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State-run Media

The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) is the government’s communication agency tasked to  provide accurate information, education, and communication materials on government initiatives to mobilize a well-informed and empowered citizenry.

In actual practice, it is a propaganda arm of the Office of the President.

The PCO currently owns and controls two television stations and one radio station. These are: the People’s Television Network, Inc., popularly known as PTV-4, Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation or IBC-13, and DZRB Radyo Pilipinas. 

IBC-13 has been up for privatization since 2016 and has since been run like a commercial station relying on its own broadcast revenues. However, in 2023, the legislature approved a P250 million budgetary support for the station to alleviate long-standing labor woes and settle the payment of benefits to its retired employees in 2024.

The government funds the operations and produces the content of PTV-4 and Radyo Pilipinas.

Meanwhile, PCO still has a minority stake in Radio Philippines Network or RPN-9, which now broadcasts CNN Philippines. Roman Felipe Reyes, a director of RPN-9 has recently been appointed by the President as a director of the Maharlika Investment Corporation, which will manage the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

The Philippine president has the power to reorganize, restructure, and rename the state’s communications arm. 

State media underwent major modernization under the leadership of Press Secretary Martin Andanar during the Duterte administration. PTV4 increased its transmission capability reaching far-off islands in the country.

The government also strengthened its social media presence cultivating the army of online loyalists that helped bring Duterte into power in 2016.

Upon his assumption to the presidency in July 2022,  President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, reorganized the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) renaming it the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), and abolishing the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson. 

In December 2022, the office underwent more changes and was renamed as the Presidential Communications Office (PCO). In February 2023, the president issued another executive order further restructuring the PCO and tasking it to work with a newly created appointive position of Presidential Adviser for Creative Communications.

Aside from broadcast stations, PCO has control over content production and dissemination on online outlets. The government currently runs eight (8) news and public information portals as well as several social media accounts on Facebook, X, Tiktok, YouTube, and Instagram. The president himself has vlogs on YouTube and TikTok, and has a verified X account.

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