MANILA—The government is planning to put up an information satellite network that covers the entire country to combat the spread of "fake news," a Palace official said Saturday.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the "ambitious" project can be used to fight disinformation among Filipinos.
"Ito po ay malaking panlaban din sa disinformation, misinformation or fake news," he said in an interview on state-run Radyo Pilipinas dzRB.
"Sapagka’t kung mayroon pong fake news na halimbawa may nagsabi na, 'Uy mayroong red tide sa lugar na ito,' dahil nga 42,000 na mga barangays ang mayroon at lahat po ng mga information officers ay united po lahat, ay siguro na mas madali po ng mapawi o matabunan iyong mga fake news dahil lahat ho ay nagkakaisa at mayroon pong government satellite network."
The government aims to roll out its satellite network, which can serve as a "central hub" of information, to 42,000 barangays by June. Each barangay will be provided with a receiver so that chiefs can directly receive updates from the government.
The satellite network will carry government programs and will also contain information from different government agencies.
"So direkta po mula sa Malacañang all the way to the barangay halls," Andanar said.
The communications chief said the planned satellite network will be capable of delivering videos and audio content even to far-flung places.
"At kung Facebook po ang pag-uusapan ay puwede rin pong mag-Facebook diyan sa government satellite network at para matabunan at mawala nga ang fake news," he said.
The project will be headed by the Presidential Communications Operations Office and will include the offices of the president and the national security adviser.
Andanar added that his department is also working to include the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Defense in the project.
"Para po ito sa barangay hall, sa barangay hall, para po ito sa mga iba pang mga departamento na gustong gumamit ng government satellite network but we will really encourage all of the departments . . . " he said.