By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan
Only tech-versed viewers who habitually flip channels might have noticed. The fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Pres. Benigno Aquino III also goes down as the first to be shot in high definition (HD).
There’s little fanfare for the Presidential Broadcast Staff – Radio Television Malacañang (PBS-RTVM), which bags the credit for this long-overdue upgrade. They’ve always handled the SONA pool feed, being charged after all with documenting the chief executive’s speeches and activities.
At these events, the SOP for network live news crews is to hook up with RTVM’s feed since they have more camera angles, and more importantly, prime access to the president. However, the RTVM feed was at times of lower quality than that of the networks’ own cameras and fell prey to technical glitches that made it risky to air.
RTVM stayed in the technical cellar for years, as the privately-owned networks bulked up on the latest equipment. Moves to update their tech capabilities went gradually, going only as far as the government’s budget could allow.
Then in 2012, the Philippines was picked to host the 2014 World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia.