Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, photo from Inquirer News -
In order to ensure the dignity and safety of journalists in the Philippines, media workers will benefit from a housing project from the government of President Rodrigo Duterte, as announced by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar.

Andanar said the project will take place in a five-hectare property in Malolos, Bulacan owned by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), an agency under the PCOO.

The announcement was made during the inauguration of the headquarters of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) at the Philippine Cancer Society building.

The PTFoMS  was created through an administrative order of Duterte, with its goal being to ensure the life, liberty, and security of media workers in the Philippines.

Another aim of the Task Force is to give justice to victims of abuse and violence in the media industry.

But according to Andanar, teh goal is more than just physical protection for these media workers.

“It’s not just the physical safety of the person from harm, from death, from untoward incidents that eventually affects the livelihood of the person and the quality of life of the family of that media person,” he said.

“In the PCOO, we try to do everything within our means to be able to help our mediamen, not only on their safety but also in terms of medical needs and housing needs,” Andanar, who was a mediaman prior to joining the government, said.

Andanar claims taht the government is already coordinating with  PIA and the National Press Club (NPC), as well as the National Housing Authority (NHA) to develop the property for PCOO, PIA employees, and also for media men.

"We included media because, for most of our colleagues who retire, they retire without a house of their own. And the NPC has been trying for decades to establish a housing project for mediamen with the help of the NHA and Pag-Ibig Fund,” he said.

Andanar assigned Joel Sy Egco to be the point man for the project.

“Since I’ve said earlier that the task force goes beyond media security, I am now asking Undersecretary Joel’s help: that you include the housing project for media as one of your projects,” Andanar said.


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