SONA 2018 PROMISE TRACKER: Media

Find out how Duterte fared in other sectors

President Rodrigo Duterte has not mentioned his promises related to the media since his first State of the Nation Address in 2016.

Despite the issuance of an executive order on Freedom of Information in 2016, the actual law is still nonexistent. The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), which oversees all national agencies’ compliance with the FOI order, is “hopeful” the Congress will pass a law in 2020.

According to reports, the Presidential Task Force on Media Security has supported a bill recently filed by partylist Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) entitled the Media Workers Welfare Act.

The said bill aims to protect the rights of media employees in the workplace, reports said.

Here is how the Duterte administration fared in its other promises to “better manage public information,” and promote “accurate, independent, and enlightening news and commentary” in government-run media.

PROMISE: Create People’s Broadcasting Corporation (PBC)


“To better manage public information, a law should be passed, I’m addressing to Congress, to create the People’s Broadcasting Corporation, replacing PTV-4, the government-run TV station, which now aims to replicate international government broadcasting networks.” (SONA 2016)

Failed

Congress failed to pass a bill creating the PBC in the 17th Congress. A bill needs to be refiled in the 18th Congress.

PROMISE: Foreign media training for government media


“Teams from these international news agencies – I’d like to mention that, those interested, BBC – are set to visit the country soon to train people from the government-run channels to observe – ito ang gusto ko, tutal pera naman ng tao – to observe editorial independence through innovative programs and intelligent treatment and analysis of news reports, as well as developments of national and international significance.” (SONA 2016)

In progress

In 2016, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said teams from the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and Australian Broadcasting Company might visit the country for PTV-4’s transformation to independent media network.

In 2017, China and the Philippines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to “strengthen cooperation between (its) news organizations.” This year, various journalists and government media workers participated in a media training in Beijing.

PROMISE: Upgrade Radyo ng Bayan


“The government’s Bureau of Broadcast Services, better known as the Radyo ng Bayan, shall also undergo upgrading to make it financially viable and dependable for accurate, independent, and enlightening news and commentary. Radyo ng Bayan will be integrated with the PBC.” (SONA 2016)

Radyo ng bayan launched June 1, 2017 as Radyo Pilipinas. Since then, it has grown with 27 regional stations and 20 affiliate stations around the country.

PROMISE: Set up broadcast hubs in the Visayas and Mindanao.


“The PBC will also set up broadcast hubs in the Visayas and Mindanao.” (SONA 2016)

The government is currently building a 7-million peso media hub in Mindanao.

Its purpose is to serve as the “main broadcast hub for Regions 10 to 13, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.”

PROMISE: First Muslim and Lumad channel


“Davao City will also be the first site of the first Muslim channel to be called Salaam Television and the first Lumad channel.” (SONA 2016)

In progress

While Salaam TV was already launched in July 2017, there have been no reports on the planned creation of a Lumad channel.

Salaam TV is the first government-run Muslim channel in the country. Salaam Radio, its radio counterpart, is also the first oriented government station in the country.


Sources

On People’s Broadcasting Corp.

On BBC Training

On broadcast hubs in Visayas and Mindanao

On Radyo ng Bayan

On First Muslim and Lumad Channel


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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