Revamped Palace comms office gets new officers

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appointed three new undersecretaries and three directors for the revamped Presidential Communications Office.

The new officials took their oath of office before the President in Malacañang Palace on Thursday.

Honey Rose Mercado will serve as an undersecretary for Traditional Media and External Affairs. She previously served as undersecretary for the Presidential Management Staff.

Mercado will be assisted by five assistant secretaries who would be in charge of print, radio, television, external affairs, and media accreditation and relations.

Also appointed was Franz Gerard Imperial as undersecretary for Broadcast Production, a position previously held by former ABS-CBN reporter Ina Reformina.

Gerald Baria will serve as undersecretary for Content Production, and Patricia Magistrado as assistant secretary for external affairs.

Ma. Rhona Ysabel Daoang, Marvin Antonio, and Lois Erika Mendoza were named directors for traditional media, digital media, and content production, respectively.

The appointments came days after the President signed Executive Order no. 16, which reorganized the PCO to link it with the office of Paul Soriano, the Presidential Adviser for Creative Communications.

From seven undersecretaries, the positions were cut down to five to cover these five functional areas: traditional media and external affairs, digital media services, content production, broadcast production and operations, administration, and finance.

Emerald Ridao and Cherbett Karen Maralit retained their posts as undersecretaries for digital media, and operations, administration, and finance, respectively.

As undersecretary for operations, administration, and finance, Maralit will be assisted by four assistant secretaries who will be in charge of government-owned and -controlled corporations, finance, administration, and operations.

GOCCs refer to the People’s Television Network Inc., APO Production Unit, Intercontinental Broadcasting Corp., and the National Printing Office.

Meanwhile, the EO effectively dissolved two offices under the PCO: media accreditation and relations and special concerns—previously led by Greggy Eugenio and former newspaperman Marlon Purificacion, respectively.

When asked if Eugenio and Purificacion will be appointed to other positions in the PCO, Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil told Daily Tribune that their reappointments are still “under consideration.”

Under the revamped PCO, there will be 14 assistant secretaries, with one assistant secretary who will directly report to the PCO chief.

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