MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Thursday evening bared that the Duterte administration will maintain partnership and engagement with Indigenous Peoples groups, citing their importance towards undertaking peace and security-building with members of the communist terrorist groups.
“Marami tayong gagawin. Ngayong taon ay mas lalo pa nating papalakasin ang mga programa sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga Indigenous Peoples [We have a lot to do. This year, we will further strengthen the programs to engage with Indigenous Peoples],” he said in an interview over an evening program of the Abante Radyo Tabloidista.
On top of his task of leading the communications arm of the government, Secretary Andanar is also designated as the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security for Region 10 (CORDS X). With this, he also outlined priority projects that Northern Mindanao will continue to provide support as part of the anti-insurgency initiatives of the administration.
One of these is the promotion of Adlai, an alternative staple food. With the help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), former rebels were given a livelihood program on adlai production, along with other reintegration programs.
Presently, the converging efforts of line agencies have developed a brand for Adlai-based products, which is called “Fresh Start.”
“Ngayon, pina-package natin ito at hinahanapan ng merkado [Now, we are packaging it and finding a market for it],” he said.
Meanwhile, Secretary Andanar assured that the PCOO and its attached agencies will continue to deliver relevant and timely information to the public, adapting to the ‘new normal’ way of disseminating it.
He said that the Laging Handa briefings, which stood to the needs of the public to be informed, will continue to air and address concerns and questions on policies and programs of the government, especially during the persistent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Ngayong 2021 ay patuloy pa ring bibigyang prayoridad ng PCOO ang Laging Handa Information and Communications Campaign [For 2021, the PCOO will continue to prioritize our Laging Handa Information and Communications Campaign],” he said.
“Ito’y upang tuluy-tuloy nating masiguro sa publiko na maayos at epektibo ang ginagawa ng gobyerno sa sitwasyon ng COVID-19 [This is to assure the public that the government is doing its part to manage appropriately and effectively the COVID-19 situation],” he added.
The PCOO chief noted that the production of Laging Handa documentaries, highlighting the lives of the frontliners and affected sectors during the pandemic, will also continue as these showcase the initiatives of the government in assisting them.
“Yung mandato sa amin ni Presidente Duterte ay mas lalo pang paigtingin ang aming pagpapalaganap ng impormasyon sa publiko tungkol sa mga programa at proyekto ng pamahalaan [President Duterte has mandated us to further intensify our efforts to spread the information to the public on the programs and projects of the government],” he said, stressing that the PCOO and its attached agencies will also provide information on the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines starting this year.
He also mentioned the agency’s plan to establish a Government Strategic Communications Academy in Bukidnon that will serve as a training hub for government information officers. The project is expected to commence this year.
He also reiterated plans to put up a Visayas Media hub that will strengthen public involvement and will enable the target audience in the Visayas to receive tailored content specific to them.