Interview

Cabinet Report sa Teleradyo with Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar; PC00 Director Vinci Beltran and Director JV Arcena by Leo Palo III, Radyo Pilipinas

LEO: Magandang, magandang morning again! It’s Saturday…

DIR. VINCI: Hello, good morning! ‘Ayan may kasama na ako, yehey!

LEO: At another Saturday, pero ngayon pa lang sasabihan ko na sila na ito’y ikalawa sa huling Sabado ng Cabinet Report sa Teleradyo—

DIR. VINCI: Sa Sabado…

LEO: Sa Sabado, dahil kami po’y lilipat na ng panahon… huwag daw [laughs].

DIR. VINCI: Kung kailan man ay abangan ninyo po ang announcement.

LEO: Oo. Abangan ninyo na lang, sige na nga lang… Ito po si Leo Palo III—

DIR. VINCI: At Director Vinci Beltran ng PCOO…

LEO: At ito po ang Cabinet Report sa Teleradyo… minus sa ating guest palagi [laughs] si Secretary Mart Andanar, dahil mamaya-maya ay makakasama po natin siya via—

DIR. VINCI: Hopefully ha kasama iyong video, Skype… kumbaga video call.

LEO: At itong episode na ito, ikalimampu’t limang episode na po ng Cabinet Report sa Teleradyo. Ngayong araw na ito ay nagulat pati ako, dahil mayroon pala kaming malaking guests.

DIR. VINCI: Oo, dahil kahapon lumagda ang Pilipinas at Myanmar sa isang Memorandum of Understanding o MOU na naglalayong bumuo ng mas malakas na mekanismo na may kinalaman sa information-sharing at media cooperation. Sa pamamagitan nito maitataguyod ng Pilipinas at Myanmar ang kani-kanilang mga kultura, sining, edukasyon, turismo at iba pa sa tulong ng pagpapalitan ng impormasyon.

LEO: At napakarami po ng ginagawa ngayon ng PCOO na hindi po nalalaman ng karamihan. Kamakailan lang from Thailand ‘di ba?

DIR. VINCI: Yes, nagkaroon ng MOU signing…

LEO: Oo. Ngayon nandito po ang ating mga guests from Myanmar, kasama po nila, actually kahapon, iyong pinaka-event ‘di ba?

DIR. VINCI: Oo dahil diyan… We have with us the Minister of Information from Myanmar, Minister Pe Myint… And we have also from the Ministry of Information, Sir Min Thu(?) ‘yan…

LEO: Sir, good morning…

MINISTER PE MYINT: Good morning…

LEO: Welcome to the Philippines and welcome to our humble station here, Radyo Pilipinas 1… Alright, Secretary Martin Andanar also is in the line now…

DIR. VINCI: Hi Sec. Mart…

SEC. ANDANAR: Hello, how are you? How are you all?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Hello, good morning…

DIR. VINCI: ‘Ayan, si Minister Pe Myint po…

SEC. ANDANAR: Yes, good morning Minister—Dr. Pe Myint. Good morning to my other colleagues, Director Vinci and Leo at magandang umaga po sa lahat ng mga nakikinig sa atin dito sa Cabinet Report. At gusto ko lang pong batiin si Minister Myint ng Congratulations…

MINISTER PE MYINT: Thank you…

SEC. ANDANAR: Sa matagumpay na signing ng MOU kahapon.

LEO: So Secretary, eh sabi ko nga bakit mo ako binigla dito; bakit wala ka dito… Eh ikaw na ho ang magbigay ng ‘ika nga’y kaalaman sa ating mga tagapakinig ngayon – bakit narito ngayon sa Pilipinas ang ating guests from Myanmar.

SEC. ANDANAR: Well unang-una sa lahat, iyong setup na ito na mag-phone patch ako at dito ako mag-record ng aking podcast sa bahay, ay ito’y dahil sa—iyong protocol. Dahil doon sa Thailand ay hindi ako sinamahan noong Minister doon, kasi obviously ‘pag sinamahan ako ng Minister ng Information sa Thailand sa lahat ng lakad ko ay siya iyong iko-cover – hindi iyong bisita. So usually iyong protocol is that, you will meet and sign the documents; and then once you signed—

LEO: Yes sir… napuputol si Sec.

SEC. ANDANAR: Do you hear me? So, I will speak in English para maintindihan ng ating bisita. So the protocol is usually the guest minister and the minister in the country will have a short meeting in a holding room, and then after that they will sign the Memorandum of Understanding; pagkatapos there will be a technical meeting and then an official dinner for guest minister. And in the following activities, it will just be the guest minister who will go around… well the purpose usually is because—so that the media coverage is focused on the guest minister. So that’s the reason why I’m not there, and that’s the reason why I’m here on a phone patch.

LEO: Alright. I understand that a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed recently between PCOO and of course the Minister of Information ng Myanmar. Could you please tell us more on this? How will this MOU help each other, Secretary or Minister?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Ah yes… We have signed the MOU yesterday. I signed, with my counterpart, Secretary Andanar from the PCOO. The main theme of our MOU is to cooperate in the area of information and media development. We discussed in details about the particular topics and sectors in which we can cooperate. And we tried to reach—to get to concrete measures so that the MOU may be realized.

