The administration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. plans to invite bloggers to attend press briefings in Malacanang, incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) chief Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Wednesday.
“We are pushing for the accreditation of bloggers to be invited to some of the briefings, especially those conducted by the President-elect,” Angeles—a popular blogger herself—said during a Laging Handa briefing.
The incoming Press Secretary, who will oversee the PCOO, said the accreditation of bloggers to cover Malacanang press briefings is a “priority” for her incoming team.
A similar effort of accrediting bloggers was also broached during the administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, but it did not gain ground.
Angeles also said that the regular Palace briefings will be done once to twice a week.
“The regular once a week are for the updates on pending issues, and then possibly a second one if there are issues that need to be addressed immediately. We’re not going to limit it, of course. If it is necessary, we will have more briefings. But other than that, the plan is one or two at least,” she said.
Access to Malacañang coverage or Palace events is usually limited to journalists from TV networks, online news outfits, and newspapers.
Angeles also said they are looking into existing policies on allowing all journalists to physically cover presidential events.
“We have to wait and see pending the review of all existing policies,” she added.
The PCOO has barred journalists from entering Malacañang premises since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in 2020.
The PCOO has also opted to hold virtual Palace press briefings due to the threat posed by the coronavirus.
With the further relaxation of COVID-19 protocols, journalists have been allowed to cover presidential events, subject to conditions set by Malacañang.
Angeles said she would also look into the “issues of disinformation,” as she intends to prioritize the accreditation of social media influencers for Palace coverage.
“We’re also looking at things like opening up discourse and looking at issues of disinformation that seem to be a ‘hot button’ topic nowadays,” she said.
Angeles’ predecessor, outgoing Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, also crafted a similar policy that would allow qualified social media users to cover special events attended by President Rodrigo Duterte to promote news and information online.
On August 8, 2017, Andanar approved Department Order (DO) 15, establishing a provisional social media practitioner accreditation system handled by the Presidential Communications Operations Office’s (PCOO) Social Media Office.
Under DO 15, accreditation can only be issued to Filipino social media practitioners who are at least 18 years old and who have at least 5,000 followers on any social media platform.