Vloggers may soon be accredited to cover Palace events during the incoming term of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.
In a televised interview last Wednesday, incoming Press Secretary Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles announced this would be among her priority initiatives once she starts her term.
“We are, however, pushing for the accreditation of vloggers to be invited to some of the briefings, especially those conducted by the President-elect,” Angeles said.
During his election campaign, several social media users, who regularly produce personalized video content or vlogs in social media platforms, backed Marcos Jr.
Angeles said she would be reviewing the existing policies of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), including its policy for accrediting social media users.
IN 2017, the PCOO already issued a Department Order (DO) No. 15 entitled “Interim Social Media Practitioner Accreditation” which allows it to accredit social media practitioners.
To qualify for the accreditation, the applicant must be a Filipino citizen, at least 18 years old and has at least 5,000 followers.
Acting Deputy Presidential spokesperson Michel Kristian R. Ablan confirmed the DO 15 is currently still in effect.
However, no social media user availed of the said accreditation, which would have allowed them to cover President Duterte together with members of the Malacañang Press Corps. (MPC).
Malacañang’s Media Accreditation and Relations Office [MARO] Assistant Secretary Florentino Y. Loyola Jr. said the accreditation was supposed to be handled by the designated Assistant Secretary for Social Media, a position which was previously held by Margaux “Mocha” J. Uson and is now left vacant.
“We [MARO] were not able to accredit any bloggers or vloggers,” Loyola said in a phone interview.
Angeles said she would also be looking into the possibility of finally allowing all media groups to physically cover presidential events amid the pandemic.
“I think we’ll have to take a look at the existing policy first and determine, make a decision later on as to how appropriate they are for the current time, other than that, we’ll have to wait and see pending, you know, a review of all existing policies regarding the coverage in Malacañang,” Angeles said.
Currently, the physical coverage of President Duterte remains restricted to reporters, who will be able to test negative for novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) before the actual event.
Also since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, all briefings by Palace officials were held virtually due to concerns of the possible spread of infection in Malacañang.
During her term, Angeles said she plans to conduct a regular news briefing once or twice every week.
“We’re not going to limit it, of course. If it is necessary, we will have more briefings. But other than that, the plan is one or two at least,” Angeles said.