Philippine News Agency (PNA): What You Need to Know

The Philippine News Agency (PNA) is the official media service agency of the Philippine government and disseminates audio, video, and written press releases from the president and department secretaries. In addition, PNA also deals with programming about government news and information.

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In this day and age when fake news and misinformation plague the internet, it is important to have a government agency that can counter these developments by providing reliable information. This is where the PNA comes in to play. Continue reading below to know more.

PNA: What You Need to Know about the Philippine News Agency
Credits: PNA / Facebook

What is the Meaning of PNA?

PNA stands for Philippine News Agency.

What is the Purpose of PNA?

The Philippine News Agency (PNA) is the official news and information arm of the Philippine government. It was established on February 1, 1973 through Presidential Decree No. 925, s. 1973 to provide daily news services to both local and foreign readers on the policies, activities, and programs of the Government and the Presidency.

As it aims to be at par with its foreign counterparts, it shall continue evolve to be a source of news that not only inform but inspire and aspire, by integrating journalism into the democratic process through civic journalism that encourages greater depth of knowledge of communities, and developing sources within layers of civic life.

The Philippine News Agency shall continue to be an instrument of government communication and a source of impartial, objective, and accurate news reports. It will also be the official channel for information dissemination of the Government.

The Government shall ensure that the Philippine News Agency continues to be a credible source of information, in line with its mandate. It shall also ensure that it is not used as a propaganda tool against political opponents.

It is mandated by Article IX Section 5(1) of the 1987 Constitution that “the government shall endeavor to make available to the national and local news media such information as would enable them to better perform their task as public educators and informers.”

A total 19 PNA reporters and correspondents are deployed practically in every major beat in Metro Manila. PNA also has 16 provincial bureaus that submit articles to the Central Desk in Quezon City 24/7.

With the advent of digital media, PNA has brought its newsroom to the grassroots by opening its offices to the on-the-job trainings for college students, and have opened, bigger access to people who want to send in their stories be it news article, photograph, video, or audio.

In June 2016, the Philippines National Administration (PNA) received a lot of support and attention from President Rodrigo Duterte. His administration prioritized the agency’s modernization efforts by launching a new website and improving its operations.

The support provided by PNA was instrumental in addressing its equipment needs. It included the provision of new laptops, cameras, and phones.

Through the agency’s revitalized structure, seminars and trainings were also being provided to its reporters and photographers.

The agency’s website and mobile app were relaunched on April 24, 2017. The new look and improved functionality of the websites provide a more interactive and user-friendly experience. The app allows users to keep up with the latest news and information.

The number of page views of the agency’s website increased significantly following the launch of its new website in September 2021.

On October 16, 2017, the PNA launched its own news channel on Facebook, which is a live streaming version of the agency’s daily news. The objective of the channel is to provide a comprehensive view of the news and information that the public can consume.

In September 2021, the PNA’s Facebook page reached almost 300,000 followers. Its best month was in March, when it had a total reach of over 17 million. It also had a total of 3.8 million likes and 27 million impressions.

Brief History

The Philippine News Service was established in 1950 as a cooperative to gather news reports and photos from various national newspapers. It was headed by the publishers of these publications, such as the Manila Times, Manila Chronicle, Manila Herald, The Fookien Times, and Bagong Buhay. Its main function was to provide these reports and photos to the other newspapers in the provinces.

The stories were then used by television and radio stations to provide their listeners with a fixed monthly subscription. Some international news organizations, such as Reuters, the Associated Press, and Agence France-Presse, were also allowed to subscribe.

Through the mail system, the News Service was able to maintain its relationship with various international news organizations. Some of these include the Associated Press, Reuters, and the Japan News Agency. It also partnered with other local news organizations such as the Philippine News Service.

On September 23, 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law. This led to the closure of the News Service’s 24-hour operations. During this period, the organization had 120 correspondents working in different cities and provinces. Their major clients were government-controlled radio and television stations.


After four months, some newspapers and broadcast organizations were allowed to reopen. Some of these organizations asked the government to establish a government news agency. This was done through the acquisition of World War II-era equipment from the Philippine News Service.

After the government allowed the News Service to reopen, it became known as the Philippines News Agency. This new organization was established to provide the government with reliable and accurate news reports.

