The Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) is instituting a “unified messaging program” to uphold “truthfulness and fairness of information,” and to streamline the dissemination of information from the executive department.
This comes after Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado asked what the press secretary’s plans are in responding to the proliferation of fake news on social media, and how it can contribute to “safeguard truthfulness and fairness of information” in the digital platforms.
House Committee on Appropriations senior vice chair Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo, who also stood as the sponsor of the OPS’s budget, said that having a unified messaging program would resolve the lawmaker’s concerns, as “the content, not the platform is sometimes the problem.”
Quimbo also said that through the program, the OPS shall “see to it that there is only one message” from the government, to avoid confusion and contradicting statements from officials.
“This is the reason why we will have a unified messaging program within the executive branch. This means the OPS will be vetting press statements before these are released by the respective government agencies,” said Quimbo.
The program involves the vetting of information, to “ensure that only one official news or statement is released and that this will come from one office, which is the OPS.”
However, verifying information has not been the strong suit of the OPS these days, as Press Secretary Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles falsely claimed last week that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was the only foreign leader that spoke to United States (US) President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Although she apologized for the “slight confusion,” the mistake could’ve been avoided easily, had the OPS done a little more research on the White House’s website where records of Biden’s meetings with other world leaders are documented.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.
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