Metro Manila, October 18, 2022 — The announcement just came in fresh and hot on the 18th of October and immediately caught the Netizens’ attention. Filmmaker Paul Soriano has agreed to be paid just PHP 1.00 annually as he carries on his duties in the role of presidential adviser on creative communications. This was officially declared by the President himself, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
Monday saw the official oath-taking ceremony of Soriano into the role of presidential adviser which was also witnessed by his wife, TV host and actress Toni Gonzaga, along with their six-year-old son, Severiano Elliot. The ceremony saw Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman George Garcia and Commissioners Nelson Celis and Ernesto Maceda Jr., sworn into official duties as well. Soriano’s main duty is to advise the chief executive and assist departments and agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations, with information dissemination programs and initiatives.
“One of the greatest assets of the Filipino is our creativity, and we must find many ways to highlight that to the rest of the world,” the President said. “And that is what Paul Soriano has already been doing in his career as a filmmaker. And now we have asked him to help us at one peso per year.”
“You know, in this day and age, you need to do it creatively, and you need to communicate so that the mission and the vision and the message of the president is clearly communicated to the Filipino people,” Soriano said after he was sworn into his new position
“It’s an absolute honor to be able to serve, first and foremost, of course, for the country and then, of course, for the PBBM administration,” said the movie and television director. “It’s a passion of mine to just create and communicate.
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Backgrounder on Soriano’s qualifications, affiliations and accolades for the role
Paul Soriano is an advertising and marketing communications graduate of De Anza College, Cupertino, California. Among Soriano’s award-winning films is “Siargao” garnering Best Director and Best Film in the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival.
He was also part of the film, “A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery” (2016), where he won an Alfred Bauer Award for Best Film at the Berlinale International Film Festival. He is behind other critically acclaimed films including “Kid Kulafu,” “Thelma,” “Dukot,” “First Love” and “Mañanita.” Other well-known films, “A Journey Home (2009), Thelma (2011), Kid Kulafu (2015), and Dukot (2016) were under his directorial guidance.
Marcos’ ad campaigns in last May’s elections were also directed by Paul Soriano. His most recent assignment at Malacañang Palace was as the director of the president’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA).
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It is publicly known that Paul Soriano is the nephew of first lady Lisa Cacho Araneta-Marcos. This stems from his dad, Jeric Soriano being a cousin of Mrs Marcos that can be traced to Jeric’s father, the late actor Nestor de Villa.
President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is also godfather to Paul and Toni at their wedding. Soriano has been known as among the strongest supporters of Marcos that span decades.
A colourful array of reactions by Netizens
When the news broke on Soriano’s new role and annual salary, Netizens immediately took to various social media platforms to air out their opinions, reactions, memes, and like on TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
There was praise for Soriano’s genuine desire to be of public service while others speculated that he might be paid more than one peso per year as an adviser. After all, as a presidential adviser, Soriano would be entitled to salary grade 31, the same salary level as senators and representatives, who take home at least PHP273,278 (US$4,632) monthly.
Among the interesting takes, jabs, and digs from Netizens are the following:
- How come there’s still no DOH secretary but there’s an advisor for communications
- That the PHP1 is just a part of the whole arrangement
- Soriano exudes the true spirit of Volunteerism
- Take the PHP1 with a kilo of salt
- Is this a sign of even more skilfully made fake news
My take on what’s happening would be a wait-and-see stance. Let’s give Soriano the benefit of the doubt that he is sincere and his intentions are heartfelt in making sure everyone’s on the same page with facts as transparent as his PHP1 annual salary. No pun intended here at all.
Comment below, we’d like to hear how this impresses you or impacts you in any way.
News source: cnnphilippines