PCOO sets pre-SONA virtual pressers

Cabinet members are set to report on their respective accomplishments ahead of President Duterte's fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) this month.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar (PCOO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a statement, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said the Cabinet members will also give their insights on the Philippines' performance in terms of fulfilling the key priorities of the administration through three-part forum that will be followed by the virtual presser.

The PCOO, through its Office of the Global Media and Public Affairs (OGMPA), will hold the first Pre-SONA Virtual Presser on Wednesday, July 8.

The first leg will highlight the Economic Development and Infrastructure Cabinet Clusters and will center on the Philippines' recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PCOO started their pre-SONA forum in 2018. According to Communication Secretary Martin Andanar, the virtual presser is a product of utilizing existing technologies to constantly engage the general public and media on the Duterte administration’s policies, services, and programs for every Filipino while maintaining efforts in mitigating the impacts of the global health crisis.

“Through the Virtual Presser, the media and the Filipino people can expect our Cabinet secretaries to share accomplishments, recovery plans, executive directions and priorities, and future endeavors on multi-faceted aspects of governance, especially as we bounce back from the difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The virtual presser, an interactive video online platform pioneered and launched by the OGMPA in March 2019, was primarily used to engage with the international media and foreign audiences. 

It then repurposed in March 2020 to promote nationwide initiatives to address concerns and provide public updates on the COVID-19. 

“We maintain our commitment to promote and amplify the programs and projects of the Duterte administration throughout his leadership in all communication platforms," Communications Assistant Secretary JV Arcena, who heads the OGMPA, said.

"At this time of a pandemic, we are much more devoted to providing the public the right information that the government is exhausting all efforts to respond to and bounce back from this crisis," he added.

President Duterte is set to deliver his SONA on July 27. However, the Palace is yet to determine how the President will deliver his address due to quarantine restrictions.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque earlier said that this year's SONA may be "blended" where the President will deliver his SONA from Malacañang.

Another possibility is President Duterte will deliver his address at Batansang Pambansa but the number of attendees will be limited to comply with quarantine guidelines. Other guests may participate via teleconferencing.

Metro Manila is currently under the general community quarantine (GCQ) due to COVID-19. Gatherings under the GCQ are limited to only 10 people.