Palace eyes 'social media council' for bloggers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 02 2017 08:41 PM

MANILA- The Presidential Communications Operations Office's (PCOO) plans to create a council of social media bloggers to regulate and advise bloggers and social media users who will be allowed to cover Malacañang events.

PCOO Asec. Kris Ablan said following a town hall discussion with bloggers last week, the government is looking at the need to create such a council since its members would probably be more familiar with blogging.

“Maybe it’s better not to create an office, but to recognize an organization or council of social media bloggers that will review its content or advise social media bloggers on how to communicate such information,” Ablan said on ANC’s “Early Edition.”

Asked on whether the policy is simply being used as a means to accommodate fans of the President on social media, Ablan said even critics of the President can be accredited to cover Palace events.

“Policy is as it is written, is neutral, so it is open to all kinds of social media users and bloggers regardless of their political beliefs and political affiliations as long as they abide by the requirements we set out,” he said.

He added that the Palace still has a “heightened engagement” with traditional journalists amid concerns on the accommodation of bloggers.

“It’s going to be a territorial and jurisdictional issue but hopefully, we’ll accommodate both traditional media and new media because we have to recognize new media as a new source of information and dissemination,” Ablan said.

Bloggers expressed worries over the proposed social media policy during the presentation of an initial draft last week.

One blogger said that when they discussed the matter with President Rodrigo Duterte, they were only asking for access to Malacañang press briefings that they can use for their content. 

Ablan said the PCOO is planning to collate all comments from bloggers and journalists this month in preparation for the presentation of a final draft in April. He added that they aim for the policy to be implemented before the second State of the Nation Address of President Duterte.