|28 June 2016|
|Government and media need not be adversaries, says Palace official|
|In his message during his final press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday, outgoing Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. underscored the importance of the media in a democratic country.
Secretary Coloma, who will be replaced by former TV news anchor and radio commentator Martin Andanar on Thursday (June 30), said the government and the media should have a good relationship.
“Hindi kailangang maging magka-away ang pamahalaan at media. Puwede namang magtulungan para sa kapakanan ng bansa; mahalaga lang unawain ang konteksto at perspektibo sa pag-uulat ng balita at paghahatid ng impormasyon,” said the Palace official.
“Aside from context and perspective, it is vitally important that we remain committed to the truth. This means accuracy in news reporting and getting our facts right all the time. For if we report what is not true, or if we report without diligently checking our facts, don’t we run the risk of losing credibility?”
“I encourage you to continue working with your counterparts in government to ensure that in this age of digital technology, we are able to check all the facts that get into the news stories that we broadcast and disseminate,” he added.
Coloma also reflected on freedom and democracy in his farewell message.
“In my younger days, I experienced first-hand the loss of my personal freedom as a political detainee under martial law. As a campus journalist, I witnessed a dark period in our history when citizens were deprived of freedom of expression and of the press. We must not drop our guard nor waver in our vigilance. Never again should there be prior restraint on the exercise of freedom of expression or of the press,” said the communication chief.
Under Coloma’s leadership, major reforms were implemented at the PCOO, such as the upgrade of facilities and transportation in PTV-4 and the construction of printing plants at the National Printing Office and APO Production Unit, Inc.
He also cited Republic Act 10390, signed by the President in 2013, which revitalized PTV-4 with a P5 billion capitalization and allowed the TV station to generate funds from advertising.
“Nakapagtatag ang APO ng isang high security printing plant sa Lima Technology Park sa Malvar, Batangas — at dito ngayon nililimbag ang mga BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) revenue stamps alinsunod sa Sin Tax Reform law at mga electronic passports para sa DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs),” said Coloma.
“Sa pamamagitan ng mabuting pamamahala, puwedeng maghatid ng mahusay, mataas, at maipagmamalaking kalidad ng serbisyo publiko,” he added. PND (jm)
|Secretary Coloma bids goodbye to media: Protect freedom of the press and expression|
|Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. on Tuesday bid farewell to journalists and reporters whom he has worked with for the past six years.
In his last press briefing before leaving his post as spokesperson of outgoing President Benigno S. Aquino III, Secretary Coloma expressed his gratitude to the members of the Malacañang Press Corps, a group of reporters covering the President, for helping inform the public about the government’s reform programs and policies.
“Sa pamamagitan ninyo, naiparating ng pamahaalan sa mga mamamayan ang balita at impormasyon hinggil sa mga mahahalagang polisiya, programa at patakarang hinubog at ipinatupad tungo sa patuloy na pag-unlad ng ating bansa,” he said.
“Sa bawat oras, araw, at linggo — 24 by 7 by 52 — matiyaga ninyong sinubaybayan ang mga aktibidad at pahayag ng Pangulo, hinggil sa kanyang tuloy-tuloy at walang humpay na pagtutok sa lahat ng kaganapan at usaping hinaharap ng bawat Pilipino, sa lahat ng sulok ng daigdig,” he added.
The Palace official pointed out that the government and the media should not become enemies and could help each other for the country’s welfare.
He underscored the importance of understanding context and perspective when reporting news.
“While it is true that it is the duty of media to be a watchdog of the public against possible government abuse, it is equally true that media can be a critical partner of government in public communication,” he said.
He then called on the media to continuously uphold freedom of expression and democracy, recounting the hardship of being robbed of such freedom in one’s own country during the Martial Law regime.
“In my younger days, I experienced first-hand the loss of my personal freedom as a political detainee under Martial Law. As a campus journalist, I witnessed a dark period in our history when citizens were deprived of freedom of expression and of the press,” he said.
“We must not drop our guard nor waver in our vigilance. Never again should there be prior restraint on the exercise of freedom of expression or of the press,” he added.
Coloma also took the opportunity to thank some of the officials who had helped him maintain a good relationship with the press, namely, Undersecretary for Media Relations Renato Marfil and his Assistant Secretary Paulo Espiritu, Undersecretary for Finance Jess Yu and special assistant Zandro Sison.
The outgoing Secretary said he is looking forward to spending quality time with his family as he leaves the government.
One of his plans is to go back to teaching.
President Aquino is set to step down from office on Thursday. PND (jb)
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