A lawmaker told Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar to dismiss editors involved in the latest blunder of the state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, a former journalist, advised Andanar to ‘give the boot’ to the PNA editors, saying they have ‘proven themselves unfit for the job of disseminating reliable news to the public.’
“Communications Secretary Andanar should fire the editors responsible for the erroneous news posted by the PNA if only to serve notice that this pattern of embarrassment is not tolerated”, Evardone said in a statement.
The lawmaker’s statement came after the news agency used the logo of food company Dole as the photo of an article announcing the government’s pay rules for non-working holidays in 2018. PNA is the government’s web-based newswire service under Andanar’s office.
Evardone added that Andanar and PNA should “weep out incompetents”, saying they ‘should provide accurate information to the public.’
“Bear in mind that PNA, being the government’s news website, should provide accurate information to the public. Whatever it posts reflects on the government,” the solon said.
On August 11, PNA issued an erratum for their story entitled “DOLE issues pay rules for 2018 holidays” and apologized for what it held as ‘a careless act of the PNA editorial staff.’
The agency also vowed to undertake appropriate action to ensure delivery of accurate information to their readers.
Evardone also recalled a case where PNA came under fire after posting an opinion piece of China’s state-owned Xinhua News Agency regarding the arbitration ruling on the West Philippine Sea.
He added that there another ‘erroneous’ PNA story posted last May, citing that the Philippines was praised for its improved human rights situation by 95 out 105 nations at the United Nations’ Human Right Council during its universal periodic review.
Also in the month, the news agency used a photo from the Vietnam War in an article about the Marawi conflict.
On the other hand, Andanar maintained trust in government workers but promised that there will be an investigation to ensure better operation and to prevent repeat of unnecessary mistakes.
“When we entered the government, we had full trust in the capability of the employers who are already in. We trained them and we remain to believe that they are good workers but we are investigating and someone will answer based on the investigation,” Andanar said during his visit in Baguio City.