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Piñol experiences China’s great ‘firewall’

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol shared his first-hand experience of the infamous “great firewall” of China.

Piñol, an active figure on Facebook, cited China’s strictly-regulated access to the internet and social networking sites for his lack of regular daily posts in Facebook in almost a week.

He accompanied President Rodrigo Duterte and other cabinet members in the chief executive’s state visit to China on October 18–21.

“In China, it’s not easy to open your Facebook page or your Gmail account. Access to these internet sites is regulated by government,” he said in his Facebook post Sunday, October 23.

A Facebook logo is pictured on a screen ahead of a press conference to announce the launch of it's latest product "Workplace", in central London on October 10, 2016. ( AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS) / MB.COM.PH

( AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS) / MB.COM.PH

While it barred him from his daily Facebook postings about his official activities for almost a week, Piñol did not mention any significance or insignificance of China’s internet censorship.

He said his upcoming posts will cover “updates on what happened in China, especially the prospects for marketing of our agriculture and fisheries products and the financing available for farmers and fishermen.”

“I will also post stories on what I saw in the Typhoon Lawin-ravaged areas of Northern Luzon which President Duterte visited yesterday (Sunday),” he said.

Piñol, a former Tempo sports columnist and deskman, said he would also join the president’s entourage departing to Japan on Tuesday, October 25.

Piñol said he expects to be able to update netizens about their visit while in Japan, where internet connection is among the world’s fastest and, according to watchdog Freedom House, unrestricted.

“I’m sure I will have access to Facebook and Gmail in Tokyo.”