the PCOO for the mass hiring of employees under contract service worth PH₱70.6 million. Speculation cited that they're hiring them as "online trolls" to attack critics of the government, in which the state media agency denied the claim.[18]

Notes

  1. ^ Created through Executive Order No. 4 signed by President Benigno Aquino III.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Presidential Communications Reforms". Official Gazette of the Philippines. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  2. ^ "Aquino forms media communications group". ABS-CBNnews.com. August 9, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  3. ^ Aika Rey (January 8, 2020). "Where will the money go?". Rappler. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Executive Order No. 2 s. 2022: Reorganizing and renaming the Presidential Communications Operations Office and its attached agencies into the Office of the Press Secretary, abolishing the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, and for other purposes". Official Gazette. June 30, 2022. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Executive Order No. 4, s. July 30, 2010: Reorganizing and renaming the Office of the Press Secretary as the Presidential Communications Operations Office; creating the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office; and for other purposes Official Gazette of the Philippines - online edition
  6. ^ "About – Presidential Communications Operations Office". mirror.pcoo.gov.ph. Retrieved July 15, 2022. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  7. ^ "Executive Order No. 100, s. 1986". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. December 24, 1986. Archived from the original on March 21, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Executive Order No. 297, s. July 25 1987: Reorganization of the Office of the Press Secretary prescribing its powers and functions and other purposes Official Gazette of the Philippines - online edition
  9. ^ Marcos bucks plan to sell 2 TV networks Inquirer.net August 10, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2010.(Working Link: PressReader. Retrieved November 13, 2019 )
  10. ^ PCGG urges gov’t to fast-track sale of RPN-9, IBC-13 ABS-CBNnews.com. August 10, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  11. ^ Executive Order No. 285, s. July 25, 1987: Abolishing the General Services Administration and transferring its functions to appropriate government agencies Official Gazette of the Philippines - online edition
  12. ^ "Mandate | National Printing Office". npo.gov.ph. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  13. ^ Martin Andanar eyes renaming PCOO, Patricia Lourdes Viray, The Philippine Star, June 16, 2016
  14. ^ a b Executive Order No. 348, s. August 11, 2004: Creating the Office of the Communications Director to direct the operations of offices in the public sector mass media and the public information system of the government Official Gazette of the Philippines - online edition
  15. ^ Seares, Atty. Pachico A. (June 2, 2017). "Seares: Calling out state media's mistakes". SunStar. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Cayabyab, Marc Jayson. "Andanar owns up to PCOO blunders, vows not to repeat mistakes". Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  17. ^ Gita, Ruth Abbey (March 19, 2018). "Duterte impersonator gives radio interview, fools PCOO bureau". SunStar. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  18. ^ "'We don't have trolls': PCOO confirms 'massive' hiring of contractuals worth P70M". ABS-CBN News. July 9, 2021.