MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Friday bared long-term plans for the country’s first media training facility, including the proposal to offer technical courses for both public information officers and private media workers.
The PCOO, together with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Municipal Government of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, and the Northern Bukidnon State College (NBSC), conducted the groundbreaking ceremony of the first Government Communication Academy in the country on September 27, 2021. This signifies the start of the construction of the facility’s main building.
“This is the first communication academy that will give more technical skills, know-how to our information officers in the barangay level all the way to the national level,” he said.
Secretary Andanar said that they plan to tie up with the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB), and NBSC to ensure that trainings that will be conducted are aligned with the needs of its beneficiaries. He also said that private media workers are welcome to contribute their expertise.
“I believe that if we offer this kind of institution that can provide executive certificates in communication in radio, television, social media, broadcasting, and news wire distribution then it will be good for everybody,” he said.
The PCOO chief stressed the importance of arming the media against disinformation.
“One of the biggest ways to combat this is through education,” he said.
He also mentioned that passing the Media Workers Welfare Bill into law will allow the industry to thrive as employment security will be assured.
Secretary Martin Andanar highlighted the policies that the PCOO has pushed. These included the Freedom of Information, the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, and the pending Media Workers Welfare Bill.
He said that with these policies in place, the agency is taking part in keeping democracy alive in the country.
“Kinahangalan mupasar ni siya (Media Workers Welfare Bill) kay aron matabangan tang mga workers sa media. We need all the support that we can get from the government [The Media Workers Welfare Bill should be passed into law so that we can also help the workers in the media. We need all the support that we can get from the government],” he said.
“If we have this Media Workers Welfare Bill passed as a law, then the media industry will even thrive more. This is important because we are a democratic nation,” he added.