BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 297
REORGANIZATION OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY PRESCRIBING ITS POWERS AND FUNCTIONS AND OTHER PURPOSES
WHEREAS, the reorganization of the government is mandated expressly in Article II, Section 1 (a), and Article III of the Freedom Constitution;
WHEREAS, pursuant to Executive Order No. 5 (1986), it is directed that necessary and proper changes in the organizational and functional structures of the government, its agencies and instrumentalities, be effected in order to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of public services;
WHEREAS, there exists a vital need to create awareness and inform the public about the actions of government and the national leadership in its task of rebuilding a strong and dynamic nation;
WHEREAS, the national leadership, which has committed itself to the ideals of press freedom, has seen fit not to abdicate its share of voice in the formulation of public opinion;
WHEREAS, it is incumbent upon the national leadership to provide true and correct information to the public and to utilize and consolidate as much of its information resources as possible to ensure an effective and efficient information role;
WHEREAS, realizing that the Office of the Press Secretary was precisely created by Memorandum Order No. 32, dated September 1, 1986 and Executive Order No. 92, dated December 17, 1986, to ensure that the government’s point of view is communicated to the public especially on issues affecting the nation’s welfare, it is necessary that the mandate, powers and functions of this Office be redefined to avoid overlapping and to fix responsibilities therein;
WHEREAS, Article XVIII, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution recognizes that the reorganization of the government shall be continued even after the ratification of the Constitution;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, CORAZON C. AQUINO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the sovereign will of the Filipino people and the Constitution, do hereby order:
Section 1. Title. This Executive Order shall otherwise be known as the Reorganization Act of the Office of the Press Secretary.
Section 2. Reorganization. The Office of the Press Secretary hereinafter referred to as Office, is hereby reorganized, structurally and functionally, in accordance with the provisions of this Executive Order.
Section 3. Declaration of Policy. The Office of the Press Secretary shall be the primary policy, planning, programming, and coordinating entity for the conduct of a relevant and effective information and communication management program that will present the activities, policies, and directions of the Presidency and the Government.
Section 4. Mandate. The primary functions of the Office shall be the formulation and implementation of an integrated program of information and developmental communication that will present the work of the Presidency, develop public understanding of activities, policies, and enhance public trust and support at the national, regional, barrio, and barangay level.
Section 5. Functions. The Office of the Press Secretary shall perform the following functions:
1. Provide information to the public utilizing all government media services under its control;
2. Coordinate the functions of its absorbed offices for the purpose of providing government with its “share of voice” in the free mass media environment;
3. Administer the functions and support services needed to fulfill its responsibilities;
4. Develop, propose, and implement necessary policy guidelines and mechanisms pertinent to its main functions of speaking on behalf of the government and the national leadership;
5. Rationalize a viable and manageable government-owned information structure that will provide the government and the national leadership with instantaneous access to the people;
6. Develop and manage a feedback mechanism that shall provide the people a venue to contribute to the creation of policies affecting them;
7. Organize and maintain field offices where necessary, domestically and internationally, to ensure that government information reaches the intended target audiences;
8. Maintain and operate such media facilities as is necessary, to strengthen its capabilities for information delivery through print, broadcast, electronic, and other special media vehicles.
Section 6. Structural Organization. The Office, aside from the Office Proper, shall consist of Bureaus.
Section 7. Office Proper. The Office Proper shall consist of the following units:
1. Office of the Press Secretary
2. Offices of the Undersecretaries
3. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Finance
4. Administrative Service
5. Financial and Management Service
6. Media Research and Development Staff
Section 8. Press Secretary. The authority and responsibility for the exercise of the powers and the discharge of functions of the Office shall be vested in the Press Secretary, who shall have the rank of a Cabinet member, with all the rights and privileges appurtenant thereto, and who shall be appointed by the President.
Section 9. Functions of the Press Secretary. The functions of the Press Secretary shall be as follows:
1. Act as the Presidential Spokesman and attend to the information needs of the President;
2. Provide information regarding the plans, programs, and activities of the President to the public;
3. Maintain liaison and close coordination with government departments and agencies involved in preparing and planning the activities of the President;
4. Prepare and develop communication programs on the policies, activities, and programs of the Presidency;
5. Coordinate with the various media, both local and foreign, in disseminating information regarding the affairs of the Presidency;
6. Assume full responsibility for the accomplishment of the Office’s objectives and operations;
7. Establish the policies and standards for the operation of the Office pursuant to the programs of the Government and the President;
8. Promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement Office objectives, policies and functions;
9. Exercise direct supervision and control over all offices and units under the Office;
10. Delegate authority for the performance of any function to officers and employees under his direction; and
11. Perform such other functions as may be provided by law or as may be assigned by the President.
Section 10. Office of the Press Secretary. The Office of the Press Secretary shall be composed of the Secretary and his immediate staff.
Section 11. Undersecretaries. The Press Secretary shall be assisted by two (2) Undersecretaries who shall also be appointed by the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary, and whose respective functional areas of responsibility shall be determined by the Press Secretary.
Section 12. Functions of the Undersecretaries. The functions of the Undersecretaries shall be as follows:
1. Assist the Press Secretary in the formulation and implementation of Office objectives and policies;
2. Oversee operational activities of the Office for which he shall be responsible to the Press Secretary;
3. Coordinate the programs and projects of the Office, and be responsible for its economical, efficient, and effective administration;
4. Serve as deputy to the Press Secretary in all matters relating to the operations of the Office;
5. Perform such other functions as may be provided by law or as may be directed by the Press Secretary.
Section 13. Reorganized and Merged Agencies. The following agencies in the Office of the Press Secretary are hereby reorganized:
1. The Bureau of Broadcasts and Radyo Ng Bayan are hereby merged into the Bureau of Broadcast Services.
2. The Presidential Press Staff and the sub-offices under it, Philippine News Agency and its national offices, and the International Press Center are hereby merged into the News and Information Bureau.
3. The Bureau of National and Foreign Information is hereby reorganized and renamed as the Bureau of Communications Services.
Section 14. Attached Agencies. The Presidential Broadcast Staff (RTVM), which is hereby created, is hereby attached to the Office of the Press Secretary. The People’s Television 4 and its affiliate stations are hereby attached as separate concerns to the Office of the Press Secretary.
Section 15. The Bureau of Broadcast Services. The Bureau of Broadcast Services shall be responsible for providing broadcast information on the activities, policies, and directions of the Government and the Presidency, thru the use of broadcast media throughout the country.
It shall be headed by a Broadcast Network Manager and assisted by an Assistant Broadcast Network Manager, both to be appointed by the President, upon the recommendation of the Press Secretary.
There shall be in the Bureau of Broadcast Services the following divisions: Engineering, Radio News, and Production.
The Bureau of Broadcast Services shall have the following functions:
1. Provide nationwide broadcasting services primarily for the Government’s and the Presidency’s information and communication requirements;
2. Provide broadcast services to all regions of the country with particular focus on areas not adequately served by private networks;
3. Provide broadcast programming designed to preserve and promote the national heritage and culture, advanced educational goals, and support the thrusts and goals of the Presidency and the government;
4. Continually improve programming and dissemination capabilities geared toward strengthened and innovative program syndication in support of countryside development;
5. Provide auxiliary services to the broadcast requirements of various private broadcast stations, especially in the areas of news and public affairs where the latter require and need such services;
6. Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.
Section 16. The News and Information Bureau. The News and Information Bureau shall be responsible for providing efficient, effective, productive, and economical services relating to the development and formulation of a domestic and foreign information program for the Government, in general, and the Presidency, in particular, including the development of strategies for the dissemination of information on specific government programs.
The News and Information Bureau shall be headed by a Director and assisted by an Assistant Director, both to be appointed by the President, upon the recommendation of the Press Secretary.
Consisting the News and Information Bureau are: Presidential Press Staff, Media Accreditation and Relations Division, and the Philippine News Agency.
The News and Information Bureau shall have the following functions:
1. Formulate, develop, and implement a national information program for the Government and the Presidency, including the strategies in support of specific national development programs;
2. Formulate, develop, and implement an overseas information program, including strategies for the effective dissemination of information about the Philippines, the policies, activities, and programs of the Government and the Presidency;
3. Establish liaison with the representatives of domestic and foreign press, and provide assistance, as is deemed necessary, relevant to the projects, policies, and activities of the Government and the Presidency;
4. Establish and maintain a system of accreditation for local and foreign members of media;
5. Make arrangements for Presidential press and broadcast coverages and conferences;
6. Provide services relative to day-to-day and special information and communication requirements of the Government and the Presidency, including the programming and monitoring of significant projects and activities on media relations and other media-related matters;
7. Provide daily news services to both local and foreign publics on the policies, activities, and programs of the Government and the Presidency, and maintain a wire service operation, for the purpose of effecting coverage of events and developments relevant to the information needs of the Government and the Presidency;
8. Produce and distribute information materials, such as: handbills, folders, pamphlets, posters, and other publications on the directions, policies, programs, and activities of the Government and the Presidency;
9. Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.
