MANILA – Vloggers with high engagement and following on social media might be given access to Malacañang events, Press Secretary-designate Rose Beatrix "Trixie" Cruz-Angeles said Thursday.
This, after the incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) leadership, led by Cruz-Angeles, intended to include social media engagements and following as a basis for vloggers' accreditation in Malacañang.
"So, ngayon ang kinu-consider namin, both following and engagement kasi magkaiba po iyan (now, we're considering both following and engagement because they are different from each other). You can have a following but very few responses to your posts," she said in an interview with ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
Cruz-Angeles, during the interview, stressed the importance of social media influencers' strong connection with their followers.
The incoming PCOO leadership, she said, is looking into vloggers' ability to engage social media users in certain issues concerning the country.
"Right now, tinitignan din po namin 'yung (we are also looking into the) engagement kasi (because) engagement really means that people are responding to what you have written or shown in the case of vloggers," Cruz-Angeles said.
For now, Cruz-Angeles said she and her communications team is still reviewing the existing PCOO's policy on vloggers' accreditation for Palace coverage.
She also reiterated that they are determining if it is now the "right time" to allow qualified social media personalities to cover Malacañang.
"Kumbaga, (We'll see if) will they be regular like the Malacañang Press Corps, or will they just be able to cover events, [or] do we create events for them," Cruz-Angeles said.
Cruz-Angeles' predecessor, outgoing PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar, on Aug. 8, 2017 issued Department Order (DO) 15, establishing a provisional social media practitioner accreditation system handled by the PCOO's Social Media Office.
Under DO 15, accreditation can only be issued to Filipino social media practitioners who are at least 18 years old and who have at least 5,000 followers on any social media platform.
Cruz-Angeles, who served as a social media strategist at the PCOO from July 2017 to 2018, helped craft the accreditation policy for vloggers.
Different from journalists' accreditation
Quizzed if the planned accreditation for vloggers will be different from the one granted to journalists covering the Palace, Cruz-Angeles said: "I think initially there will be. But like I said, it's still subject to review."
Cruz-Angeles assured that there will be "significant" differences in treating journalists and vloggers who will cover Malacañang.
"There are significant differences that we might have to take into consideration. But at the same time, kailangan germane ‘yung differences na ‘yun. Ibig sabihin, kung gagawa kami ng policy, ‘yung pagdi-distinguish namin doon sa dalawang grupo ay naayon (the differences have to be germane. Meaning, when we craft a policy, the distinctions that we will make should be appropriate)," he said.
Coverage for inauguration
Meanwhile, Cruz-Angeles said allowing vloggers to cover the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on June 30 will also be discussed.
She, however, noted that there is no request yet from social media influencers to cover Marcos' inauguration.
"Again, wala pa kasing (there is no) existing policy so we're going to discuss that. Apparently, we're going to discuss every time somebody applies that is not with the traditional media," Cruz-Angeles said.
Cruz-Angeles also acknowledged the need to secure a clearance first from the Presidential Security Group.
Marcos is expected to take oath as the country's 17th president on June 30 at the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila. (PNA)