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Duterte urges Congress to enact law for public information

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday encouraged the members of both Congressional chambers to pass a law creating the People’s Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) for a better management of public information.
The President made the endorsement to the two houses of Congress during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
Under the plan earlier unveiled by Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, PBC is envisioned to replace People’s Television Network (PTV-4), a state-run broadcasting network.
“Ito ang gusto ko (This is what i like) — tutal pera naman tao (besides its people’s money) — to observe editorial independence through innovative programs and intelligent treatment and analysis of news reports, as well as developments of national and international significance,” President Duterte emphasized, adding that a team from the British Broadcasting Corporation is arriving to conduct training for PTV-4 personnel.
In the same speech, PRRD said the government’s Bureau of Broadcast Services, better known as the Radyo ng Bayan, shall undergo an upgrade to make it financially viable and dependable for accurate, independent, and enlightening news and commentaries.
Radyo ng Bayan will be integrated with PBC, which will establish broadcast hubs in the Visayas and Mindanao. At present, a PCO Satellite Office is being set up in Davao City, the President said.
The country’s first Muslim channel, to be called Salaam Television, and the first Lumad channel will also be set up in Davao.
Meanwhile, President Duterte directed the PCO to coordinate with the Office of the Executive Secretary and the Presidential Legal Counsel in implementing the recently approved EO on the Freedom of Information.
“There is an Executive Order, it’s out. As an example on the part of the Executive Branch to make transparency and integrity as yardsticks in government performance, savings and expenses while engaging the public to be vigilant in participating in government programs and projects,” PRRD said.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.