Bong Go lauds PCOO’s efforts as he proposes another media hub in the Visayas

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go congratulated the Presidential Communications Operations Office led by Secretary Martin Andanar on the first television broadcast of the People’s Television Network from the newly inaugurated Mindanao Media Hub (MMH) located in Davao City. He particularly highlighted PCOO’s role in empowering communities by improving access to relevant information to benefit the public.

“Congratulations sa inyong bagong Mindanao (Media) Hub. Ala-BBC [News] na po itong ating Mindanao hub. Nandito na ang print, radio, online, so kumpleto na at hindi na nahuhuli ang Mindanao,” Go said in an interview for Laging Handa during the pilot broadcast on Saturday, December 5.

“Congratulations sa PTV, sa lahat ng namumuno headed by General Manager [Katherine S. de Castro], lahat kayo sa likod ng PTV ng Mindanao hub, ng Laging Handa at si Undersecretary [Raquel] Rocky Ignacio. Napakalaking improvement ang ginawa niyo….Congrats sa lahat ng Pilipino, inyo ito. Government station ito para sa taumbayan,” he declared.

The Senator also recognized PCOO Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns Joseph Garcia and PTV Chair of the Board Maria Fe Aliño for the untiring service they provided to make the hub possible.

The MMH is the first media hub of the PCOO outside Metro Manila. It shall soon be home to the units and attached agencies of the PCOO, including the Philippine News Agency, National Printing Office, APO Production Unit and the regional office of the Philippine Information Agency-XI. The broadcasting facilities and studios of PTV and Radyo Pilipinas are also located within the six-storey facility.

The MMH will deliver news and programs of interest to Regions 10 to 13 and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The facility cost an estimated P700 million and is equipped with a 10kW terrestrial transmitter and a 1kW digital transmitter to strengthen its signal within its areas of coverage. It also has a digital satellite news-gathering system to streamline the sourcing of news.

The Senator noted during the interview the heightened demand of the public for greater access to information during these challenging times. He expressed confidence that the MMH is a big step towards transforming the quality of government communication and information services in Mindanao and the rest of the country.

Go shared President Rodrigo Duterte’s hopes that the PTV shall grow into the size and standard similar to the British Broadcasting Corporation with a transformational impact on the media sector towards building a more informed citizenry.

The Senator disclosed that he had discussed the possibility of opening a similar media hub for the Visayas with Secretary of Budget and Management Wendel E. Avisado, a proposal which the former believes the President would be open to.

“Ika nga mala-BBC na nga po ito. Ito ang pinangarap ng ating Pangulo na magkaroon din dito sa ating bansa, ala-BBC na programa. Kumpleto, malakas ang signal, maganda pati ang inyong pasilidad,” he began.

“Sana ay hindi nagtatapos dito ang mga ideya na ito, mga proyekto ay napag-usapan nga namin ni Secretary Martin. Sana ay magkaroon din ng Visayas hub para sa mga kababayan nating Bisaya sa Cebu, Leyte, Region [Western Visayas], [Central Visayas] and [Eastern Visayas],” added Go.

Secretary Avisado, who was also present during the interview, reassured that the Department of Budget and Management would fully back the venture.

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