Section 17. The Bureau of Communications Services. The Bureau of Communications Services shall be responsible for the development of communication services, and for providing services relating to policy formulation, communication planning, project development, research and evaluation, and the coordination of information planning within the framework of the over-all thrusts and priorities of the national development plan.
Consisting the Bureau of Communications Services are: Planning Division, Special Operations Division and Special Production Division.
The Bureau of Communications Services shall have the following functions:
1. Develop and conduct a public information program that will enhance awareness to and secure positive public acceptance and support of the programs and activities of the Government and the Presidency;
2. Coordinate information dissemination programs and projects including campaigns directed at the bureau’s specific target publics;
3. Supervise the over-all conceptualization and production of special publications and audio-visual information/communication materials for the Government and the Presidency;
4. Supervise the conceptualization, production, printing and dissemination of all information/communication materials and publications in support of the activities of the Government and the Presidency;
5. Perform such other functions as may be provided by law.
Section 18. Transitory Measures. The Bureau of Broadcast Services and the Philippine News Agency are authorized to sell their services at rates not less than those offered by comparable private firms, Provided, That income realized shall be deposited with the National Treasury and shall accrue to the General Fund; Provided, further, That income realized shall be used to upgrade and update facilities, equipment, and services, and to augment maintenance and other operating expenses for network operations, upon submission of a special budget for the purpose: Provided, finally, That such special budget shall be subject to the approval of the Department of Budget and Management.
In case of merger or consolidation of government units, the new or surviving unit shall exercise the functions (subject to reorganization herein prescribed and the laws, rules and regulations pertinent to the exercise of such functions) and shall acquire the appropriations, funds, records, equipment, facilities, choses in action, rights, other assets, liabilities, if any, and personnel, as may be necessary, of (1) the units that compose the merged unit or (2) the absorbed unit, as the case may be. Such personnel shall, in hold-over capacity, continue to perform their respective duties and responsibilities and receive the corresponding salaries and benefits; Provided, That any such personnel, whose position is not included in the new position structure and staffing pattern approved and prescribed by the Secretary under Section 19 hereof or who is not reappointed, shall be deemed separated from the service and shall be entitled to the benefits provided under the second paragraph of the same Section 19.
Section 19. Position Structure and Staffing Pattern. Upon approval of this Executive Order, the officers and employees of the Office shall, in a hold-over capacity, continue to perform their respective duties and responsibilities and receive the corresponding salaries and benefits unless in the meantime they are separated from the service.
The new position structure and staffing pattern of the Office shall be approved and prescribed by the Secretary within one hundred twenty (120) days from the approval of this Executive Order and the authorized positions created thereunder shall be filled with regular appointments by him or by the President as the case may be. Those incumbents whose positions are not included therein or who are not reappointed shall be deemed separated from the service. Those separated from the service shall receive retirement benefits to which they may be entitled under existing laws, rules, and regulations. Otherwise, they shall be paid the equivalent of one month basic salary for every year of service in the government, or fraction thereof, computed on the basis of the highest salary received, but in no case shall such payment exceed the equivalent of twelve (12) months salary.
Section 20. Periodic Performance Evaluation. The Office is hereby required to formulate and enforce a system of measuring and evaluating periodically and objectively the performance of the Office and submit the same annually to the President.
Section 21. Prohibition Against Change. No change in the reorganization herein prescribed shall be valid except upon prior approval of the President for the purpose of promoting efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of public services.
Section 22. Funding. Funds needed to carry out the provisions of this Executive Order shall be taken from funds available in the Office, Provided, That no funds shall be allocated for People’s Television 4 and its affiliate stations.
Section 23. Implementing Authority of the Secretary. The Secretary shall issue such rules, regulations and other issuances as may be necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the provisions of this Executive Order.
Section 24. Separability. Any portion or provision of this Executive Order that may be declared unconstitutional shall not have the effect of nullifying other portions or provisions hereof as long as such remaining portions can still subsist and be given effect in their entirety.
Section 25. Repealing Clause. All laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, other issuances or parts hereof, which are inconsistent with this Executive Order, are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
Section 26. Effectivity Clause. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.
APPROVED in the City of Manila, Philippines, this 25th day of July, in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Seven.
(Sgd.) CORAZON C. AQUINO
President of the Philippines
By the President:
(Sgd.) JOKER P. ARROYO
Source: Presidential Management Staff
Office of the President of the Philippines. (1987). [Executive Order Nos. : 171 – 390]. Manila : Presidential Management Staff.