PRESIDENT Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III said that his Communications Group, replacing the Office of the Press Secretary, will be finalized this week.
The President made the disclosure during his first press briefing in Malacanang Wednesday.
"I gave myself a deadline of this week to form the communications group, to name the secretaries that will be part of it," he said.
He also confirmed that television news anchor Ricky Carandang and columnist Manolo Quezon III are among those who will likely lead the agency. "They are the people who have helped us in the media during the campaign."
But Aquino clarified that not all people who have been part of his campaign media group will be tapped to join the impending department.
"I am hoping we can still retain all of them within this more formal structure. I will have to decide on whom to retain or to thank on having helped us," he said.
He said there will still be press secretary but will just become one of the divisions under the communications group.
"The press secretary handles primarily your needs," he told the media.
The communications group meanwhile will be the primary arm for the feedback mechanism and the information bureau.
"In short, it's really communications in its totality," Aquino added.
Aquino meantime begged off from accommodating ambush interviews anymore.
He instead vowed to host a regular press briefing in Malacanang in lieu of ambush interviews every time he bumped into media in any events.
"When my mom was President, I only had one ambush interview. But now, I am being ambushed three times a day," he said at the press briefing.
The President had several ambush interviews since he assumed office last Wednesday.
Aquino said he will keep his promise but has yet to confirm if it will be scheduled every Wednesday.
He meanwhile said that he will make his entire Cabinet available to entertain questions from the media.
"(As source of other data) You can call designated Cabinet secretaries who will be available in addressing your concerns," he told the press.
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo rarely accommodated ambush interviews. She had a group of spokespersons tasked to take all questions regarding her administration. (Jill Beltran/JMR/Sunnex)