MANILA -- The Rotary Club of Metro Surigao has recognized Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin M. Andanar as among the outstanding Surigaonons in the field of government service.
"There is a volume of grateful emotions that are contained in the words, 'Thank you.' Let me summarize them by acknowledging that the Rotary Outstanding Surigaonon Award includes the people I am honored and privileged to serve," Andanar said as he accepted the Rotary Outstanding Surigaonon Award (ROSA) on Friday evening.
"The work of information communication, as a media man, is the fulfillment of a dream I have endeavored to attain, the fulfillment of which, is the office I now hold, in the service of our government and the public. The journey was an adventure of knowledge, studies, training, and experience; of long days and sleepless nights; of writing and transmitting the good news and their beneficial relevance to specific and general concerns," he added.
Out of 19 nominees, the award was also presented to Evelyn M. Fetalvero for public education; the Caraga Regional Hospital for government hospital services; and the Surigao City Pilot School as a pioneering public elementary school.
The ROSA is the most prestigious award in Surigao del Norte, as it recognizes individuals and institutions that go beyond oneself, create a real difference, and touch the lives of many.
"The work entailed at best, the approximate measure of our President's vision -- to make possible a dignified comfortable life for every Filipino," Andanar said.
Alfonso S. Casurra, chairperson of the Rotary Club Metro Surigao Foundation, Inc., said that Andanar "has made a lot of contributions in the field of communications and continuously strive to be a model government worker.
He also noted that the PCOO chief almost always declares himself a Surigaonon in his engagements.
Andanar championed the Freedom of Information (FOI) program in the Philippines that promotes transparency and accountability in the government, as well as citizen participation, with the PCOO as the lead implementing agency.
He also spearheaded the establishment of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), which was tasked to protect the media from all forms of harassment and to look into the killing of journalists.
Under Andanar's leadership, the media services and facilities of PCOO-attached agencies People's Television Network (PTV), Radyo Pilipinas (RP) 1, RP-2, RP Worldwide, RP Podcast, Radio-Television MalacaAang (RTVM), and Philippine News Agency (PNA) improved significantly.
This includes the ongoing construction of the Mindanao Media Hub, a state-of-the-art broadcast center that seeks to strengthen communications services in the southern Philippines. The Visayas Media Hub, meanwhile, is targeted to commence construction in 2021.
Andanar also helped fast-track the rehabilitation of the Surigao City Airport runway as the Provincial Capitol of Surigao del Norte and the Surigao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. adopted separate resolutions asking their fellow Surigaonons to elevate the issue to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
Moreover, the communication chief also created the Office of the Global Media Affairs and the Office of the International Affairs to boost the government's engagements with the foreign media and international organizations.
Andanar is also pushing for the creation of a Government Strategic Communications Training Academy that will provide a strong, comprehensive, and unified communication structure and strategy to combat disinformation, while breeding excellent national and local government communication officers nationwide.
"Public information is the barometer of our government. My task is to relay the administration's data on projects, policies and programs, domestically and internationally; to retrieve the contents of cerebral and emotional reactions as ingredients for national reformation; and to record these for contemporary use and history. The ROSA encompasses all of these responsibilities, and then some," Andanar added.
"Thank you, most humbly, for the recognition you give to this. Marajaw Karajaw!" he said.
Andanar was a multi-awarded television news executive, news anchor, radio commentator, podcaster, audio blogger, and voice-over artist at TV5 before joining the Duterte administration. (PR)
Source: Philippines News Agency