DIR. VINCI: In Myanmar sir, is the government media attached to the Ministry of Information? Do we have the same setup, Minister?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Yes, government media or state media is attached to the Ministry of Information. We also have private media…

DIR. VINCI: Okay…

LEO: So, when do we expect the MOU will take effect? The MOU, Memorandum of Understanding will take effect immediately?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Yes, starting from now, after the signing of MOU, but we have to discuss the details. And yesterday, we have chosen the contact persons through whom we can continue with the—what is mentioned in the MOU.

LEO: Alright. In the Philippines, Minister, one of the issues that PCOO is dealing with is the battle against fake news. So, do you have the same problem in Myanmar?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Yes, we also have similar problem – the fake news. Yeah, we are dealing them by combating the fake news by disseminating the correct information and trying to educate the public through media information literacy movement yeah…

LEO: Because here in the Philippines you know, we, the Filipinos so fond with Facebook… so the fake news [laughs]…

DIR. VINCI: It is easily spread through social media…

MINISTER PE MYINT: Yes, the same in our country… Most of the people, the Facebook friends, they use Facebook a lot.

LEO: Yeah, all the time – in the Philippines – all the time…

DIR. VINCI: And we also have other social media platforms to use – we have Instagram and Twitter… But in Myanmar it’s Facebook.

MINISTER PE MYINT: There are few persons who use Instagram and Twitter, but only a few of them… mostly Facebook. When they say about social media, it means Facebook.

LEO: Ah, when you say social media, only Facebook…

DIR. VINCI: Is there Ministry of Information—do you have an official Facebook page?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Ah, yes. [unclear] will answer because he is in charge of those…

DIR. VINCI: You are in charged sir…

_________: Yes… Ministry of Information Facebook is MOI Webportal Myanmar Facebook page. And this Facebook has 1.5 million followers – daily announcement and officers of the government, announcement, daily post on this Facebook.

LEO: So, is there any incident that fake news came out to your Facebook page; the government page? Because here in the Philippines [laughs]…

DIR. VINCI: And we have a strong way of—or you have a way of checking the fake news through your office sir?

________: Yes, mostly on our Facebook, some of them comment or some of them fake news and at the post, our post… we have to reply immediately, yes, these fake news – what is the wrong, what is the right daily… and we always checks 24 hours.

LEO: So, did you find some fake news, you know, irrelevant in your government’s… you know—did you file cases? Because here, we filed cases already…

________: Not on the government page, yeah…

LEO: Ah, okay…

DIR. VINCI: Yesterday Minister, you mentioned that you have this broadcast or communications law that—or bill that you are about to launch. What are the facets of that law on broadcast?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Broadcast law, yes… Its main effect will be to allow more private broadcasters-, yeah…

DIR. VINCI: So the current situation of Myanmar, it’s more—the dominant broadcasting entity will be the government media?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Yes, the government. In the broadcast media, government media… not just government media alone, but the other private media are not totally private – they are joint ventures with the government. So they are not totally private broadcasters for the time being. So after the new broadcast law, private broadcasters can start working.

DIR. VINCI: Okay… iyon ‘yung mga gusto nating ma-achieve dito Kuya Leo ‘di ba…

LEO: At least nalalaman po ninyo na may ginagawa po… our country is doing our best in disseminating this kind of information or this kind of plans na hindi lang—not only here in the Philippines, and ang PCOO nga doing their part. Akala kasi ng some media here, private medias… they don’t know that the PCOO is doing this kind of activities and actions, right Secretary Mart?

SEC. ANDANAR: Well actually, tama ka Leo. We have had several Memorandum of Understanding in the field of communication: we have one with China; we also have one with Cambodia, with Russia; we also have one with Hungary, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and then recently we signed in Bangkok, Thailand – that was a week ago. And yesterday was another historic moment for the Philippine government and Myanmar when we signed this Memorandum of Understanding na… it is just not a mere MOU on paper, but Minister Myint and I agreed that we hit the ground running after we signed.

So during the meeting yesterday, we decided to really appoint point persons or the focal persons for this MOU. We will be sending our experts in social media, in print, radio, broadcast… television broadcast to Myanmar, not only to study the way or the brand of media, but also to impart knowledge that we have here in the Philippines, the same way that they will also send their media workers here in the Philippines to observe how we practice journalism here in the Philippines.

The Minister mentioned yesterday the importance of working with the Philippines, because he considers Myanmar still in the transition process of democracy – meaning kasama iyong press freedom. So the Minister had questions about how we operationalize the freedom of information.

And I also gave suggestion to also, at least look at the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, apart from the other strategies and other standard operating procedures that we follow for television, radio, Philippine News Agency and the Philippine Information Agency.

Then on top of that, as the Minister expressed his intention and interest with Philippines series – mga teleserye, the ones that our brothers and sisters in Myanmar watched… I think they’ve watched teleseryes from ABS-CBN. And sabi ko naman, we can also send experts in that field to Myanmar to impart the knowledge on how to produce teleseryes. And he also offered the pristine locations of Myanmar for film shooting or filming para sa mga ano natin dito, mga production outfit that we can send to Myanmar.

So it went really well… We are expecting the MOU to be implemented… talagang magpapadala tayo ng mga estudyante or iyong tipong magkakaintindihan na tayo kung kailan tayo magpapadala ng estudyante by the end of March. So between now and March, we will be ironing out the details of the Memorandum of Understanding on how to operationalize this.

