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PRRD calls on gov’t media to empower public

EMPOWERING THE PUBLIC. Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Joseph Lawrence Garcia (extreme left), Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte (2nd from right), Philippine Broadcasting Service Director-General Rizal Giovanni “Bong” Aportadera (2nd from left), and News and Information Bureau Director Virginia Agtay inaugurate the PHP700-million state-of-the-art Mindanao Media Hub on Thursday (March 18, 2021). The PHP700-million facility hosts television, print, wire, online, and new media services, delivered through four studios, each with its own production control. (Photo courtesy of PCOO)

DAVAO CITY: President Rodrigo Duterte has called on the government’s communication entities to help keep the people empowered through unbiased, truthful, and credible reportage.

President Duterte made the call in a video message during the opening of the Mindanao Media Hub (MMH) on Thursday here.

Duterte said the state-of-the-art media facility’s launch was another big step toward fostering an equitable media broadcasting environment in Mindanao.

“Our Constitution recognizes the vital role of a free press in the vibrant democracy and a well-informed society,” he said.

Mayor Sara Z. Duterte, who also graced the inauguration, said the inception of MMH would lead to easier coordination and sharing of correct and verifiable data across government media offices.

“It is vital because now more than ever, in this time of global health crisis, information saves lives. I hope that with your ultramodern new office building, you will be inspired to continue the work that you do, for as both media practitioners and public servants, we look to you to counter disinformation with facts, to debunk fake news with verified data,” Mayor Sara said.

She added: “As the main source of government news and information, it is not enough that the state-run media outlets have the best and the brightest media practitioners. Government media agencies must also be equipped with the latest facilities and equipment’s so that news and information reach the most number of people across the country on a regular and steady basis.”

On the other hand, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said the MMH has set the ideal of information dissemination by establishing direct connectivity with the people through the best methods of transmission and obtaining feedback.

“Current video streaming is now a means by which direct and immediate contact may be achieved with the viewers to effect productive discourse and dialogue. This is revitalizing the democratic principle of civic participation,” Andanar said.

The six-storey MMH includes equipment upgrade for PTV and Radyo Pilipinas that will already be airing in AM and FM band, aside from having state-of-the-art facilities and studios. Each floor has an area of 1,000 square meters.

MMH will serve as the government’s main broadcast hub in Regions 10 (Northern Mindanao) to 13 (Caraga) and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Costing around PHP700-million, the facility hosts television, print, wire, online, and new media services, delivered through four studios–each with its own production control.

It is powered by a 10kW terrestrial transmitter and a 1kW digital transmitter that will facilitate broadcast services and has a digital satellite news-gathering system to streamline the sourcing of news.

MMH will house the PTV, Radyo Pilipinas, News and Information Bureau – Philippine News Agency, the Philippine Information Agency, National Printing Office, APO Production Unit, and other attached agencies of the PCOO. 

(Che Palicte/PNA/SRNY/RSP)

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