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Press secretary says office will share government info, raise critical thinking

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Press secretary says office will share government info, raise critical thinking
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles holds a press briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacañang on August 3, 2022.
STAR / KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Press Secretary says it intends to push back against "fake news" and digital disinformation by elevating the discussion on matters of public interest and by encouraging critical thinking among readers and viewers of state-run media. 

At the Senate public information and mass media panel's hearing, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said that government media properties including Philippine News Agency and People’s Television Network would "come first" in the dissemination of information. 

Cruz-Angeles, a vlogger before joining the Marcos administration, was a social media consultant to the Presidential Communications Operations Office during the Duterte administration.

"Right now, the term 'fake news' is hard to define. There are many definitions of it, and regulating it should be balanced with the constitutional guarantee of free speech," she said. 

"So our primary purpose, besides information on government services and situations, is raising the level of public discussion on our public interest matters… a big part of it is educating the people, not just through formal education processes, but also regularly giving information to the public to raise the level of critical thinking."

'One Messaging Policy'

Under the Office of the Press Secretary's "One Messaging Policy", the communication and information units of the government agencies in the executive branch will be placed "in the frontline of information." 

Cruz-Angeles said this is meant to "minimize disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation."

She said the OPS has created a secretariat "focusing on the information officers of the departments and agencies." She said this would make agencies more aware of what other offices are doing and "avoid misinformation caused by the lack of coordination."

She said the Office of the Press Secretary also encourages all agencies in the executive branch to conduct press conferences with the Malacañang Press Corps, the organization of journalists accredited to cover the Palace.

"The information from these briefings can reach a wider demographic through the simultaneous airing of government and private media networks," she also said. 

The PCOO during the Duterte administration was criticized over a memorandum to "amplify" COVID-19 updates favorable to government and to "convey to the public that the Philippines is faring better than many other countries in addressing the pandemic."

DISINFORMATION

FAKE NEWS

OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY

TRIXIE CRUZ-ANGELES

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