In Photo- Mr. Andrew Alonto, Chief of the Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO)

‘We are mandated to promote transparency, moral governance’- BIO Chief

COTABATO CITY —The Executive Director of Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO) of the BARMM Andrew Alonto, underscored the role of the information office in promoting transparency and moral governance of the Bangsamoro government during the 37th episode of Kaunlaran sa Bangsamoro hosted by Bangsamoro Multimedia Network (BMN) Inc., last Thursday, January 13, 2022.
“We are mandated to be the center of information of the Bangsamoro government. Other than that, we are also mandated to promote transparency, moral governance to enrich our public discourse,” said Alonto as he discussed the functions coordination, programs, and future plans of their office.
He related that BIO, the communication arm of the Bangsamoro government, was known as the Bureau of Public Information during the time of the defunct ARMM.
“When BARMM had entered and the Bangsamoro Admin Code was approved, the former BPI was now replaced as BIO or Bangsamoro Information Office,” Alonto added.
According to the Bangsamoro information chief, the reason why BIO connects with the ministries and offices was to convey the status of the Bangsamoro government to the constituents.
“This includes sharing the information on what are the different operations of our ministries and offices,” he elaborated.
“Being government we are operating under public funds or utilizing public funds, so it’s natural and right for the people to know on how their government is utilizing this so-called public funds, that is in support of what we call Moral Governance that’s being also pushed by our Chief Minister,” Alonto added.
He said the Bangsamoro constituents should have an enriching discussion on social, economic, or political issues based on facts and objectives.
“The state recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-building. That is precisely where the Bangsamoro is right now, we’re trying to build the Bangsamoro nation and it’s very important for all of us to communicate with one another,” Alonto said.
He underscored the importance of sharing information towards the progress, building, and development of the Bangsamoro and it is in line with the objectives of BIO.
The information chief said it is their duty and responsibility to establish a network of information officers within the Bangsamoro government.
He related further that the agency facilitated the building of Guild of Information Officers which have different Information Officers as their members coming from various ministries and offices.
“The purpose of building such guild is to have simplified connection and coordination and to improve the protocols and processes that they need to accomplish,” he said.
Alonto mentioned their activities such as live streams programs, and their daily newscast called Pasada Alasyete, a daily newscast of BIO that could be watched on the official Facebook page of Bangsamoro government from Monday to Friday, 7:00 PM.
He also related the formation of the Bangsamoro Press Corps (BPC)  in which he stated that during the time of forming the BPC with the assistance of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) headed by Minister Atty. Naguib G.  Sinarimbo.
“By forming themselves into a press corps, our colleagues in the media further legitimize themselves,  it added another layer to their legitimacy. If you say it’s reported by the Bangsamoro Press Corps then there’s really a big chance that those are credible and reliable information,” he said referring to the importance of BPC.
Alonto also shared that their plans for the current fiscal year include fixing internal processes, revisiting the organizational structure for the purpose of making their service and output better for the public.
“We also want to see this year the operationalization of what we call ‘Bangsamoro Gazette’ so this is also in line with our mandate of providing transparency because the future contents of the Bangsamoro Gazette are all of the resolutions and laws passed by the Bangsamoro Parliament,” he further conveyed.
The talk show guest looked forward that the gazette shall be distributed to the different agencies and to the public. “And not just the bills or resolutions that they approved but we will also include the Executive Orders or Administrative Orders coming from the Office of the Chief Minister, also the Joint Circulars or Memorandum that the public needs to be aware of,” he explained.
Alonto said, “In our office one of the important values we identified is credibility, we deem it very important. A public information office like the BIO has credibility, that’s how we relate moral governance to our job. We want that if a person sees Bangsamoro Information Office they automatically know that that [BIO] office releases credible and true information.”
He added that BIO will not engage in false news, misinformation, and politicking
“We will be objective, we will not sensationalize issues, whatever these ministries and offices performance that’s what we’ll show; we’re not going to sugarcoat; we’re not going to give the public false information,” he said.
Alonto added, “That’s how we see Moral Governance in our program; to provide credible service, we want to achieve credibility and we want to maintain that credibility.”