While the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has announced that it has agreed to the request of the broadcast networks to be allowed to cover the inauguration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, PCOO head Martin Andanar has also revealed that no arrangements have been made to ensure an uninterrupted broadcast for the much-expected Facebook live-streaming of the event.
According to Andanar, the deal with Facebook, which has been hailed by many as a game-changer in the battle between social and traditional media, will actually be just one part of the “menu of platforms” that the PCOO will be using to broadcast the event.
He said in fact, given that the internet speed in the country is not at par with the rest of the world, the Facebook coverage would mostly be for the benefit of Duterte’s followers abroad. Those residing in the Philippines can view the inauguration on regular television.
Given these pronouncements, it would now be up to Duterte’s keyboard warriors to again sharpen their fingers and press the telecom companies to make sure that the streaming will go on without a hitch.
After working so hard for all those months, we deserve to see our President sworn in without the media’s filter or subjective interpretation.
The irony of the situation, in which social media is left to its own devices while the big media companies are able to get concessions despite their anti-Duterte stance, further highlights the need to improve the country’s connectivity.
Faster internet speeds, better access in the countryside, stronger government support — all of these would open up the space for conversation and dialogue among Filipinos and allow those who worked so hard for his victory to work even harder to help him succeed.