PCOO’s StratCom abolished but ‘no one fired’

May 31, 2017 - 3:19 PM
File photo of Communications Secretary Martin Andanar

MANILA, Philippines — A unit of the Presidential Communications Operations Office has been abolished, a move Secretary Martin Andanar said was “to streamline and to adjust to our new comprehensive communications strategy in promoting the policies of the different executive departments.”

Office Order No. 026 signed by Andanar announced the abolition of the Strategic Communications Office.

At the same time, Andanar denied reports that 40 personnel were fired with the abolition of StratCom.

“The news that 40 people were fired is very inaccurate. I did not fire anyone,” he said.

The order abolishing StratCom placed 13 of the defunct unit’s staff directly under Andanar. Seven others were assigned to Assistant Secretary Kissinger Reyes.

“All other personnel under the Strategic Communications whose name is not included is deemed to have resigned and/or the contract of service has expired,” it added.

In a separate statement, Andanar explained that there had been an “increased … demand for the PCOO team to assist other departments” with their communications programs, including martial law in Mindanao, “thus the need to restructure our manpower assignments.”

Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the reorganization had nothing to do with the recent controversies over “fake” and inaccurate news and content that embroiled the Philippine News Agency, which is under the PCOO, and Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson.

“Every organization needs continual assessment,” Abella said.