DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 June) – Talks between incoming Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) secretary Martin Andanar and Elizabeth Hernandez, Facebook head for Public Policy in Asia Pacific, on livestreaming the inauguration of President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte on June 30 was finalized Tuesday evening.
“Since the streaming of the inauguration will be the first in Asia, if not the world, they’re very excited about it. We are also excited about it because we have 51 million Filipinos who are on Facebook and we have more than a billion people who are on Facebook,” Andanar told reporters in an interview at Marco Polo Davao.
He said they sought support from Smart Communications to provide them with high-speed broadband connection.
However, Smart public affairs head Ramon R. Isberto said that they have yet to check if Malacañan Palace has the existing physical line that they can use to provide internet connection.
The inauguration will happen at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang.
Given there’s only eight remaining days before the inauguration of Duterte, he said it is not certain whether they could meet the physical requirements in time.
“We have to check technically if we can execute it within the timeframe that’s available. We would like to support. The idea is to put connectivity inside Palace grounds. We have to check. We don’t know of the facilities they have there. We are looking if we can provide the signal that they need there,” Isberto said.
Incoming Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Facebook will be given the privilege to do a full coverage from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the benefit of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and those who have no television and radio but have mobile phones. Duterte will take oath at 12 noon and deliver a message shortly after.
Andanar said their discussion also included using the livestream feature to cover the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on the fourth Monday of July which falls on the 25th, and other important events of the Duterte administration.
He added that Facebook might have to suspend some restrictions on this feature to allow a seamless coverage.
“But Facebook will have to study if they can tweak the settings because usually when you go live, after 90 minutes it turns off and you have to switch it on again for a new live event. She is going to talk to their technical [team]. Apart from that also is a possibility of having to push the event on the Facebook [community[ so more people can watch it,” Andanar said.
The inauguration livestreaming being the first in Asia, he said Facebook might use the Philippines as its testing pad for their new “social television” platform. The last election, Andanar claimed, was among the “biggest Facebook events” in Asia and the world.