Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin M. Andanar discusses developments of the Mindanao Media Hub to the local media in a press conference in Carcar City, Cebu on August 15, 2019. (Photo courtesy of PCOO)

CARCAR CITY, Cebu ---Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Thursday the agency’s latest projects located in Mindanao will not only contribute to regional development but also lead the wave of next-generation media practitioners.

In a press conference at the Rehabinasyon Townhall Meeting in Cebu, Andanar announced that the Mindanao Media Hub is more than 90 percent complete.

“I met with the PTV (People's Television Network) management and they reported to me that the Mindanao Media Hub is more than 90 percent finished. The Mindanao Media Hub is the state-of-the-art facility that we constructed under the Duterte administration in Davao City and should cover the entire Mindanao,” he said.

“It's going to be great, at least for the entire government communications, a leap for us so the next generation will have a walk in the park,” Andanar added.

Andanar hopes that the Mindanao Media Hub, located in Davao City, will serve as an inspiration for President Rodrigo Duterte to push for the Visayas Media Hub.

Currently, PTV only has a Luzon Media Hub that is located in Quezon City.

“Once we complete the Mindanao Media Hub, then we can start the Visayas Media Hub. Next year, we will have to fight tooth and nail for the budget of the Visayas Media Hub so most likely, it will happen in 2021,” the PCOO chief said.

The construction of the four-story facility, which aims to strengthen its communication services in Mindanao, began in May last year.

This “historic project,” will serve as the government’s main broadcast hub in Regions 10 (Northern Mindanao) to 13 (Caraga), and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to deliver tailored content specific to its people and to boost the signal in the areas of coverage.

The facility contains television, print, wire, online, and new media services, delivered through four studios--each with its own production control. It is powered by a 10kW terrestrial transmitter and a 1kW digital transmitter that will facilitate broadcast services and has a digital satellite news-gathering system to streamline the sourcing of news.

The facility will house the People’s Television, Radyo Pilipinas, News and Information Bureau, Philippine News Agency (PNA), the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), National Printing Office, APO Production Unit, and other attached agencies under the PCOO.

Communications academy now in the works

Andanar also announced that the Department of Budget and Management has already approved in principle the concept and the budget of the Government Strategic Communications Training Academy.

“Second good news: Duterte Legacy and the' Build, Build Build'. The DBM has already approved the concept and the budget of the Government Strategic Communications Training Academy,” Andanar said.

He said the academy will harmonize the varying communications schemes in different national and local government agencies, and harmonize the style in undertaking media and public relations.

“It will be up for deliberation in Congress and the Senate. So by next year, hopefully, we'll start constructing the academy in Manolo, Fortich, Bukidnon--the Baguio of Mindanao,” Andanar said, referencing the region’s temperate weather.

“This beautiful training facility, which will also have a dormitory right beside it. The facility will have its own community TV, community radio, it will have its own PNA, own PIA and social media news desk. When a trainee goes there, it's like a real-world practice that has digital TV and digital radio. It’s high-tech,” he added. (PCOO)