Photo from GMA News shows the ID issued by the Presidential Communications Office.

Palace orders probe on media ID boo-boo
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - March 24, 2018 - 12:01am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has ordered an investigation into what Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar regarded as a breach of protocol on the printing of identification cards of members of the media covering the Office of the President.

Andanar lamented the erroneous text and grammatically incorrect entry on the back portion of the ID that provides limitations and instructions for its proper use.

“I have ordered an investigation into it,” he said.

Andanar admitted there could have been breach of protocol on the part of the International Press Center (IPC), which reviews the accreditation of the media covering the Office of the President and related activities at Malacañang.

Without proper media ID and accreditation, not all members of the press can have access to the President and cover his official activities within and outside the Palace.

The PCOO earlier did not accredit online news site Rappler, apparently after it lost its Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) certificate, followed by a ban imposed on its reporter from covering the President.

The IPC accreditation is also important when members of the Philippine media accompany the President as part of his delegation during official trips abroad.

Andanar said the probe on the breach of protocol was based on the fact that the staff did not show him the backflip of the ID, and the IPC also did not return the final design for approval.

“I was asked to check on the logo only and the front portion,” he said.

While embarrassed by the grammatical errors on the ID, Andanar joked they could have been printed at a bogus shop somewhere along the sidewalks of Recto Avenue – not far from Malacañang. 

The area, located within the university belt, is infamous for manufacturing fake IDs, school transcripts and even diplomas.

Andanar vowed to look into the incident while he also expressed disappointment when the IPC used an e-signature without his permission and they also used the wrong impression.

The PCOO has under its wing the IPC, which handles the accreditation of members of the Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) and the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.

Since the accreditation and coverage involve the events and affairs attended by the President of the Philippines, the legitimate print and broadcast reporters also undergo strict scrutiny of the Presidential Security Group.

The media IDs were distributed earlier this month but some were already returned due to wrong names of reporters.

The PCOO ordered a recall last Thursday following concerns raised by the MPC over the past week.

The first sentence on the card read: “This card to be worn during presidential coverage, but subject to specific accreditation/security requirements.”

MPC members are required to wear the ID “all times in entering Malacañang and while inside Palace grounds.”

The PCOO warned that the ID card “is non-transferable and void if altered this card remains property of Presidential Communications Office.”

It added: “Upon expiration or when resigns from his or her agency, this card should be returning without delay to the International Press Center, G/F National Press Club, Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila.”

The ID card bore the e-signature of Andanar.

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