Negotiations for the purchase of the equipment from the Philippine News Service were handled by a group of former newspapersmen from Tatad’s office at Malacaan. Some of them included Amante Bigornia, the press under secretary, and Lorenzo Cruz, the head of the foreign information division of the BNFI.

Jose L. Pavia, the former executive editor of the Philippines Herald, was named as the News Service’s first general manager. He was responsible for overseeing the organization’s 11-member staff. Other members of his staff included Severino Samonte, the provincial and national news editor, and Renato B. Tiangco, the managing editor.

The PNA was established as a government news agency under a Special Department Order that Tatad issued. Its first mother bureau was the Bureau of National and Foreign Information, which provided its fund.

The PNA was officially launched on March 1, 1973, at the National Press Club in Intramuros. It initially used the facilities of the Philippine News Service, which were located on the second floor of the building.

Tatad officially launched the PNA by turning on the switch to signal the start of its operations in Malacañang. He noted that the agency would follow the same professional standards as other international news organizations.

During the early years of the martial law era, the PNA and other international news organizations were able to provide a wide range of reports about the Philippines. They were able to exchange information with foreign news agencies.


After it was established, the PNA started its domestic operations in Cebu City. In 1974, it opened its first domestic bureau in this city. It was followed by other areas such as Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Dagupan, and San Fernando. In the following year, it expanded its operations by opening additional offices in different areas such as Legazpi, Tacloban, Zamboanga, La Union, and Tuguegarao.

In 1975, the number of domestic bureau locations peaked at 23. However, this number started to shrink due to the organization’s cost-cutting measures. Some of these included the opening of additional offices in General Santos City, Tagbilaran City, and Cabanatuan City.


In 1986, the PNA had several overseas bureau locations, including those in Los Angeles, California, New York, Chicago, Toronto, and Washington DC, which were closed after the EDSA Revolution. These locations were operated by the OMA, which was headed by Information Minister Greg Cendana.

In 1987, the government’s reorganization resulted in the elimination of the Bureau of National Information and the creation of two new agencies, namely the NIB and the BCS.


The PNA is an agency of the Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO). It is also a division of the News and Information Bureau.

Functions and Responsibilities of PNA

The objective of the News and Information Bureau is to provide effective, efficient, and productive services to the government and the public regarding the development and formulation of foreign and domestic information programs. It also plans and executes strategies aimed at disseminating information related to the presidency and various government programs.

The head of the News and Information Bureau is to be appointed by the President, with the assistance of an Assistant Director. It is composed of various government agencies and media organizations, such as the presidential press staff and the Philippine News Agency.

The Executive Order establishing the News and Information Bureau states that it should establish a liaison with foreign and domestic media organizations and provide them with assistance in carrying out their duties. It should also maintain a system that allows foreign and local media members to be accredited.

The News and Information Bureau’s main functions are to develop and implement a comprehensive information program for the government and the presidency, as well as to provide effective and efficient services to the public regarding the dissemination of information related to the various government programs and policies.

The News and Information Bureau’s primary objective is to provide both local and foreign media with daily news reports about the activities and programs of the government and the presidency. It also plans and executes programs aimed at improving the effectiveness of information dissemination.

Moreover, the PNA will function to:

  • Provide the government, the Presidency, the public as well as media and non-media clients here and abroad with objective, factual and impartial news and information, including photos on a daily basis.
  • Serve as a daily 24-hour, all-weather news wire service network.
  • Provide its clients with breaking news, press coverages, commentaries, features, backgrounders, and news analyses, and gathers international news for domestic distribution through its news exchange agreements with news agencies in the ASEAN, Asia-Pacific Region, and other countries.
  • Provide free services to government and private sector clients who may avail of it through e-mail or fax or directly via telephone or telegraphic means.

Laws Enacted by the PNA

Executive Order 205. Regulating the operation of CATV systems in the Philippines, and other purposes (1987) – This states that the operation of CATV in the Philippines is open to all residents of the country. This system is managed and operated by the country’s telecommunications commission.

Republic Act no. 7925. Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines (1994), Congress of the Philippines – The Philippines’ public telecommunications policy was enacted in 1995 to promote and govern the country’s development. It aims to provide the necessary framework for the efficient operation of the country’s telecommunications industry.

