Duterte Administration to Issue Press Passes for Bloggers

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — The administration of Philippine President Duterte is now issuing official press passes to bloggers and social media influencers to cover the president.

Filipino citizens over the age of 18 with at least 5,000 online followers are eligible to apply for passes.

AFP news agency reports the government said the move reflects a new media landscape in which social media personalities compete with traditional news outlets.

However, critics of the move have expressed concern that bloggers and social media stars do not adhere to the same ethical guidelines and fact checking methods as traditional news organizations.

Accreditation can be withdrawn for “improper use” but the administration has yet to define what qualifies as improper.

Political blogger Margaux “Mocha” Uson who Duterte appointed as head of social media in the Presidential Communications Operations Office will oversee the accreditation process.