PRESIDENTIAL Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil  monitors the press briefing at the Media Center in Malacañang on Jan. 10, 2023. — PHILIPPINE STAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

THE MARCOS administration is still studying a suspended policy that gives social media influencers access to Malacañang events, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said on Wednesday.  

In a hearing conducted by a Commission on Appointments (CA) panel, PCO chief Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said Malacañangs accreditation policy on bloggers and vloggers which was initiated under the previous administration was still under review.  

The accreditation of our vloggers is part of the program that is under evaluation,she told the panel in Filipino, based on a Youtube video.    

The Duterte administration, through a department order, had allowed the accreditation of social media bloggers.   

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.s first media relations chief, Trixie Cruz-Angeles, had pushed for the accreditation of vloggers in Malacañang, making it one of her priorities as press secretary, a position that is now called PCO chief.   

Ms. Garafil replaced Ms. Cruz-Angeles in October last year following the latters resignation.  

Access to coverage related to presidential affairs was traditionally limited to journalists from mainstream outfits.   

Ms. Garafils ad interim appointment as PCO chief was approved by the CA in a plenary session on Wednesday.   

She is the best person for the position of PCO secretary,Negros Oriental Rep. Manuel T. Sagarbarria, CA panel chairperson, told the plenary session. She is very well adept at dealing with the media as she was once a journalist.”  

The PCO would disseminate truthful and transparentinformation to the public, Ms. Garafil told reporters on the sidelines of the CA hearing. We will always try to be truthful and transparent in all our articles, in all our efforts.”  

Ms. Garafil served as chair of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board before joining the Marcos administrations communications team.  

She had also been a reporter.  

In a tweet, press freedom advocate and social media strategist Tonyo Cruz, who has been critical of the Marcos administration, said Ms. Garafil is a credible and competent choicefor the PCO chief post. 

Her CV and the respect she enjoys are valuable,he said. This would be especially clear if we remember her predecessors ineptitude and overall lamentable tenure.Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza