By Kate Shiene Agna
MANILA — Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Sunday said the government under the Duterte Administration has its eyes fixed on responding to the needs of the people, especially those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, in the last year of President Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership.
“Ang focus ng ating national government sa paglaban sa COVID-19, number one yan. Number two kung papaano makaka-recover ang ating ekonomiya na bumagsak dulot ng COVID-19. Alam naman natin na maraming nawalan ng trabaho, kaya dapat lang mag-focus ang national government diyan. [The focus of the national government on our responses against COVID-19, that’s number one. Number two would be rolling out initiatives for the recovery of our economy that was affected by COVID-19. We are aware that many lost their jobs, so that’s what needs to be given attention to],” he said during an interview with DZRH.
He also noted that the PCOO and its attached agencies are now ready for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 26, 2021.
Secretary Andanar said that the production team has been deployed to efficiently man the venue at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City, while other government media will be covering from other areas.
According to the PCOO chief, they will be amplifying the accomplishments of the Duterte administration to the public in a more elaborate strategy so that more Filipinos will be aware of it. This is in accordance with the directive of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
“Nagmeeting po kami kasama ang ibang miyembro ng gabinete na binigyan ng direktiba ng ating Executive Secretary Medialdea na i-elaborate ang ibang mga bagay na kailangan after the State of the Nation Address [We met with other cabinet officials and we were given the directive by Executive Secretary Medialdea to elaborate things after the State of the Nation Address],” he said during an interview on DZRH.
He noted that the President had already made rounds of rehearsals for his 45 minutes to an hour speech, but the said amount of time is not sufficient to discuss all of the accomplishments that the administration achieved in the past 5 years.
“Sigurado ako mayroong mga kasamahan natin sa media na gustong magtanong kung anong ibig sbihin ni Presidente ito o yan. Our Cabinet Officials will be ready to answer or elaborate [I am sure that our colleagues from the media will have questions on the President’s pronouncements. Our Cabinet Officials will be ready to answer or elaborate ],” he added.
Secretary Andanar also clarified that he has not thought of running for a seat in the 2022 elections, instead, he is more focused on disseminating the information pertaining to the legacy policies of the Duterte administration in the last year.
“Ako ay nakatutok lamang sa aking trabaho, alam niyo naman yan. Siguro kung ako’y lumahok sa pulitika, dapat ay nung 2019 pa [I am focused on carrying out job, as you all know. If I were to join politics then I would have done that in 2019.],” he said.
“Ang mahalaga kasi ngayon ay yung ating pagtutok sa problema natin sa pandemya at dito naman sa media ang pagtutok natin sa dissemination ng impormasyon tungkol sa Duterte legacy kasi ilang buwang na lang tapos na yung administrasyon ni Pangulong Duterte [What’s important now is to focus our attention on resolving the problems brought by the pandemic, along with disseminating information on the Duterte legacy because he only has a few months left in office],” he added. Philippine Information Agency