News Release

PCOO bags another prestigious international award

MANILA — The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) bags another prestigious international award, this time at the 2021 International Business Awards®.

With 3,800 nominations from different organizations in 65 countries, PCOO Assistant Secretary JV L. Arcena has been named as the 2021 Gold Stevie® winner for the “Media Hero of the Year” category in the 18th Annual International Business Awards® (IBA). This is the second “Media Hero of Year” award that he has received this year.

According to Asec. Arcena, PCOO’s mandate and commitment to serving the Filipino public will continue as the country battles with COVID-19, and that providing information amid the pandemic is crucial for the public’s health and safety.

“Being hailed as the “Media Hero of the Year” in the 2021 International Business Awards® is truly an achievement for the work that we do as individuals and as an organization. It is a validation of the effort that we have been making to inform the public with vital facts and information, particularly those related to COVID-19 and those related to the programs and policies that benefit the public,” Asec. Arcena said.

“I share this award with my team and colleagues in the government who are also unsung heroes and working tirelessly to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin M. Andanar acknowledged the efforts of the PCOO employees in the delivery of public service straight to the Filipino people, especially during the pandemic.

“Hindi tayo tumigil sa paglabas para mainform ang publiko. Sa pagkuha nung mga video dun sa mga ospital, ang ating kasamahan sa Office of the Global Media  and Public Affairs (OGMPA), sila ni Asec. JV Arcena ay talagang binuwis nila ang kanila buhay para magdocument lang. That’s precisely why we received these awards because of the bravery of our colleagues here at the PCOO during the pandemic [We didn’t stop in informing the public. On taking videos on the situation of our hospitals, our Office of the Global Media  and Public Affairs (OGMPA) under Asec. JV Arcena really went out of the way to document it. That’s precisely why we received these awards because of the bravery of our colleagues here at the PCOO during the pandemic],” Sec. Andanar said in an interview.

The IBA recognized Arcena’s role in initiating innovations in PCOO for the dissemination of information about the COVID-19 during these challenging times. It also cited the documentaries, infomercials and other digital content Arcena produced, and the virtual presser and virtual reporting tour platforms he pioneered in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

At the height of the pandemic, Arcena and his team entered high-risk areas like quarantine facilities and COVID-19 hospitals, and also went to swabbing centers and testing laboratories to give the public a series of experiential and informational short documentaries. The PCOO-OGMPA brainchild, Laging Handa Dokyu, highlighted the stories of Filipino frontline workers, real situations on the ground, and showcased the government’s COVID-19 response.

Winners were determined by more than 260 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process from June through early August.

Among the comments Asec. Arcena received from the foreign judges of the said category were citations of his exemplary work.”It is admirable when leaders sacrifice their own personal safety for the wellbeing of the general public. Congratulations on a job well done,” one judge anonymously commented.

“From all the presser links it looks like “JV” was responsible for and pioneered the main method of disseminating COVID information to the people of the Philippines. From pioneering the virtual presser, docuseries on frontliner workers, visiting COVID-19 hospitals etc. JV went above and beyond in his leadership in keeping the people of the Philippines informed and safe. Well done, JV!,” said another judge.

“Clearly a very dedicated and effective media professional,” said one of the judges from the category.

Known as “the International Stevies,” the International Business Awards are the world’s premier business awards program. The  competition attracted more than 3,800 nominations from organizations of all types in 65 nations.

Winners of the awards will be celebrated through a virtual ceremony on December 8, Wednesday, in light of the COVID-19 situation.

This year, the PCOO received seven prestigious awards during the 2021 Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards. It was the first time that the PCOO was recognized internationally for its commitment to serving the public through the dissemination of relevant information and initiatives during this global health crisis.

These seven awards include “Media Hero of the Year” awarded to Secretary Martin M. Andanar while Asec. Arcena received “Media Hero of the Year” and “Government Hero of the Year” awards.

PCOO-produced programs also received multiple recognitions: Silver Stevie “Award for Innovation in Media, Visual Communications & Entertainment” and Bronze Stevie “Award for Innovation in Media Relations” for the Virtual Presser and Virtual Reporting Tour platforms; Bronze Stevie “Award for Innovation in Documentaries” for the Laging Handa Dokyu series; and Bronze Stevie “Award for Best Use of Social Media-COVID-19-Related Information” for the PCOO Laging Handa Digital Campaign.

About the Stevie Awards

Stevie Awards are conferred in eight programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, the Middle East & North Africa Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 nominations each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at