On August 11, the Philippine News Agency published an article about the rules governing holiday pays in 2018 as released by the Department of Labor and Employment, but what made the news controversial is the fact that they used the logo of Dole, the company that processes pineapples.
According to Rappler, PNA’s latest blunder was posted on its website on August 11, at 7:56pm. Netizens quickly took a screenshot of the mistake. Around two hours later, the PNA replaced the wrong logo with that of the government agency.
At around 11pm on August 11, two hours after it replaced the wrong photo, PNA issued an apology over the mistake, saying that the “accompanying photo was that of Dole Philippines,” admitting that using the wrong logo was a “careless act on the [part of the] PNA editorial staff.”
“In an effort to ensure that all stories are accompanied by a photo, the staff inadvertently attached the wrong photo rather than the logo of the Department of Labor and Employment,” said the PNA’s statement.
“Rest assured appropriate action is being taken in pursuit of the delivery of accurate information to our readers. Our apologies,” it added.
On August 6, the PNA was also in hot water for publishing a commentary article from the Xinhua News Agency, China’s state news agency, which described the Hague ruling as an “ill-founded award.” Netizens criticized the PNA for seemingly echoing China’s claims over the West Philippine Sea. Communications Secretary Martin Andanar has asked the state news agency to explain “why [it] should not be held liable for any administrative charges.”
The PNA was also criticized for using a Vietnam war photo in its Marawi-related article and for publishing a fake article about how 95 UN member states were convinced that there were no cases of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.
In reaction to the use of their logo, Dole PH’s Facebook page reportedly threw shade at the PNA.
The Twitterverse reacted to PNA’s latest blunder.
“In another cock-up, PNA used the logo of Dole Pineapple for DOLE. Dutertenomics is now Dutertedelmontekitchenomics where everything is piña,” AltAsecMargauxUson tweeted.
In another cock-up, PNA used the logo of Dole Pineapple for DOLE. Dutertenomics is now Dutertedelmontekitchenomics where everything is piña. pic.twitter.com/KXJq0MPmxW
— AltAsecMargauxUson (@AsecMargauxUson) August 11, 2017
Singer/activist Jim Paredes also weighed in on the issue.
“What does PNA stand for? Pro China News Agency or Pineapple News Agency? 2 strikes na kayo this week,” Paredes tweeted.
What does PNA stand for?
Pro China News Agency or Pineapple News Agency?
2 strikes na kayo this week.
— Jim (@Jimparedes) August 12, 2017
Former national security adviser Roilo Golez is asking if Dole and Xinhua are paying the PNA.
“PNA getting fees from DOLE Pineapple and Xinhua??” he tweeted.
PNA getting fees from DOLE Pineapple and Xinhua?? https://t.co/kq1j1fm7iF
— Roilo Golez (@roilogolez) August 12, 2017
One Twitter user has this theory: “Feeling ko yung nagpost ng wrong DOLE logo sa PNA ay galit sa boss nya or ayaw na sa work nya. Haha.”
Feeling ko yung nagpost ng wrong DOLE logo sa PNA ay galit sa boss nya or ayaw na sa work nya. Haha.
— IG: @callmenorby (@CallMeNorby) August 13, 2017
Another one noted the possibility that the next mistake would involve US Senator Bob Dole.
Baka mamaya PNA,gamitin ninyo ang picture ni dating US Senator at Republican Presidential candidate Bob Dole para sa DOLE story ninyo. pic.twitter.com/4KJuHsMNgS
— markjosephramos (@mackyramos) August 13, 2017
“Lumakas ba sales ng Dole ngayon? #PNA,” one Twitter user wrote.
Lumakas ba sales ng Dole ngayon? #PNA 🍍
— Yael Esperat (@yaelski) August 13, 2017
Pro-Duterte blogger Sass Rogando Sasot didn’t forget about Comelec chair Andres Bautista’s issue amid the Dole logo controversy.
“Andy’s passbooks vs PNA’s DOLE pineapple as DOLE (gov’t agency) logo…Guess which one the disenteng dilaws waste their time on…PAK!” Sasot tweeted.
Andy's passbooks vs PNA's DOLE pineapple as DOLE (gov't agency) logo…Guess which one the disenteng dilaws waste their time on…PAK!
— Sass Rogando Sasot (@srsasot) August 12, 2017
Others surmised it is free promotion for Dole.
“Dear #Dole: you should thank PNA for the free #brand awareness campaign. You’re all over Twitter since yesterday. #branding #advertising,” @JustCatellon said.
— Justine Castellon (@JustCastellon) August 12, 2017
— Christopherson (@ChrisPayumo) August 12, 2017
DOLE Phils awards this 🍍 to PNA as appreciation for the free advertisement.
— Boo (@nobotherjustme) August 12, 2017
Here are other reactions to the issue on social media:
Hi PNA, dito po ba headquarters ng DOLE? pic.twitter.com/HymFiGNwj7
— Pat Ramos 👸 (@expectoPatRamos) August 13, 2017
Omaygad! Naging pinyahan na ang Dole! 🍍🍍 Pls nmn PNA bago nyo ipublish, irecheck nyo! think before you click nga!
— Almaya🍒🍑 (@classy_beatrice) August 12, 2017
I was going to rant about how stressed, tired, and unfocused I am at the moment but PNA's DOLE mistake tells me I don't have the right. LOL!
— Justine Atacador (@jattacks28) August 12, 2017
That PNA article is so biased to DOLE Pineapple PH. LOL
— Vic Madriaga (@vicmadz) August 12, 2017
Ganito rin ba yung na-feel ng PNA nung nalaman nilang mali ang logo ng DOLE sa release nila??? pic.twitter.com/U4y2lMNlVd
— Angel Santos (@straaangge) August 12, 2017
Nagsimula sa third eye ngayon naging multiple eye…ang alamat ng DOLE…naDOLEng na PNA
— kapitan tyago (@apersepers) August 12, 2017
Andanar said that he has warned two PNA editors that they will be sent to Jolo or Basilan should they fail to explain the agency’s latest mistakes.
“If they will not give an adequate justification to avoid disciplinary action, then I will send them to Basilan or Jolo,” Andanar told reporters in Baguio City on August 13.
Andanar said they would have a meeting on August 14.
“Sa Monday magmi-meeting kami. In fact kagabi pa lang nag-meeting na kami sa telepono,” he added.
The editors would be subjected to an internal investigation.
Pag nakitaan po sila ng malaking pagkakamali or talagang sinadya po nila, kung hindi po sila makapagpaliwanag ng husto (If we see that it was just a grave mistake or it was intentional, or if they can’t fully explain themselves), then they would have to face disciplinary action. They would also have to, maybe, be suspended, be warned, be axed, depending on the result of the investigation,” Andanar said.
“Hindi naman natin pwedeng pabayaan ito. They were already given the chance,” he further said.