GOVT INFO AGENCIES TO BE CENTRALIZED
Manila, Feb. 4, 2003 - New Press Secretary Hernani Braganza has started forming a "central news desk" at Malacañang where all government information agencies under the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) will be integrated.
Braganza, who took over the OPS last Jan. 15, gathered all general managers and news editors of all the government information agencies last Saturday in his Arlegui office reportedly "to work out the planned framework of central news."
He, however, failed to attend the meeting. Instead he ordered Undersecretary Milton Alingod, head of Radio-TV Malacañang, to preside over the meeting.
Some private individuals, among them journalists and PR practitioners, were also invited to the meeting including Rocky Nazareno, Eduardo Joaquin, Ed Malay, Ruben Manahan, Val Villaluz, Dennis Legaspi and Friedrich Varela.
Nazareno, Joaquin, Malay and Manahan were earlier rumored as among those who would be appointed to key OPS posts.
Reached by The STAR yesterday, Braganza clarified that these individuals have not been issued any official government appointment papers yet.
"They’re helping me as transition team. They are my personal friends," he said.
Braganza also explained to The STAR that he called for the meeting in his desire "to integrate all government assets" involved in the information machinery of the government under the OPS.
Aside from the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the OPS chief has under his disposal "assets" of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Channels 4, 9 and 13 and Radyo ng Bayan.
"These assets," he said, "would just be idle if we do not use them. What is important is to make them economically viable and competitive," Braganza said.
Under his plans, Braganza said, he would like the various government information agencies like the Radyo ng Bayan to share its day-to-day news with the PNA and Channels 4, 9 and 13.
"But these things are still being planned, like we want to have the PNA to have its web page," he said.
Though he does not have any media background, Braganza told The STAR he intends to make improvements in the government’s information services during his term.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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