LEO: Uhum… Yes, Minister…

MINISTER PE MYINT: Yes, our agreement, it’s not just in the area of information and media, but also culture. Because as the Secretary said, Myanmar people are very much interested and they very, very like the Philippine soap operas…

DIR. VINCI: Can you mention one that has been—very popular in Myanmar?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Yes, the one that is showing these days… I think the name in English is Eternal Love to Last… I think.

LEO: Ano iyon Secretary, anong palabas iyon?

SEC. ANDANAR: Basta ang sinabi ni Vice Consul Stephanie, Vice Consul of the Philippines to Myanmar, it is a teleserye with Kathryn Bernardo.

LEO: Ah okay… Ano iyon? Pasensiya na, hindi ako nanonood eh.

SEC. ANDANAR: I’m not sure of the title, because most likely—at siguro binago iyong title, kasi sa atin Tagalog.

LEO: Oo, in English daw…

SEC. ANDANAR: So, in English daw—

LEO: Oh, is that in Myanmar language?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Yes…

LEO: Ah it’s in Myanmar? Ah, translated to Myanmar…

MINISTER PE MYINT: Yes, yes… There are several series running at the same time.

SEC. ANDANAR: And another famous actor in Myanmar is Coco Martin…

LEO: Uhum…Probinsyano. So Probinsyano – from the province… what’s the title? Our guests not fond with the—no, it’s a joke [laughs].

SEC. ANDANAR: You know, Dr. Pe Myint who is the Information Minister of Myanmar is a famous doctor…

DIR. VINCI: Yes, a medical doctor…

SEC. ANDANAR: A famous publicist and a famous author and journalist in Myanmar before he joined the government. And I was very—actually talagang namangha ako eh. I was fascinated by his story and when he told me that he joined government so that they can transition to a freer country – kasi demokrasya na sila ngayon. And us in the Philippines, I guess as a bigger brother…

LEO: Oh… almost the same.

SEC. ANDANAR: Well as a bigger brother in democracy and we have been governed by this principle called ‘democracy’ for the longest time, and as an ASEAN brother, we are here to give them a helping hand, a lending hand… and at least cooperate with them in ways that can be very good for their democracy also. And alam naman natin that we are more, I supposed kahit papaano, advanced in our technology, in communications. So if China is here to help us, if the United States is here to help us, and if we get all of those help and seminars, it is also good for us to share the best practice that we have to Myanmar. I think that’s the duty of every ASEAN country to help each other.

LEO: Uhum… that’s kind of sharing your blessings ‘ika nga. O ‘di ba?

DIR. VINCI: Sharing the knowledge…

LEO: Imparting the knowledge, ‘di ba…

SEC. ANDANAR: When I was in Myanmar in 2017, Minister Myint really gave me a warm welcome, and he showed me around his office in Naypyidaw, their capital. And I was fascinated by how huge the land that they have there in Naypyidaw [laughs]… They have—you know, just for our public to know that the Naypyidaw City is actually a government capital that they built. And it’s a futuristic city… there are highways, roads there that have 8 lanes…

LEO: Wow, tinalo tayo…

SEC. ANDANAR: And there’s another one with 12 lanes each.

LEO: Wow!

SEC. ANDANAR: Yes, that’s how and its very advance in terms of infrastructure and I wouldn’t be surprised that one day—

LEO: One day…

SEC. ANDANAR: That one day, Naypyidaw will be a place to go to that’s why in this MOU we will have to promote Myanmar, not only Yangon, also Naypyidaw and the other more popular places like Bagan.

LEO: Alam mo Secretary iyong ganiyang klase ng pag-iisip, na nauna na, dapat ganoon ang nangyari sa atin eh. Sa atin dito, makikita mo sikip ng daan.. ng traffic ‘di ba? Papaano, ilang lanes lang tayo, sila—

DIR.VINCI: With 8 to 12 lanes, traffic is not a problem in your country, Minister?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Some special area and what Secretary mentioned is, in that road that there are not so many lanes like Secretary mentioned, but we don’t have traffic jam in Naypyidaw. But in Yangoon there are a lot of vehicles and so we have difficulties in handling the large number of motorcars—

DIR.VINCI: Pero nandoon na sila sa moving forward.

LEO: Grabe ‘no? Hindi, I mean advance, advance actually para sa akin. Kaya nga nasabi ko na parang buti pa sila ng ganoong may pag-iisip, nauna sila sa ganoong klaseng pag-iisip. Kasi here in the Philippines, it’s so traffic, you know. I think you experience how hard is our… It’s not good. Well, going back, going back sa MOU natin, Secretary and then Minister. I’m just wondering, here in the Philippines and the other countries in Asia and I think it’s a whole world, many media men, media practitioners are killed because of their job, that’s why the President – our President, Rodrigo Duterte came up with the executive order—

DIR.VINCI: Presidential Task Force on Media Security.

LEO: So in your country, how do you deal with it?

MINISTER PE MYINT: We don’t have that sort of cases where journalists were killed. There are some instances when a journalist may die due to some…

LEO: Personal?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Some personal affairs, like that. But it is a very few.

DIR. VINCI: Because government media, majority of the media there is government media? So you don’t have?

