Weeks and weeks before President Duterte turned 77 and months before he will step down, the Presidential Communications Operations Office was already busy releasing tons of information on “The Duterte Legacy” in print, on air, and throughout the width and breadth of the so-called screen culture.
That the Mayor President, “Tatay Digong” to his most ardent followers, has achieved results appreciated by Juan and Maria and family is confirmed by survey results giving him a satisfaction score of 70 percent. This, after nearly six years of an unheard-of honeymoon between President and People of the Philippines!
It would seem as if PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar, who is also PRRD’s spokesman, the fifth since 2016, is on the campaign trail for Duterte, not the daughter but the father. Along with bullcaps in black, giveaways include a monograph on the boss’ achievements (in charts, columns of figures, and pictures) plus a constant barrage of reminders (similar to those of the national candidates) streaming from the screen, wide and large or small and intimate. Paraphrasing the secretary, the information highway is hopelessly clogged with words and images in the era of AI and algorithm; not to join them is to be drowned by them.
The next administration will need more than its fair share of technical savvy to keep its head above water and cyberspace. Fortunately for the new president and his team, the Duterte communications machine has been build-build-building radio-TV stations outside Imperial Manila. PTV’s main studio in Quezon City on Elliptical Road has acquired two young siblings, one each for the Visayas and Mindanao.
On top of that, PCOO is building a school for government reporters and broadcasters in Bukidnon. The academy will train journalists and communicators in the art of speaking and writing for government. Off the bat, the 47-year-old Secretary Andanar does not yet know who will staff the faculty. For sure, Kat de Castro, GM of PTV in QC who has done a yeoman’s job in bringing the government network up to par with its counterparts in the private sector, has ideas of her own.
Time marches on… Before we know it, an army of fresh government appointees, from secretary to undersecretaries and underlings, will be taking over Channel 4.