Section 23 of the Act provides that certain privileges, advantages, exemptions, and privileges granted under the existing telecommunications franchise may be made available to the grantees of new franchises. These privileges, benefits, and privileges shall be immediately and unconditionally granted to the grantees of new telecommunications franchises. It also does not affect the provisions of the franchise concerning the type of service that the franchise provides, the territory covered by the franchise, or the life span of the franchise.

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 02: Freedom of Information (2016) – The goal of Executive Order No. 2 is to promote an open government by making the executive branch more transparent. It also strengthens the right of citizens to access information.

Video: Philippine News Agency (PNA) Website Launch

In the video above, as shared by the RTVMalacanang YouTube channel, officials, staff, and stakeholders of the Philippine News Agency attended the event for the launching of the Philippine News Agency website, held in Conrad Manila on April 24, 2017.

The Philippine News Agency’s website includes a range of new features and an updated design. The new website is intended to provide a more user-friendly experience for users, as well as to improve the overall efficiency of the PNA.

Some of the new features of the website include a search function, which allows users to search for specific articles or topics; a “Most Read” section, which highlights the most popular articles on the site; and an “Latest News” section, which provides up-to-date information on the latest happenings in the Philippines.

The new website also features a more modern and responsive design, which will adjust to the user’s device and screen size. This will provide a better experience for users who are accessing the site on mobile devices.

Overall, the new PNA website seeks to provide a more comprehensive and user-friendly experience for users. With its updated design and new features, the website will be a valuable resource for users who are seeking information on the latest news in the Philippines.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Philippine news agency?

The Philippine News Agency (PNA) is the official government news agency. It is under the supervision and control of the country’s information management agency, which is known as the News and Information Bureau. The agency was established on March 1, 1973, by President Ferdinand Marcos.

2. Where was the first PNA office?

After its establishment in Cebu City in 1974, the PNA established its first domestic bureau in the country’s second-largest city. In the following year, it expanded its operations to other areas such as Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, and San Fernando. Other cities that PNA handled in these years included Legazpi, Tacloban, La Union, and Jolo.

3. What news agencies covered the Philippines during the martial law?

During the time of martial law, the PNA and the other major news organizations in the country, such as AFP, AP, and UNI, covered the entire Philippines. They were able to bring the news about the country to the rest of the world.

4. What did Marcos do after the martial law?

Four months into the imposition of the martial law, President Ferdinand Marcos allowed a few newspapers and television stations to reopen. Journalists then asked the government to establish a news agency to provide comprehensive coverage of the country. Senator Francisco Tatad was then tasked with exploring the possibility of acquiring the necessary equipment for a government news agency.

5. What countries did the Soviet Union have a news exchange agreement with?

Through its old mail system, the agency was able to maintain its contacts with foreign news organizations such as the Bernama of Malaysia, the Central News Agency of South Korea, and the TASS of the former Soviet Union.

6. When was the PNA created?

The PNA was launched on March 1, 1973, as the national government’s official news agency. The agency initially used the editorial offices vacated by the PNS on the second floor of the National Press Club (NPC) of the Philippines Bldg. along Magallanes Drive in Intramuros, Manila.

7. When did the PNS cease operations?

On September 23, 1972, the Philippine News Service was forced to suspend its 24-hour operations due to the presence of government troops and their protection of its clients, which included radio, television, and newspapers. At that time, the agency had over 120 journalists covering various cities and provinces in the country.


The Philippine News Agency is the government’s arm in providing news to the public. It was created in 1973 by President Ferdinand Marcos who wanted a more efficient way of disseminating information. It is also the only government-owned and controlled corporation in charge of gathering and distributing news.

Today, the agency’s relevance is still as important as it was before. It continues to be the government’s mouthpiece through which it can communicate with the people and keep them informed.

Filipinos need to know what is happening in the country and around the world. They need to know what policies are being implemented by their leaders, how these policies affect them, and what changes will come with each passing day. The Philippine News Agency is responsible for providing Filipinos with all of this information.

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Contact Information

Address: Philippine Information Agency Bldg, Visayas Ave, Diliman, Quezon City, 1128 Metro Manila
Telephone Number: (632) 8352-4335, (632) 8352-4322
Facebook Page:
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