MINISTER PE MYINT: No, no, not because of that. There are a large number of private journalists.

DIR. VINCI: It was never been a problem?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Yeah.

DIR. VINCI: Buti pa sa kanila. It’s good.

LEO: That’s good. Here, you’ll have… you know, it’s hard for us to… if you are in media, and although, also in the government, if you are hard hitting one then you must be careful.

DIR. VINCI: Or vulnerable.

MINISTER PE MYINT: There are some cases of media as being arrested and sued for defamation or trespassing or like that, but not very many cases.

LEO: So it’s all about personal issues and personal cases only. Not really because of their duty or you know…

MINISTER PE MYINT: Maybe because for example for defamation, he may be sued due to the revelations and news stories. So that is not a puzzle, maybe we may not call puzzle and all.
LEO: Alright initially, Minister and Secretary Mart, how do you plan to implement the exchange of news and information materials, for example, and who will call the shots and what to share, Secretary Mart?

SEC. ANDANAR: We have this mechanism created yesterday, and then we assigned Undersecretary Marvin Gatpayat to be the head from… on the Philippine side and Minister Myint also assigned somebody from his side and on the 15th of February we should be able to send our draft for the activities that we are planning to have with Myanmar and… the activities, so we can offer also here in the Philippines and we will send it to Prime Minister Myint’s office. They will study that and then they will comment and they will send us back and we will agree if that is the final activity that we will have for this year. And then after which, by March 30 we are expecting to agree already on the final activity that we will have for both countries so that we can already implement the memorandum of understanding in information exchanged.

LEO: So bukod sa information exchange, magkakaroon din ng students exchange, mga ganoon?

SEC. ANDANAR: Media worker.

LEO: Media worker, that’s right.

SEC. ANDANAR: So we will send media workers primarily from the government and then secondarily iyong ating mga media workers sa private sector and then, they will also do the same from their end.

LEO: Maybe the Malacañang Press Corps., who listening now, ito ba iyong dahilan? Isa sa reason why na naglagay ka or you put up global media sa katauhan ni… nasaan ba iyon?

DIR. VINCI: Nandiyan lang.

LEO: Si JV Arcena nakatag ngayon?

SEC. ANDANAR: Si JV Arcena. Well, actually Leo, this is still consistent with our policies at the PCOO with regard to media: Number one policy is to advocate media policies and one is FOI, the second is PTFoMS, the third is bridging media and government – the second is media engagement and the third is media solutions.

Now, from our engagement we found out that we have so many media workers in government that have not travelled overseas for executive media studies or iyong karagdagang kaalaman ba ‘no, continuing studies and ako for one, I am a believer in education that it is the greatest equalizer and if you know, if you can add to your knowledge about media technology or strategies or tactics then you will have more chances in achieving your dreams in the field of media.

So that was what I thought when I stepped in government and kaya nagkaroon tayo ng mga kasunduan with China, with Russia, with South Korea, Japan and Singapore and now, with Myanmar and Thailand. And it is important for us to be able to create the environment where our media can broaden their horizons beyond the Philippines.

Obviously, we don’t have the monopoly of media success in the Philippines. There are other countries that are more successful than us and then there are also countries where we can also lend a helping hand and offer our expertise. So we set up the office of the global media affairs also to strengthen our media engagement with the International Media Community.

Again, not all of the media personnel are in the Philippines: There’s also a media hub in Thailand; there’s a media hub in Singapore and there’s a media hub in Hong Kong and Japan and China. At least here in Asia—here in Manila and in a globalize economy and a globalize community and a regionalized – the ASEAN – there’s this huge need for us to be able to reach out to other media entities outside the country.

As I always say, we don’t have the monopoly of broadcasting in disseminating information, so the more contacts that we have overseas, the better relationship we have with media. When I say better relationship, I mean, we can bridge international media to our government, to our national government, then I think it is easier for us to also submit or even show the stories from the government.

LEO: Secretary, kasi siyempre bilang private media, bakit mo ginagawa ito? Why do you do this? Kasi parang you are initiating, always initiating, pumupunta ka sa ibang lugar, pumupunta ka… like Myanmar you are going there to do this kind of—

DIR. VINCI: Creating partnerships.

LEO: This kind of relationship and this kind of agreement – bakit mo ginagawa ito?

SEC. ANDANAR: Well, thank you for the question and by the way, let me just clarify that I don’t only do this overseas. We are more active here in the Philippines. In fact, this year alone we spend some time engaging our media colleagues in Cebu, in Dipolog, in Dapitan and Nueva Ecija and also some media friends in Bulacan and just recently here in Cavite. At iyan ay…. we all did that this year alone, the media engagement we have last year is another story.

The reason why we do this is because I believe that as a media-man myself, one of the… I guess, best solution to hasten the nation building is to have good rapport with the private media. If you are building a nation, it’s not enough for you to just rely on government media.

And also I think this is best for government media to have its own media relations or strong media relations sa department and not relying on private media relations or private relations companies because, for one, government cannot afford to pay this private public relations experts. So I think we need to capacitate, we need to train our government bureaucracy to learn how to strengthen media relations.

So we established this at the PCOO slowly and I think you can already see the fruition of our hard work for the last two years and seven months: For instance the Office of the Global Media Affairs, actually matagal na kasi ito talaga pero it was only established in November but we have been doing this for the last few years. So now it’s an official office under JV Arcena.

