CREATING THE PHILIPPINE INFORMATION AGENCY
WHEREAS, there is a need for an agency in government with a means to communicate with the people, and in turn for the people to vigorously express their opinions, views and beliefs to the President; and in the same manner, a need for efficient flow of public information required by the people to assist them in decision-making to improve overall quality of life;
WHEREAS, the media reach in the country is sorely limited to a small portion of the population concentrated in certain key cities, thereby limiting access of people to information;
WHEREAS, the government in partnership with private media, can better meet the information needs of the people;
WHEREAS, the public has a right to information and an agency should ensure that they have access to information;
WHEREAS, basic information prior to February, 1986, focused more on the molding of public opinion toward the unquestioning acceptance of government thinking and that the flow of communication was predominantly one-way, from government to the people;
WHEREAS, before little distinction was made between political and development-oriented public information, hence resources for public information were often used for political purposes. In most cases, political information and/or political propaganda crowded out development oriented public information;
WHEREAS, a) there were no regular nationwide outlets, where citizens could obtain government publications and materials, i.e., brochures, pamphlets; b) intermediary coordination of public information efforts was not effective due to lack of appropriate mechanisms; c) people's participation in the planning and conduct of information programs was not encouraged;
WHEREAS, the manipulative nature of government information leads to deterioration of its credibility even of its public information officers concerned with development oriented information;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, CORAZON C. AQUINO, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the fundamental laws and sovereign will of the people, do hereby order the following:
Section 1. Creation of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) to be headed by a Director.
Section 2. Mission. The Philippine Information Agency shall provide for free flow of accurate, timely and relevant information.
1. To assist people in decision-making and identification of opportunities to improve quality of life.
2. To enable citizens to participate meaningfully in the democratic processes.
Section 3. Functions.
1. Establish and maintain selected regional/provincial information centers on community needs for use in planning communications programs and provide basic information of government and on areas of particular interests to the community it serves;
2. Provide technical assistance to other government agencies on the communication component of their programs;
3. Plan and implement information programs of national scope;
4. Assess information needs of the people through opinion polls and surveys to be used to systematically obtain the public's needs and views on government programs and to plan information programs;
5. Conduct research studies for policy formulation and the evaluation of information program effectiveness;
6. Upgrade the skills of government information officers, rural broadcasters, communicators, journalists and other communications personnel through training services and/or consultancy;
7. Support the development and expansion of indigenous media and information/communications technology;
8. Perform whatever tasks may be assigned by the President.
Section 4. Access to Media. The Director shall have access to government media agencies not under his direct control for the purpose of disseminating development-oriented information.
Section 5. Organization. The Director shall prepare an organizational structure embodying the staffing requirements of his Office.
Section 6. Advisory Council. An advisory council composed of communication professionals and well-respected citizens will advise the Agency in the conduct of its activities to ensure that information needs of the people are met.
Section 7. Budget. The PIA is likewise directed to cause the preparation of an operating budget in collaboration with the Ministry of Budget and Management on the details necessary to put into effect the implementation as prescribed by this Executive Order in accordance with the existing laws, rules and regulations. For succeeding budget years, appropriations for the PIA shall be prepared in accordance with the regular government budget procedures.
Section 8. Transfer of Records, Assets and Equipment. All records, assets and equipment of the OMA/NMPC/MOI and their bureaus, except those of Bureau of National and Foreign Information, Bureau of Broadcasts and the Maharlika Broadcasting Corporation, are hereby transferred to the appropriate units of the Agency.
Section 9. Implementing Order. The Director is hereby authorized to issue such orders, rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this Executive Order; Provided, that approval of the Ministry of the Budget and Management is obtained relative to the new staffing pattern including appropriate salary rates, the organizational structure at divisional and lower levels and the alignment of existing appropriations.
Section 10. Repealing Clause. All laws, executive orders, proclamations, rules and regulations or parts thereof which are inconsistent herewith, are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
Section 11. Effectivity. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 24th day of December in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty-six.
(SGD) CORAZON C. AQUINO
By the President:
(SGD) JOKER P. ARROYO
Acting Executive Secretary