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Saturday, August 3, 2019


TACLOBAN CITY—Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said that the government will establish a strategic communications training academy for national and local government information officers as early as next year following the approval of the Finance and Budget departments.

Information officers of various government agencies lauded Secretary Andanar’s plan, saying it will not only provide a strong, comprehensive and unified communications structure to combat disinformation, but will also breed excellent communications officers nationwide.

“The quality of information that we receive based on our present structure would depend on the capability of the government information office. There are so many bureaucratic organizations to look up to...such as the PNP, AFP, PIA, also DFA. Most of these organizations have highly qualified people. But it does not go across the entire government bureaucracy. Most barangays don’t even have information officers,” Andanar said during the oath-taking ceremony for the Association of Government Information Officers Region 8 at the Philippine Information Agency Tacloban City headquarters.

“One thing I noticed is the lack of uniformity in government communication paradigm. Each department on the national level has different ways to do media relations and public relations,” he added.

“I conceptualized an academy that perhaps can help us in our pursuit that can help us improve our communications paradigm. I thought that it is imperative that the government sets up its own government strategic communications training center,” Andanar said.

He said that the training center will have research facilities, television and radio stations, a digital newsroom, lodging, and attached agencies of the PCOO like the Philippine News Agency and Philippine Information Agency.

“It has all of the necessary information that we need. All information officers across the archipelago can learn the real way,” the PCOO chief said.

He said that he plans to build the strategic communications training center in Bukidnon where it not only has a temperate climate but is also a gateway to major cities in southern Philippines such as Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City as the government seeks to push development in regions outside Metro Manila.

Andanar said that the Department of Finance and the Department of Budget and Management has already approved in principle the planned training center to be included in the national budget when the PCOO presented its business proposal.

He said that he wants the training academy to start construction as early as next year, in time for the completion of the People's Television Network Mindanao Media Hub, as well as the commencement of the Visayas Media Hub’s construction by then.

Francis Rosaroso, an Information Officer from the Department of Agriculture said that the plan is a dream come true for government communicators.

“This is attuned to our vision of professionalizing and institutionalization of our ranks. Once we have that Govt StratCom Academy, anyone who undergo short or longterm courses in this training center will be honed according to a standard of excellence that the center will provide to aspiring information officers. A very nice move or idea from Sec. Andanar. With this high-end learning center in mind, I can say that Sec Andanar really knows what he is doing. A good legacy that he can leave to the next-gen of information practitioners,” he said.