He was able to bring the International Media to Balangiga for the Balangiga Bells and he was also able to usher them successfully, including Director Vinci, sila iyon – to Cotabato for the plebiscite that happened last January 21 and congratulations to President Duterte because the BOL has already been ratified. And JV was also able to successfully usher International journalists to interview our ministers or secretaries here in the Philippines. So it’s very important, Leo. Nation building requires good relations with the private media.

LEO: Actually, kaya ko tinanong iyon kasi parang… Bakit tayo nag-i-initiate on the matter kasi parang nag-start lang ito doon sa ASEAN or talagang matagal mo ng pinaplano ito bilang isang mamamahayag?

SEC. ANDANAR: Doon pa lang ako, nasa private media pa lang ako…

DIR. VINCI: Ito na po iyong vision ninyo po?

SEC. ANDANAR: Well, naisip ko lang of course as we go along our day to day grind, Director Vinci and Leo and Minister, we discover new things and there’s so many revelations and eureka moments as we work every day and slowly nabubuo iyong mga ideas and now we have a very good workflow process that we are looking at and we are developing and hopefully this becomes institutional. We can institutionalize this and we can include this in our ISO program.

LEO: Minister, how do you find, Secretary Martin Andanar’s vision? This kind of… He is doing this for almost last year and until now, he is doing this.

MINISTER PE MYINT: Yeah, I met with Secretary Andanar in 2017 and that was the first time I met him and even at a time, I see that he is very enthusiastic and he has a sort of vision as you mentioned. So now that in… Within two years and 7 months I think he has successfully implemented to his vision to become a sort of reality.

LEO: Congratulations, Secretary Mart ha.

DIR. VINCI: Congratulations sa PCOO. But Minister, because of the Memorandum of Understanding, do we expect you to visit us more often? [laughs].

MINISTER PE MYINT: I think if…

LEO: Of course. Oh, JV Arcena is here already but I think, if given the time, our minister here, our guest will go to Balangiga, pasasamahan ninyo?

DIR. VINCI: Hopefully next time because they’ll return to Myanmar.

SEC. ANDANAR: I think the best time for us to invite Minister—Doctor Pe Myint would be once we have already unveiled Mindanao Media Hub.

LEO: Yeah, that’s it. That’s it.

SEC. ANDANAR: because what the Minister witnessing today and seeing today is our Luzon Media Hub which is basically, your Excellency, the facilities that you are seeing is actually just been refurbished and it actually an old facility that we improved. And when we unveiled the new facility in Mindanao that is the state of the art communications facilities and it’s a good example I think because you have Yangoon, Naypyidaw and you have your other states and here in the Philippines we have Metro Manila and we have Mindanao, so it’s a good example of how we can set up a network outside the capital.

LEO: Actually this is the oldest, the first and the oldest building of the government information agency. [laughs].

MINISTER PE MYINT: I thought you said that this is an old one but it’s quite impressive.

LEO: This kind of you know…

DIR. VINCI: Set up.

LEO: Setup, its Secretary Martin Andanar’s brain.

DIR. VINCI: Later on we will, the people who are touring you around might show you the before pictures of this studio. So, you’ll know what’s Sir Leo is talking about, ‘this is what they are telling me that this is the old one.’

LEO: That is 1996, I think its 1996 – oh no 1987, you can only see us here in two tables, long tables and a microphone, that’s it. Not like this. And just—

DIR. VINCI: Disjointed.

LEO: Well, anyways, I would like to thank you so much for visiting us here.

DIR. VINCI: I hope you enjoyed your stay.

LEO: And again for the hospitality of our Filipino brethren – you like it or what? [laughs].

MINISTER PE MYINT: Thank you very much. I’m also looking forward to visiting the Mindanao, your new media hub, the most modern the state of the art media house.

LEO: That’s true. Yeah, that’s true.

MINISTER PE MYINT: Very—I got to see that.

DIR. VINCI: So far, how do you find the Philippines, Your Excellency?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Philippines?

LEO: Yeah.

MINISTER PE MYINT: Of all country? I think… I have some impression not about the country but about the people I met and last one and a half days is that they are, most of them the PCOO Senior officials, they seem to be very active, very youthful—

LEO: That’s true.

MINISTER PE MYINT: Good looking and at the same time they are very enthusiastic about their work.

LEO: Because if they saw, Secretary Martin Andanar, they will be ashamed—

DIR. VINCI: Not to work?

LEO: Secretary Andanar is so workaholic. That’s true. That’s why they must do what they have to do – tama ba ako, Sec., nandiyan ka pa ba?

SEC. ANDANAR: We want to thank the Minister, His Excellency, Doctor PE Myint for spending precious moments with us. Indeed, yesterday was historic, Your Excellency. I wish you the best and enjoy your studio tour today. And I believe the Minister is also going to the MTRCB and then he will have his private time. The Minister is a lover of books—

DIR. VINCI: Yes, as request.

SEC. ANDANAR: He will be going to several bookstores today.

LEO: I think he has an interview for an hour for PTV4, I think?

SEC. ANDANAR: Yes, PTV and then I guess the Philippine News Agency also will be talking to him, yes. So you better let him go.

