PCOO on PNA blunders: ‘Bear with us’

Pia Ranada
PCOO on PNA blunders: ‘Bear with us’

Malacañan Photo

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar assigns an undersecretary to supervise the state news agency on the same day its newly-spotted blunders go viral

MANILA, Philippines – The undersecretary newly assigned to supervise the Philippine News Agency (PNA) after another string of blunders asked for the public’s patience and understanding.

“Please bear with us,” Undersecretary Joel Egco of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said in a statement on Friday, September 8.

He was responding to new PNA gaffes spotted by netizens – several PNA news articles, all months old, had editors’ notes as their titles.

Egco, without specifying these mistakes, said the government-run news agency was undergoing some “birth pains.”

“Rest assured that while we expect to experience ‘birth pains’ as we transform from the old to the new, the flaws in the system are effectively being addressed, both in terms of manpower and technology,” he said.

He gave assurances that “negligence, incompetence, or even sabotage” will be “dealt with accordingly.”

“We are determined to bring back that old journalistic fervor that once defined editors and reporters of the news agency in its ‘glory’ days,” added Egco.

He said that efforts to improve PNA have begun. Last Thursday, September 7, for instance, a PNA Advisory Council was formed comprised of heads of media organizations, PNA veterans, and a communications expert from the academe.

The goal, said Egco, is to make PNA a “competent source of information.”

Egco’s appointment as undersecretary supervising PNA was signed only on Friday, before the error-laden online articles became viral.

Andanar used Egco’s new assignment to deflect reporters’ request for comment on the issue.

“Usec Joel Egco is assigned to manage PNA. He will give a statement,” said Andanar.

His Friday order, an amendment of an earlier Department Order, states that Egco must now “assist in the supervision of PNA’s operation.”

The PNA head and their deputies are to report directly to Egco. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.