The Commission on Appointments on Wednesday approved the ad interim appointment of Cheloy Garafil as Secretary of the Presidential Communications Office.
The deliberation on her appointment went smoothly after only two members of the panel asked questions about her plans for the PCO.
Senator Risa Hontiveros asked about Garafil’s plan to counter the proliferation of disinformation or “fake news” in the country, while Senator Grace Poe inquired about the administration’s plan for the transport sector affected by the PUV modernization program.
Garafil affirmed that the PCO, under her watch, would not be used to spread disinformation.
“The PCO will not tolerate fake news. Actually, we abhor fake news. In fact, in the past several days, we also experienced being a victim of fake news that is why I will really fight fake news during my term as PCO secretary,” she said.
Garafil, who worked as a journalist before working in the government, said that her office is now crafting a media literacy program to counter the proliferation of disinformation.
“We will go to the grassroots to focus on the problem of fake news so that no one can be victimized,” she said.
Garafil also noted that the PCO is still studying the possible accreditation of vloggers to be part of the Malacañang Press Corps.
“In time, after we finish a broad study about it, we will provide an answer with respect to that issue,” she said.
Garafil’s predecessor, former Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, had previously announced that the Palace was considering allowing vloggers to cover the President.
Prior to her stint as press secretary, Garafil also served as chairperson of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
She was tapped by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to head the now-defunct Office of Press Secretary in October last year.
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