AN ELECTION media center (EMC), initiated by the Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC), will be set up at Camp Sergio Osmeña, headquarters of the regional Philippine National Police (PNP) along Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City.
Officials of the major stakeholders in the May elections—PNP, Commission on Elections (Comelec), and the citizens’ election watchdog group C-Cimpel—yesterday agreed with CCPC representatives that EMC will hold dry-runs next month to prepare the center for the run-up to the elections until the proclamation of winners.
The EMC, to be managed by the regional police public information officer and the CCPC, will be located at a building now being constructed near the gates of the PNP camp. The site is considered ideal because of its accessibility to news reporters and proximity to news sources.
Chief Supt. Lani-o Nerez, regional police chief, hosted the meeting in his office. Those who attended included Rene Buac, Comelec regional director; Marilu Chiongbian, executive director of C-Cimpel; Maria Jane Paredes, senior manager, Smart Communications public affairs (Vismin), and Edgardo Albay, senior supervisor for the network of Smart; and Pachico Seares and Cherry Ann Lim, executive director and assistant executive director of CCPC.
The opening of an EMC for this year’s elections was decided by the stakeholders in several consultations with CCPC. “The center,” Seares said, “serves a practical purpose: a one-stop shop for reporters on different facets of the election.”
Spokespersons from Comelec, PNP and C-Cimpel will brief the media on designated hours at the EMC. News crews certified by their editors or news directors will be accredited by the EMC to regulate entry and use of the center’s facilities.
Paredes said Smart will provide the “connectivity” that will enable the EMC to receive information from various points and reporters to file their stories to their newsrooms.