LEO: Yeah, I have to let him go. Parting words, Minister?

MINISTER PE MYINT: Thank you very much Secretary and PCOO officials, all of you and Mr. ‘Anchor’ and Vinci, thank you very much for this lively discussion, lively meeting, yeah.

LEO: No. We thank you for coming to us and visiting us here, it’s an honor. This program, Cabinet report actually it’s all about the issues coming from the Cabinet of the President—

DIR. VINCI: The ministers.

LEO: And what are… you know what are their—what have they done or still doing for the President’s orders. So they will report up here. That’s why Secretary Andanar created this kind of program, Cabinet Report sa Teleradyo meaning the Teleradyo is a television and radio simulcast and also from—

DIR. VINCI: When you go to Myanmar you could watch our live—

LEO: Yeah through Facebook also.

DIR. VINCI: Live the video through Facebook, the Radyo Pilipinas Facebook page.

LEO: Alright, thank you so much, Minister and well sa ating mga tagasubaybay, Secretary Mart, maraming salamat din.

SEC. ANDANAR: Thank you, Leo, thank you din, Vinci and Minister, thank you. I think, Leo you will need Department of Health to your next guest.

LEO: Ganoon ba iyon? [laughs].

SEC. ANDANAR: Because your nose is bleeding now.

LEO: Yeah, oo. I’m looking to that. Thank you so much, Secretary. Pero huwag kang aalis diyan at huwag mong ibaba ang telepono or else—

DIR. VINCI: We still have a lot of topics to discuss.

LEO: And then after the break babalik tayo sa ilang mga issues like BOL, alright – Bangsamoro Organic Law. Thank you so much everyone. Magbabalik po ba Cabinet Report sa Teleradyo.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

LEO: Alright, balik na tayo sa ating pagtatanghal pa rin, dito pa rin sa Cabinet Report sa Teleradyo. Siyempre pa, sa mga oras na ito ay nasa linya natin ang ating guest mula po diyan sa kaniyang Mancave… Secretary Mart Andanar.

DIR. VINCI: Hello po Sec. Mart…

SEC. ANDANAR: Maraming salamat po sa inyong pagkumbida sa akin [laughs]…

DIR. VINCI: Sec. Mart nagre-request po si Kuya Leo po ng medical assistance po [laughs]…

LEO: Please, please… May Malasakit Center ba diyan, malapit?

DIR. JV: Dumudugo raw po iyong ilong [laughs]…

SEC. ANDANAR: Ah, tinawagan ko na po si Secretary Duque [laughs]…

LEO: Hindi, Secretary Bong Go na lang, mas mabilis…

SEC. ANDANAR: Si Secretary Bong Go ay mabilis kahit na—ilan ba iyong Malasakit Centers na ngayon ni Secretary Bong Go?

LEO: 21… and there are still more to come.

SEC. ANDANAR: 21? Napakadami na… Magpalagay tayo diyan malapit sa Radyo Pilipinas.

LEO: Oo… At atin-atin lang ‘to ha, wala naman nakakarinig eh. Mayroon pa pong darating na tatlumpu’t anim na Malasakit Center – soon to rise…

SEC. ANDANAR: Aba okay ah, napakarami niyang—very good, very good.

LEO: Eh alam mo naman ang Malasakit Center eh, although iyan po ay suportado ng Pangulo ay talagang pinagpatuloy. Imagine mo isa lang iyong sinimulan ni Presidente, tinuluy-tuloy ni SAP Bong Go, at talaga namang umaabot na sa dalawampu’t isa ang Malasakit Center na malaking tulong sa lahat.

Anyway Secretary, pinag-usapan namin ang BOL kani-kanina lamang, wala kasi si Iqbal kaya ikaw na lang kaya… Ang tanong ko kasi kanina… naiwanan kong tanong kanina, hindi kaya maging balakid doon sa BOL, I mean sa pag-implementa ng Bangsamoro Organic Law itong mga nag-‘no’?

SEC. ANDANAR: Hindi naman, hindi naman ito—kasi lahat naman ay dumaan sa proseso; it’s a democratic process wherein the electorate voted; they’ve voted for what they want: Number one, do they want it ratified or not – yes or no. Number two, para sa siyudad ng Isabela at Cotabato City, iyong second question is gusto ninyo bang included kayo dito sa loob ng BARMM or hindi. At overwhelming naman ang sumagot na ‘oo’ kaya ito’y ratified na. So therefore, the voice of the majority is the voice of God, hindi ho ba? So ngayon, ang ating hinihintay na lamang ay itong ikalawang botohan sa February 6.

LEO: Oo, doon magkakaalaman din… Anyway, iyon nga, assuming na ganito nga Secretary… eh sabi ko nga eh—nag-devil’s advocate lang ako – Sulu is Sulu, and we all know being—tayo, mga reporters tayo eh, ang Sulu kasi diyan pinanggagalingan iyong mga bandido, then lumilipat doon sa Isabela. So hindi ba parang… hindi kaya doon—mayroon na namang panibagong hindi dapat asahan? Hindi ba, parang ano…

SEC. ANDANAR: Alam mo, we really need to be optimistic about the entire situation. Maraming of course mga critical – mayroong magsasabi na nangyari na ‘yan at nag-ARMM na, marami nang sumubok diyan wala pa ring nangyari. But if that is our attitude, walang mangyayari po sa ating bayan.

At ito naman ay lifelong endeavor, lifelong dream ng mga kababayan natin sa Mindanao, Leo at JV and Vinci, at sa tagal-tagal nang minimithing pangmatagalang kapayapaan ay ito na nga. Alam natin na sumubok noong 2000—I think it was from 2010 to 2016 ng Aquino administration, at sila ay hindi nagtagumpay dito sa BOL. At ngayon na mayroon tayong Pangulong Duterte, akalain mo, 2 years and 7/8 months lang ay nandito na, na-ratify na nga itong Bangsamoro Organic Law.

So we must be really positive, we must look forward para magkaroon ng talagang pangmatagalang, panghabang-buhay na kapayapaan. Kasi kung titingnan mo iyong Mindanao, saka kung titingnan mo iyong… ano iyong mga puwedeng mangyari sa Mindanao: diyan lang sa Tawi-Tawi, napakaganda ng lugar na ‘yan. It’s a relatively untouched and it’s a pristine tourist destination. Kung iyan ay ma-develop ‘yan… you know, it’s just a stone-throw away from Malaysia.

Let me give you a business perspective ‘no, coming from—I’m going to wear my businessman hat.

Ang Thailand, kaya siya napaka-successful, itong Thailand ‘no… they have more than 30 million tourists a year, ang Thailand – compared sa atin, dito sa Pilipinas—nag-increase tayo, congratulations sa DOT—

LEO: Oo, congratulations sa Tourism…

SEC. ANDANAR: 7.1 million ‘no… parang napakataas ng itinaas nito from 6 to 7.1 … Now, bakit ang Thailand ay napakadaming turista? Napakadaming turista, kasi ang Thailand is a neighboring country of several countries ‘di ba Vinci?

DIR. VINCI: Yes po…

SEC. ANDANAR: Marami iyong mga—you can just take—you can go by land to Myanmar; you can go by land to Cambodia; you can take the train to Malaysia… Ano ‘to eh, it’s a bordering country. Now kaya iyong mga turista, they just cross from one border to the next. So people who would like to see Asia, of course bukod doon sa napakagandang kultura ng Thailand, they would go to Thailand kasi it’s economical. Pupunta ka lang sa international airport, pupunta ka ng Bangkok and then you can cross from one country to the next. So it’s a very popular destination, especially to the backpackers, ‘di ba JV? Si JV, mahilig mag-backpack si JV eh…

DIR. JV: Yes sir, oo… sa Phuket.

SEC. ANDANAR: So business-wise and tourism-wise, it’s a very practical country now. Okay, the Philippines is an archipelago ‘di ba? Now, ano ang pinakamalapit na bansa sa Mindanao o sa Pilipinas?

DIR. JV: Malaysia…

LEO: Malaysia, Taiwan…

SEC. ANDANAR: ‘Di ba? So imagine if you have—Malaysia has more than 18 million tourists a year, and you will see that maraming mga turista sa Malaysia ang galing ding Thailand and Singapore, okay.

LEO: Tumatawid lang…

SEC. ANDANAR: So imagine if you have a very safe Sulawesi Sea; imagine if you have a pirate and a kidnap-free Sulu – Tawi-Tawi; imagine if you have a very peaceful province or state… or itong Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao… Now, it will be now a very conducive place to build and to create tourist destinations.

DIR. VINCI: Mindanao cruise, oh [laughs]…

LEO: Wow, puwede kasi malalim ang tubig diyan.

SEC. ANDANAR: Napakaganda, yes…

DIR. JV: Saka Tawi-Tawi, maraming mga untouched talaga na place diyan.

LEO: Well, iyon ‘yung vision na dapat nating yakapin. Kasi kung—iyon nga, sabi ko nga naging devil’s advocate lang naman ako kanina eh, ikaw naman Secretary masyado kang defensive eh.

SEC. ANDANAR: Either devil’s advocate o ikaw talaga iyong devil? [laughs]

LEO: Patay tayo diyan… Pero kidding aside, congratulations sa lahat ng Cabinet officials ng Pangulo, dahil dito po sa 4th Quarter ng survey ng SWS eh nasa +35… hindi kaya PCOO number one dito? Walang ano eh…

SEC. ANDANAR: Pinakamataas diyan ay—iyang 35 na ‘yan for the entire year. So tayo ay nagpapasalamat on behalf of the entire Cabinet ‘no – salamat, salamat sa suporta ninyo and salamat din sa tiwala. Again, it served as an inspiration for all of us sa Cabinet. When you have a President who’s always up and above, eh nakakahiya kung ikaw Cabinet at pakuya-kuyakoy ka lang…

LEO: Eh ‘yan ang paalala ni Presidente – you are there to serve ‘di ba, ang galing… Kaya dapat ipagpatuloy ninyo ‘yang—itong napakagandang survey na ito ay yakapin ninyo ito at gawin pa ring barometro na lalo pang mas mataas – 35 last year, gawin ninyong 65—ang taas noon ha.

DIR. VINCI: Kaya… kakayanin!

SEC. ANDANAR: Kaya [laughs]…

DIR. VINCI: Positive lang…

LEO: Oo kakayanin… positive daw eh [laughs].

