MANILA – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved the budget for the construction of another state-of- the-art media facility that will boost the capacity of government media in Visayas.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Thursday that the DBM has already approved the allocation of P200 million for the construction of the Visayas Media Hub.
“We are happy that the President finally approved this shortly after our success in constructing the Mindanao Media Hub, the largest government media facility outside of Metro Manila, and the largest in the country to date, which is under the Duterte administration,” he said during an interview.
The Visayas Media Hub will start its construction soon within the 3,000-square meter property of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City.
Secretary Andanar said that such an initiative would level the field in terms of allocating programs and projects in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It also proves that the government, especially the current administration is stressing the importance of communication to development.
“Sa departamento ko masasabi ko na patas ang ating pagpapagawa ng radio station, mga TV station and now we have the Visayas Media Hub that basically will become the biggest media facility in the Visayas [In my department I can say that we have a level playing field in fixing radio stations, TV stations, and now we have the Visayas Media Hub that basically will become the biggest media facility there in the Visayas],” he said.
A Government Communications Academy is also expected to rise in Manolo Fortich Bukidnon soon.
He also emphasized the other policies of the PCOO which support the open governance and free press that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and his administration continue to promote, despite criticisms. Adding that these form part of the Duterte administration’s legacies in PCOO.
“This Presidential Task Force on Media Security only happened under the term of President Duterte. And because of this we were able to facilitate serving justice for the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre case,” he said.
He said that this was the reason that the Philippines was removed by French-based Reporters Without Borders from its list of most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.
The PCOO also championed the Freedom of Information, which revitalized civic participation in fighting against corruption.
“The Executive Order No. 2 which created the Freedom of Information gave us essentially the weapon to open documents under the national government for scrutiny of not just the media but the rest of the Filipino public. It only made the government more transparent in the fight against corruption,” Secretary Andanar said.
He also mentioned the Media Welfare Bill which has already hurdled Congress approval and whose Senate version is currently pending.
“For the first time, the PCOO participated in the policymaking process,” he added.