PCOO vows to sustain gains in media freedom

PCOO vows to sustain gains in media freedom

MANILA — Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar expressed hope that the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) will work even harder to keep the Philippines out of the top five most dangerous countries for journalists.

Andanar made this remark in a meeting with members of the Zamboanga Del Norte Press Club in Dipolog City on Sunday.

Andanar emphasized the role of the PTFoMS, created through Administration Order No. 01 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in October 2016, to address media killings and harassments.

The PCOO chief distributed copies of a Handbook on the Personal Security Measures for Media Practitioners prepared by the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) to members of the Zamboanga Del Norte Press Club.

“This is very important for all of us because it gives us the dos and don’ts on how to protect your family from danger,” Andanar said.

Media freedom organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has removed the Philippines from the list of top five most dangerous countries for journalists in 2018.

Based on the RSF annual worldwide round-up figures released last month, the list of top five deadliest countries for media this year is now occupied by Afghanistan, Syria, Mexico, India and the United States.

Meanwhile, Andanar provided a television set, pledged to give them laptops, and committed to push for more scholarships and training programs for both government and private media personnel.

Andanar also gave credit to his own agency for “being successful” in raising the Duterte’s trust and performance rating to 76 and 81 percent, respectively, in the last quarter of 2018, according to a Pulse Asia survey.

“I guess with what the PCOO is doing in terms of communicating the President, perhaps we are a little bit successful because the President obtained an 81 percent performance rating,” Andanar said. (PNA-northboundasia.com