SEC. ANDANAR: Kaya alam mo, dito pumapasok iyong ating policy… iyong ating policy na government media-bridge. Okay Building a strong bridge – iyon ang ginagawa natin Leo, JV at Director Vinci, when you create that sturdy bridge between government and media, then the more that you will encourage media to cover all of the projects of the government; and the more that you will create that environment of objectivity. So hindi naman magiging 35 iyan kung hindi kino-cover ng media ‘yan eh ‘di ba?

LEO: Totoo, totoo…

SEC. ANDANAR: Oo, kasi—alam mo ang dami kasing nagsasabi na… kasi alam mo bias itong media ng Pilipinas… Ako, hindi naniniwala. Ako ay isang media-man, I began as a media-man, I will die as a media-man. At sinasabi ko, 81% si Presidente sa kaniyang approval rating; ang Cabinet 35%. Now, hindi naman lalabas iyong survey na iyon kung hindi alam ng tao kung anong ginagawa ng gobyerno eh…

LEO: Correct.

SEC. ANDANAR: Ang government media naman ay wala pa sa limang porsiyento sa kabuuang media ng Pilipinas. So what I’m saying is that, we should really build that strong bridge, make it sturdier at kung puwede nga gawing ano na iyan eh, automatic, malakas at toll free iyong bridge na iyan para at least kapag mayroon kang mga libreng… We are talking about toll free, libreng exchange program sa Thailand, sa Myanmar, hindi lang ang gobyerno na media ang makikinabang, pati iyong private media and that’s one way of building that bridge between media and government.

What JV and office of the Global Media Affairs is doing when he ushers, when he facilitates the trip of international media to Cotabato to cover the Bangsamoro plebiscite at ganoon din sa Balangiga and future coverage – that’s building confidence between our government and the press – locally and internationally. And again, I’m very proud to say that we continue, we maintain to be the best country for media workers in South East Asia.

LEO: Kaya nga dapat ano iyan eh, tuloy-tuloy na dahil sabi ko nga kanina, hindi mo narinig eh. Kung ako si Secretary Andanar, parang na ano na ako eh, lumulutang ako sa langit ngayon dahil iyong aking ano, iyong aking vision—

DIR. VINCI: Pangarap.

LEO: Bilang isang mamamahayag aba ay ito na, natutupad na dahil sa ginagawa mo ngayon.

SEC. ANDANAR: Well, alam mo nagpapasalamat tayo sa lahat. This is not me – this is the entire PCOO, including Radyo Pilipinas.

LEO: Yes.

SEC. ANDANAR: PTV, PNA, PIA, kayong tatlo at lahat ng mga kasamahan natin sa PCOO.

LEO: Hindi, huwag ninyo na kami isama, okay lang kami.

SEC. ANDANAR: O sige hindi ka kasama [laughs].

DIR. VINCI: Ang daling kausap. [laughs].

LEO: Well, Secretary, wala na tayong oras.

SEC. ANDANAR: Pero alam mo teka bago tayo magpaalam ‘n0, mayroon akong na-discover na talent kahapon. Si Director Vinci kayang mag-host na walang script.

LEO: Nasanay dito ‘no? Tingin ko.

DIR. VINCI: Oh ito in English.

LEO: Wow, grabe.

JV: Sec., pinag-aralan pa niya kada pangalan ng mga bisita. Ginogle niya—

LEO: Ang hirap kaya nun.

JV: Paano basahin ito? [laughs].

DIR. VINCI: Iyong mga behind the scenes natin.

LEO: Congratulations, Direct Vinci ha, ikaw ha. Kaya pala nagpa-breakfast kanina!

DIR. VINCI: Grabe. [laughs].

LEO: Oo.

JV: At may pa-lunch pa.

SEC. ANDANAR: Tatak Tolentino.

LEO: Ikaw ba iyan tol? Talaga naman oh.

SEC. ANDANAR: Ikaw ba iyan ‘tol. Uncle niya si Tolentino eh.

JV: Future Mayor ito eh ng Tagaytay.

DIR. VINCI: Ay grabe ka. [laughs].

LEO: Anyway, Sec., maraming salamat po.

DIR. VINCI: Sec., salamat po.

LEO: Maraming salamat sa pagkakataon at sa pag-guest mo ulit sa amin dito. Wala na tayong oras kasi [laughs].

JV: Bukas pala eh abangan ninyo mga kapatid, ang Dutertenomics 2.0—ay no, Monday.

DIR. VINCI: Lunes, sa PICC.

JV: Naka-live po iyon, naka-live po iyon sa PTV at saka RTVM ‘no.

DIR. VINCI: Yes, oo.

LEO: Alright, Sec., thank you so much.

SEC. ANDANAR: Ano iyon ha, Duterte 2.0: The Results, the results.

LEO: Alright, again, maraming-maraming salamat mga kababayan sa inyong pagsama sa amin sa Cabinet Report sa Teleradyo at kanina narinig ninyo naman ang minister from Myanmar na ating nakasalamuha dito. Maya-maya po ako pupunta sa hospital at magpapatingin – ito po muli si Leo Palo III. [laughs].

DIR. VINCI: Director Vinci Beltran.

JV: At ako naman po si JV Arcena.

SEC. ANDANAR: Secretary Martin Andanar.

LEO: At ito po ang Cabinet Report sa Teleradyo.

###

Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)

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