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The COO’s measures are designed to bolster Duterte’s administration’s high approval rating.

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Martin Andanar, who also serves as the acting presidential spokesperson, claimed that government media innovations over the last six years have contributed to the Duterte administration’s high public acceptance rating.

Andanar emphasized the reforms undertaken at the PCOO-affiliated agencies in a meeting with the Cebu media on Saturday, in line with his goal of transforming the news and information industry.

“Our media efforts have played a significant role in why President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has maintained a high public approval rating during his administration.” This is evident in public trust approval and confidence in the President and his Cabinet, according to surveys. Indeed, “analysts overwhelmingly agreed that President Duterte is the most popular president since Marcos,” Andanar remarked.

One of the initiatives taken by the PCOO was to bring Duterte closer to the Filipino people by broadcasting his declarations, actions, State of the Nation Addresses, interviews, and other key engagements with local leaders live on Radio Television Malacanang.

News of the President’s engagements, according to Andanar, has been magnified by the Philippine Information Agency and disseminated through various state-run and commercial media, “making him the most visible and accessible President in the country’s history.”

Unlike previous presidents who spoke only through commercial media outlets, the government’s communications arm used Radio Television Malacanang to broadcast live Duterte’s comments.

Andanar also emphasized the importance of advocating for the digitization of news and information delivery through the use of rapidly changing technology, citing the PCOO’s changes and improvements over the last five years as a result of collaboration between the office and its media and public partners.

“Back in 2018, we hosted the first-ever national information convention, where we were able to hear proposals and ideas from our partners,” he continued.

The PCOO chief also emphasized the importance of passing the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill and the Media Workers Welfare Bill as crucial future legislation to honor the community’s role as journalists.

“Our media employees deserved to be compensated for the danger they take in delivering news and information to the public, and that is how we pay respect and recognize their contribution in nation-building,” he said.

With the signing of Executive Order No. 2 in 2016, the PCOO established a groundbreaking policy on freedom of information.

Andanar claims that if the bill passes, it will promote unfettered access to government transactions and data information under the Executive Branch, which will be accessible to the media and the general public.

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