Palace to open doors to bloggers

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 22 2017 05:34 PM | Updated as of Feb 22 2017 05:58 PM

Palace to open doors to bloggers 1
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar. Albert Alcain, Malacanang Photo

MANILA - Bloggers may soon be accredited to cover Malacañang events with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) laying down its guidelines for accreditation in a draft memorandum by PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar.
The proposed memo also provides for the creation of a Social Media Office (SMO) under the PCOO that will oversee PCOO's social media platforms as well as social media etiquette for PCOO personnel and citizens "using PCOO social media platforms." 
The proposed memo spelling out PCOO's social media policy will be presented Thursday in a Social Media Policy Town Hall called #AllMediaPH in Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman, Quezon City.
The proposed memo cited bloggers' audience reach and emergence of social media as "new channels of communication between government and citizens," in providing for social media accreditation.
According to the proposed memo, accreditation would give social media publishers access to PCOO events and activities such as news briefings and interviews and inclusion in the mailing list of the PCOO-SMO for PCOO events and activities.
Accredited social media users or persons or groups that maintain social media accounts would be included in PCOO "participatory governance social media programs and all related trainings and other learning activities" as well as social media volunteer programs. 
Among their responsibilities, according to the proposed memo, is to "strictly abide by" the conduct of citizens using PCOO social media platforms such as being "respectful of other users in the site, "not using offensive, inflammatory, provocative" language, providing "truthful and accurate content at all times," among others.
Accredited social media publishers and users are also expected to "post, share, and disseminate on his/her or their social media page, blog, or website the press releases and other news information issued by the PCOO," and "validate the truthfulness of the news content that they generate, publish and share." 
The proposed memo enumerated requirements for their accreditation such as having at least 1,000 followers or subscribers and which has published "regularly and consistently for 12 months."

Applicants' publications "must be editorially independent of any institution, foundation, or interest group connected or affiliated in any manner with the government." 
The proposed memo also spelled out guidelines for PCOO personnel for their non-official or personal use of social media.