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Andanar: Media, bloggers, influencers had same vetting process
Lawyer Bruce Rivera is among the accredited members of the media for the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and Related Meetings. Facebook.com / Bruce Rivera
MANILA, Philippines — Bloggers and social media influencers accredited to cover the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Ministerial Meeting went through the same accreditation process as those from mainstream media, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Monday.
In a radio interview on DZRH, the transcript of which was posted on the Presidential Communications Operations Office website, Andanar said accreditation was also opened to bloggers for coverage of earlier ASEAN events in the Philippines.
"So lahat ng mga bloggers at iyong mga social media influencer ay pinaregister online doon sa [ASEAN 2017 website]. Ito naman iyong registration ng media, iyon na rin ang registration nila," he said.
"So yung iba doon one month before, nag-register na. Once nag-register, iyong National Organizing Committee ay ibe-verify iyang registration, titingan nila iyong mga supporting documents, etcetera. Tapos iyong media, iyong blogger, iyong social media influencer ay makakatanggap ng isang email from the NOC na natanggap na iyong kanilang application," he also said.
He said 14 bloggers, including lawyer Bruce Rivera, applied for accreditation to cover the series of ASEAN events in Pasay City.
"Kumbaga, open to all na kahit sino puwedeng mag-apply at ia-approve ka if you are really a blogger, if you are really a social media person. It just so happened na itong 14, ito talaga iyong nag-apply and they are here to cover the event of ASEAN," he said, adding accreditation was opened up to so people could help promote ASEAN as a regional bloc.
Rivera's accreditation raised questions on how stringently the National Organizing Committee checked application requirements.
The organizing body for ASEAN events required members of the press to accomplish and submit an online accreditation form. Applicants for accreditation are also required to submit a letter of assignment from their media companies, a scanned image of their media ID, and a scanned copy of a standard 2x2 photo with a white background.
READ: ASEAN organizers welcome bloggers to accredited media pool
Rivera's ID photo did not have a white background when members of news organizations had to submit new photos and others were not accredited at all because of non-standard photos.
It has since emerged that blogger Rocky Gonzales was accredited despite also submitting a non-standard photo.
"Siguro nakulayan lang, kasi ang nakausap yata si Attorney Bruce ng isang media from a different country. Tapos siguro naano siya…medyo na publish siya, kaya iyong naging sagot niya ay hindi rin nagustuhan ng media," Andanar said of a Facebook post by Rivera that earned both criticism and praise.
Andanar stressed, however, that because of the campaign, the number of Filipinos who understand what ASEAN is and what it does has risen from a low of 24 percent.
"Now based on the latest survey, umakyat na ito ng 32 percent. Iyong awareness dati ng ASEAN nasa 80 percent lang, 82 percent. Ngayon, iyong awareness level sa Pilipinas, 97 percent na, iyong five more months to go," he also said.
According to a Pulse Asia Survey released in March, 97 percent of Filipinos were aware of ASEAN, with 81 percent saying they trust the 10-member regional bloc.