MANILA – Journalists will not be able to cover inside the Rizal Hall in Malacañang where President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will be taking his oath on June 30.
Incoming Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said this is due to the venue’s limited size, which he said could only accommodate 500 guests.
Media outfits will have to rely on the live feed and video to be provided by Radio TV Malacañang (RTVM), the in-house presidential videographer.
Accredited journalists can monitor the proceedings and work from the nearby New Executive Building, which houses the Press Working Area.
“‘Yung plano, as of now, sa Rizal Hall ay RTVM ang lead tapos magkakaroon tayo ng… under negotiation ang area kung saan pwede mag-standupper ang mga broadcaster… tapos lahat naman ng media na binigyan ng accreditation can monitor it sa New Executive Building,” Andanar said.
Andanar said the arrangement is not intended to limit access to media covering the incoming administration.
“Talagang masikip lang talaga sa loob. Masikip sa loob ng Rizal Hall. Hindi siya ganoon kalaki ang espasyo. Limang daan lang kasi ang pwede na bisita so ang atin namang mga kasamahan sa RTVM ay sanay na naman sila sa broadcast pool. I don’t think you will have a difficult time,” he said.
He is also not ruling out the possibility of Duterte granting interviews to journalists during his term.
“Six years ang presidency. I don’t think na ‘yung Presidente naman ay hindi kayo kakausapin. Kasi kung matatandaan niyo, doon sa Cebu nakausap naman siya ng GMA, nakausap naman siya ng ABS-CBN,” he said.
“PCOO” TO BECOME “PCO”
Andanar met again with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma and other PCOO officials on Monday to ensure a smooth transition in the department. It was Andanar’s second visit to the Palace since the announcement of his designation.
“Bahagi lang ito ng patuloy na makipag-uganayan namin sa isa’t isa upang tiyakin ang seamless transition,” Coloma said.
Andanar is proposing to rename the office to Presidential Communications Office (PCO) which will also subsume the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO).
This will be a departure from the practice of the Aquino administration of having two cabinet-rank secretaries handling its communication arm.
Andanar added that he intends to maintain the online version of the Official Gazette currently being handled by the PCDSPO. The PCDSPO has also been in charge of crafting President Aquino’s messages and speeches.
“Simple na lang siguro ang division na ‘yun. Magiging strategic communications division ng PCO. Ang kagandahan po nito ay hindi na po magiging you know, medyo magulo ang ating set up. Isa na lang ang magrereport sa Presidente, ‘yung secretary na lang ng PCO at pati po ang spokesperson pag dating sa kanyang administrative work ay ako na po ang magrereport sa gabinete para isa lang po ang panggagalingan ng report administratively,” he said.
He also said Duterte’s inaugural speech is still a work in progress.
“Kamakailan ay nagkaroon po ng direktiba ang secretariat po ng president-elect at bawat gabinete ay pinasumite po ng kanilang mga paukalang polisiya para ito po ay maisama sa talumpati,” Andanar said.